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Whistler

Photo © Steve Lear

Travel Guide North America Canada British Columbia Whistler

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Introduction

Whistler from Blackcomb in British Columbia

Whistler from Blackcomb in British Columbia

© All Rights Reserved kirk1978

The dual mountain resort of Whistler-Blackcomb has consistently been rated one of the top ski resorts in the world.[1] The town of Whistler co-hosted the 2010 Winter Olympics.

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Sights

Garibaldi Provincial Park

Garibaldi Provincial Park is a wilderness park located to the east of the Sea to Sky Highway between Squamish and Whistler and covers an area of over 1,950 square kilometres. There are five park access and entrance points located along the Sea to Sky Highway. Each entrance provides access to hiking trails with backcountry camping opportunities, with a backcountry camping fee of $5.00 per person / night. The park is home to the 2,678-metre-high peak Mount Garibaldi.

A good resource for more information is the BC Parks Garibaldi website.

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Activities

Ski or Board Whistler-Blackcomb

The view of Whistler village from the gondola

The view of Whistler village from the gondola

© All Rights Reserved Di and Cam

The main attraction in Whistler is the ski resort. Offering 8,171 acres of terrain and a vertical drop of 1,564 metres, Whistler-Blackcomb is the largest ski resort in North America. There are 24 major lifts, including 2 Gondolas that service the two mountains (one of Whistler peak, one for Blackcomb peak). Traversing from one mountain to the other is currently possible only at the bottom, via the gondolas.

A good resource is the Whistler-Blackcomb Resort webpage, which includes the following Trail maps.

Mountain Bike Whistler-Blackcomb

Whistler Mountain also features a mountain bike park that uses the Fitzsimmons and Garbanzo quad chairlifts, as well as the Village Gondola to shuttle bikers to around midstation, at 1,200 metres (4,000 feet). The park has 36 trails for all skill levels totaling 200 kilometres (125 miles) of trails.

Apres-Ski and Nightlife

Just steps from the base of the Gondola is the Whistler Village, which contains some beautiful mountain views and lots of patio space. The Whistler-Blackcomb site offers a number of suggestions for both Apres-ski and hotspots at night.

Other Activites

  • Golf - Whistler boasts four golf courses: The Whistler Golf Club, the Fairmount Whistler Golf Club, the Big Sky Golf Club and Nickalus North Golf Club.
  • Hiking - In the summer, there are over 45 kilometres of hiking trails on Whistler Mountain. They are open from July to September depending on snowpack levels. The trails are not open in the winter, but back-country hiking or snow-shoeing can be arranged with a guide.

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Events and Festivals

TELUS World Ski & Snowboard Festival

The TELUS World Ski and Snowboard Festival is probably Whistler's best known party. Throngs of skiers and boards gather to celebrate the end of the season in grand style with 10 days and 10 nights of mind blowing music, arts, and sports.

Other Events

  • Crankworx is Whistler's annual Freeride Mountain Bike Festival.
  • Whistler Film Festival is a four-day, action-packed celebration of film featuring 90+ films, special guests and big prizes, as well as innovative opportunities for filmmakers and cool events including a free outdoor screening.

More festivals can be found at the Tourism Whistler site.

For schedules of bands and other events going on in the Whistler area, check out the Pique Newsmagazine entertainment section or the Tourism Whistler website Entertainment listings.

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Weather

Whistler is enjoyable in winter and summer, but note that there are big differences regarding temperatures. Average highs in December and January are just around zero while in July and August it's well above 20 °C with a record of 38 °C. Nights during summer are still chilly at around 8 °C, while average winter nights are around -6 °C with an absolute low of -29 °C. Most of the annual 1,200 mm of precipitation falls in the form of snow from November to March. Summers are relatively dry with occasional showers and the odd rainy day or so.

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Getting There

By Plane

The nearest airport is Vancouver International Airport. From there, travellers can drive, take the train or take a shuttle bus to Whistler.

By Train

On the train to Whistler

On the train to Whistler

© All Rights Reserved Anzxio

The Rocky Mountaineer offers a three-hour, train trip from Vancouver to Whistler. The train hugs the oceanfront, winds through canyons and climbs the steep grades of the BC Coast Mountains. Choose from two service classes, Coast Classic or Glacier Dome. Coast Classic service offers single level coach seating with large picture windows with a light beverage and snack service. Glacier Dome service is a single level car with wrap-over view windows. A traditional tea service is served.

Reservations are only available by phone Call Toll Free 1.888.403.4727. Prices for an adult are $105 one-way or $189 return in classic or $175 one-way and $299 return in the Glacier dome serivce.[2]. The trip takes approximately 3 hours.

By Car

Whistler is located on Highway 99 (the appropriately named "Sea-to-Sky highway") approximately 44 kilometres north of Squamish, or 115 kilometres (approximately 2 hours) north of Vancouver.

Speed limits is 80 kilometres per hour along the Sea to Sky highway. Seat belts are mandatory and drivers should use headlights even in daylight and remember that roads can be slippery even in the summer months.

Note that during the run up to the 2010 Olympics, there is a series of upgrades costing over $600 million. The construction is scheduled for completion in 2009. Drivers are asked to use caution through all work sites. Construction related traffic delays projected to add 30 minutes extra travel time between Horseshoe Bay and Squamish, 30 minutes extra travel time between Squamish and Whistler or 45 minutes extra travel time between Horseshoe Bay and Whistler.

