Bringing out the big guns in the Northwest is Whistler Blackcomb. One flash of its impressive stats is enough to secure its place as the 2013 OnTheSnow Visitors' Choice Award winner for Best Overall Resort in the Northwest. Whistler and Blackcomb are two mountains that sit side by side, providing skiers and snowboarders over 200 trails spread out on 8,171 acres of skiable terrain (the most in North America), 16 alpine bowls and three glaciers. Whistler Blackcomb benefits from over 469 inches of average annual snowfall and a wide variety of terrain that caters to all abilities and ages. The Peak 2 Peak Gondola provides access between the two mountains. The resort is also home to 17 mountain restaurants as well as accommodations for all budgets in the bustling village. Whistler Blackcomb is two hours from Vancouver via the scenic Sea-to-Sky highway.
APRÉS SPOTS: From casual fireside drinks to 80s nights, soul parties and renowned DJs, Whistler's nightlife is almost as well-known as its skiing. Aprés-ski fans head to Merlin's Bar & Grill at the base of Blackcomb, Garibaldi Lift Co. in Whistler Village and Dusty's Bar & BBQ in Whistler's Creekside. The extensive selection of restaurants offer international fare, with many of them featuring organic and locally-sourced ingredients.
WHERE TO SKI: The resort serves up a winning combo of high, open bowls and sheltered forest runs. Beginners can head for the Olympic station on Whistler Mountain, an area dedicated to learning, with gentle slopes and easy-loading lifts. Intermediate skiers will find plenty of cruising terrain at the top of the Symphony Express lift on Whistler or the 7th Heaven Express lift on Blackcomb. Few resorts can rival the challenging terrain here: Whistler's bowls, served by the fast Peak and Harmony quads, are enough to keep experts happy for weeks, with chutes and gullies of varied steepness. Both mountains have challenging tree trails and there's also backcountry skiing, cat-skiing and heli-skiing.