by: p_nut - 30th January 2009

  • 3
  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Expert
  • 5All-Mtn. Terrain
  • 5Family Friendly
  • 5Nightlife
  • Terrain Park
  • Value
huge resort, good shopping & nightlife
no snowmaking = no snowboarding in Dec

Full review

This review may sound a little unfair considering I didn't get the full Whistler experience, but hey, it's one data point amongst many, and it looks like most other people have a great time at Whistler. So here it is: I made the mistake of going in mid-December and it was the worst ski trip of my life. Whistler hadn't gotten enough snow, and apparently it has extremely limited snowmaking capacity, because only 2 or 3 runs were open on each mountain. Each run went only from the top to mid-station. Blackcomb was solid ice, so in reality there were only 3 skiable runs, total. The snow was hard-packed concrete snow, like East Coast conditions. Add an entire huge resort's worth of people crammed onto said two or three runs, with everyone from high-speed hot doggers to little kids taking lessons, and it was a disaster. Chaos, collisions, panic and rage. But, if you're going to have a bad ski day, at least Whistler offers plenty of other distractions. The village is huge, with lots of good dining and shopping options, including the only decent beer I've had in BC. (Sorry Vancouver, you are fabulous in every other way but your local brews are disappointing). There is some hope, however: during our long weekend of not-snowboarding, we watched helicopters busily lifting snow guns up the mountain. I really hope they get their snowmaking up to par by the Olympics next year. You can't place that much faith in the snow gods.
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