By Bus

Greyhound Canada offers nine round trips a day, including a non-stop seasonal Ski Express schedule, between Vancouver and Whistler Village. Prices are $19.93 one-way or $39.86 return for regular fares, with discounts for seniors and students. Schedules can be found at their website.

Other companies offer airport transfers from Vancouver to Whistler. See this page at the WhistlerBlackcomb site for more details.

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Getting Around

By Car

At the resort, there are five complimentary parking lots located off Blackcomb Way for access to both Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains. More information on parking alternatives can be found at The Whistler Blackcomb resort website.

By Public Transport

Whistler WAVE buses provide local service in Whistler, and have racks for ski gear and run regularily from 5:30am to 3:00am all year. WAVE has 12 different routes servicing the area. Fares are $1.50 per ride, with discounts for purchasing multiple tickest or multiple day passes.
Visit the WAVE website for more information on schedules.

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Eat

There are numerous dining options from the expensive and fancy restaurants in the village to less expensive joints where the locals and throngs of resort workers chow down. Check out the Tourism Whistler website for dining options.

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Drink

Just steps from the base of the Gondola is the Whistler Village, which contains some beautiful mountain views and lots of patio space. The Whistler-Blackcomb site offers a number of suggestions for both Apres-ski and hotspots at night.

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Sleep

Accomodations can be expensive in Whistler. Check out the accomodations listing in the Tourism Whistler website for some options on hotels or short-term condo rentals.

Budget

  • HI Whistler Hostel - $26.00 (Jan-Mar, Jul-Aug, Dec) or $20.00 (Apr-Jun, Sept-Nov) for members, or $30.00 (Jan-Mar, Jul-Aug, Dec) or $24.00 (Apr-Jun, Sept-Nov) for non-members for shared accomodations.
PropertyAddressTypePopularity
Belle Neige Suites: Whistler8597 Drifter WayGuesthouse-
Golden Dreams B&B6412 Easy StreetGUESTHOUSE-
Inn at Clifftop Lane2828 Clifftop LaneGuesthouse-
Southside Lodge2102 Lake Placid Rd BCHostel-
AWA Whistler Pemberton Hotel7423 Frontier St PembertonHotel66
HI-Whistler1035 Legacy Way WhistlerHostel85
Whistler Mountain House3333 Panorama RidgeGuesthouse-
Stoney Creek Lagoons 444335 Northlands Blvd.Apartment-
Stoney Creek Lagoons 984335 Northlands Blvd.Apartment-
Stoney Creek Lagoons 374335 Northlands Blvd.Apartment-
Stoney Creek Lagoons 174335 Northlands Blvd.Apartment-
Stoney Creek Lagoons 914335 Northlands BlvdGuesthouse-
Alpine Chalet Retreat & Wellness3012 Alpine CrescentHotel-
Stoney Creek Sunpath 124325 Northlands Blvd.Guesthouse-
Stoney Creek Sunpath 284325 Northlands Blvd.Guesthouse-
Stoney Creek Sunpath 034325 Northlands Blvd.Guesthouse-
Stoney Creek Northstar 284355 Northlands Blvd.Guesthouse-
UBC Whistler Lodge2124 Nordic DriveHostel84
Fireside Lodge2117 Nordic DriveHOSTEL88

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Keep Connected

Internet

Internet usage is wide-spread in Canada. Wi-fi is available in many locations in larger cities, sometimes free and sometimes at a cost. You will find Wi-Fi in coffee stores, some restaurants and also hotels and motels more and more offer this service for free, but with a code usually. Internet cafes are common along major streets, and and in larger cities, charge between $3 and $4 for an hour, usually in 20-minute increments.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

The country calling code to Canada is: 1. To make an international call from Canada, the code is: 011. Emergency services can be reached by dialling 911. This number will give you free access to Police, Fire and Ambulance services and can be used from landlines, phone booths and cell phones.

The populous areas of Canada along the border with the USA have excellent cellular and wired telecommunications, meaning that travellers are never fair from an international phone call home, a WIFI connection or an internet cafe. Depending on the mobile phone provider, coverage could be either CDMA and GSM coverage. Travellers wishing to purchase SIM cards for GSM phones should look for Rogers Wireless, Telus Mobility and Bell Mobility, which all offer nationwide availability.

Post

Postal service is provided by Canada Post, a crown corporation owned by the government but run as an independent business. Most post offices keep hours from 9:00am to 5:00pm though in bigger places longer hourse might be available.

To format the envelope of a letter sent within Canada, put the destination address on the centre of its envelope, with a stamp, postal indicia, meter label, or frank mark on the top-right corner of the envelope to acknowledge payment of postage. A return address, although it is not required, can be put on the top-left corner of the envelope in smaller type than the destination address.

The lettermail service allows the mailing of a letter. The basic rate is currently set at $0.63 for one standard letter (30 grams or less). The rates for lettermail are based or weight and size and determine whether the article falls into the aforementioned standard format, or in the oversize one. The rate is the same for a postcard. Mail sent internationally is known as letterpost. It can only contain paper documents. The rate for a standard letter is of $1.10 if sent to the United States, and $1.85 if sent to any other destination. Oversize or overweight letters may be charged a higher fee. Larger parcels can be shipped via Canada post both domestically and internationally, the rate is dependent on the weight and destination. [3]

Federal Express, TNT, UPS or DHL also provide interntional shipping from Canada and are usually very quick and reliable though might cost a little more compared to Canada Post.

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Quick Facts

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Coordinates
  • Latitude: 50.118354
  • Longitude: -122.953844

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This is version 16. Last edited at 10:35 on Jul 19, 13 by Utrecht. 5 articles link to this page.

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