[R493R, Whistler Blackcomb] promises to be 90 percent open to the public for skiing and snowboarding during the Olympics. Those heading to the slopes to watch the Games or to ignore the hoopla in favor of personal turns may need to check out the new Whistler Shuttle-the only way to get to the ski resort.

No public parking is available at Whistler during both the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games, except for those with advance parking passes and parking connected with lodging. In fact, drivers without a parking pass will be turned back to Vancouver at Alice Lake.

Skiers and riders must hop the new Whistler Shuttle, which operates Feb. 1 - Mar. 31 this winter. The shuttles, which are equipped for carrying skis and snowboards, comprise a fleet of 47- and 56-passenger busses as well as 15-passenger vans.

The shuttle connects downtown Vancouver, North Vancouver, Horseshoe Bay, and Squamish with Whistler. Multiple pick up locations sprawl across Vancouver, North Vancouver, and Whistler. Reservations, which can be made online, are required for all northbound shuttles. Southbound tickets can be purchased last minute, if available, at the Whistler Visitors Center in Whistler Village.

Rates vary depending on distance. A one-way trip runs $35 CAD; round-trip tickets cost $70 CAD. Round-trip packages that run $134-170 CAD for adults are also available bundling together transportation, lift tickets, and rental gear.

Five departures leave Vancouver daily with the earliest starting at 6:30 a.m. Seven departures leave Whistler each day with the latest scheduled for 11 p.m. The shuttle ride on the Sea to Sky Highway runs about two hours. The regular Skylynx Bus will still operate between Vancouver International Airport and the resort in addition to the new shuttle.

More information. Or call 866-943-0516.