by: Catamount84 - 9th April 2013

  • 3
  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced/Expert
  • 4All-Mtn. Terrain
  • 2Family Friendly
  • Aprés Ski
  • Terrain Park
  • Overall Value
Big
Cloudy, Wet

Full review

I grew up skiing in New England and currently live on the east coast. During the past twenty years I have gone out west a dozen times for week long ski vacations. I know Utah and Colorado well, and have also been to Jackson Hole once. I decided to try Whistler/Blackcomb this year because of all the positive information in the media and on the internet. Maybe my expectations were too high, but I was disappointed with the experience. Whistler/Blackcomb is a top ten ski resort of North America, but I can easily name seven or eight places I would consider better. The first thing I noticed about skiing in British Columbia was the heavy cloud coverage (two sunny days of five total) and the high moisture content of the snow. There was no comparison with the light Utah powder. One local told me we were lucky to not have rain! The place is huge and they often promote the large vertical drop and massive acreage, but it just didn't seem that big when skiing there. It’s basically two adjacent mountains and you ski one or the other on any given day. There are a few nice areas with good snow, but many times we were repeating runs and ending at the same spots. This never happens at a place like Jackson Hole, and there even seems to be more variety at a medium size resort like Deer Valley. The locals have the entire season to learn the mountain, but it can be frustrating when staying at a resort for only a week. It was also much more crowded than comparable resorts in the States. The lift lines were long and the trails were very congested. The lift attendants are from all over the world. Most are very nice (those from Australia and New Zealand were extraordinary), but we encounter several local BC attendants that were less than pleasant (to put it kindly) and looked like they hadn't done laundry all winter. Maybe not that big a deal, but come on guys – invest in some detergent! Anyway, give it a try if you want a change from the US Rockies, but once was enough for this veteran of North American skiing.
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