Sponsored by Tourism Whistler
Whistler is one of the world’s top winter ski destinations. Its two mountains, Whistler Mountain and Blackcomb Mountain, connected by the first-of-its-kind PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola, draw people from around the world to ski and ride more than 8,000 acres of skiable terrain.
While Whistler’s winter is showstopping, spring isn’t to be missed either. Use the following travel guide to plan your spring ski trip to Whistler. Your greatest mountain days are yet to come.
Whistler offers a long ski season, with lifts open into April and beyond. Spring means longer days, goggle tans, and soft sun-baked snow. It makes for a paradoxical combination of sunny days and fresh powder. Sleep in and then ski or ride late into the afternoon thanks to ideal spring conditions and longer hours of ski operations. What’s more, while many North America ski resorts are closed by mid-April, the season often continues into May at Whistler Blackcomb.
Spring skiing in Whistler delivers something for everyone. However, it’s especially advantageous for new skiers and riders, and those who want to learn. Springtime is considered the best time to learn to ski, due in part to a deeper snowpack and softer snow. Whistler Blackcomb has a great ski school with world-class instructors, and the resort even guarantees that new skiers and riders will be skiing green runs by the end of their third lesson or their fourth lesson is free.
Finally, spring brings some of Whistler’s best ski and snowboarding events, such as the Whistler World Ski & Snowboard Festival happening April 8-14. Known to locals as WSSF, the event hosts ski and snowboard competitions, music, art, photography, filmmaking, unique après-ski, nightlife, and non-stop action for a full week.
Après-ski was made for spring, and made for spring in Whistler. Whistler’s location in British Columbia means that the spring days are longer than U.S. ski resorts. Longer days mean more time soaking up the sun on Whistler’s patios after a day of skiing. What’s more, Whistler is currently offering an après-ski lodging deal, in which guests receive a $75 après-ski voucher for every third night booked (March 1 – April 30). We’ll drink to that.
Whistler’s après scene is varied, fun, and at times, wild. Whistler Village, featuring more than 200 shops, cafes, bars, and restaurants, is dotted with great après-ski spots. For craft beer lovers there’s the Beacon Pub & Eatery, which has a selection of British Columbia brews on draft, and a fun patio, in the heart of Whistler Village. Visit RMU Whistler, a stone’s throw from Blackcomb Mountain in the Upper Village, where you can cozy up by its outdoor firepits as the sun goes down. Or, for a more elevated experience, visit The Mallard Lounge & Terrace at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler for craft cocktails and small bites.
Celebrate your day in the mountains with on-mountain après-ski bars like Umbrella Bar. In the spring they open the top up on nice days so you can get a tan with a view. It’s a must-visit in spring. Or, pack your own après supplies, and hit a beautiful trail or find any number of scenic places around Whistler to enjoy a picnic.
The uniqueness and beauty of spring in Whistler is unrivaled. Whistler may be known as one of the world’s best ski destinations, but the adventures continue off the slopes. See Whistler’s mountains a different way by ziplining, which is offered year-round. The contrast of snowy mountain peaks towering above lush valleys on a striking bluebird day make this a view and an experience you can’t just have anywhere.
Other springtime Whistler adventures aren’t the types of activities you’ll find in just any ski town. Bobsled down Olympic tracks at the Whistler Sliding Centre, take a snowmobile tour, try bungee jumping, or go snowtubing. Or, for softer adventure, spring is a great time to hit Whistler’s miles of trails. Travelers can even upgrade their hiking trip with a heli–hiking or heli–picnic trip to fly-in backcountry trails.
Staying in Whistler in the spring is one of the best values all year. Stay midweek and it’s even better, with the lowest rates, along with more untracked slopes and a quieter Whistler Village. What’s more, U.S. travelers benefit from a great exchange rate.
Whistler offers a diverse selection of accommodations, from charming mountainside townhomes to secluded alpine homes to four-star hotels just steps from Whistler Village. With everything that Whistler Village has, consider leaving a car behind, and taking the Whistler Shuttle from Vancouver International Airport or downtown Vancouver. The approximately two-hour ride traces the Sea to Sky Highway, named one of the best scenic drives in the world by National Geographic readers.
Needless to say, Whistler isn’t your ordinary ski town, and it’s no wonder it’s such a bucket list destination. Start planning your trip at whistler.com/spring/.
Header image ©Tourism Whistler/Guy Fattal