Editor’s Note: This post was written by Ian Jenkins, General Manager, Sales at Whistler Blackcomb.
Whistler Blackcomb is looking forward to the 2015-2016 winter season for many reasons, not the least of which is an upcoming 50th anniversary. Breaking world records along the way, Whistler Blackcomb has been lauded for advancements in the skiing, snowboarding, and mountain biking industries.
“Whistler Blackcomb has always been about pushing the envelope,” says Dave Brownlie, President and CEO of Whistler Blackcomb. “We like to be first, to go big, and to surpass guest expectations over and over again. This season we want to showcase what we’ve achieved over the past 50 years, while looking forward at what is yet to come.”
Here are a few things you may not have known about the ski area.
1. Whistler celebrates its 50th anniversary
Founded on the dream of one day hosting the Olympic Winter Games, Whistler Mountain opened for skiing in the winter of 1965-66. Boasting the biggest vertical drop in North America and a ski season that stretched from early November until late May, the ski area has been going above and beyond to leave its mark on the ski and snowboard industry since day one.
In honor of their 50th anniversary, Whistler Blackcomb released 50 Years Of Going Beyond, a 30-minute movie on its history.
2. The USD goes further
You may not know it but the USD is worth $1.25 Canadian. That means when you buy a beer with a $20 bill USD at Happy Hour, you get $20 CDN back in change.
3. Still the biggest big mountain culture
Composed of two side-by-side mountains, Whistler Blackcomb features 8,100 acres of varied terrain, a mile-long vertical and an unmatched dedication to grooming. The two mountains combined offer over 200 marked runs, 8,171 acres of terrain, 16 alpine bowls and three glaciers.
Beyond that is an experience so unique, it’s hard to measure. It’s about powder filled bowls, tree stashes and runs from the very easy to the “Are you kidding?” As the late freeskiing legend Shane McConkey has said, “The terrain is great, the skiers are rad, and the nightlife is out of this world.”
4. Something for everyone at the Village
Located at the base of both mountains, the Village is filled with shopping, dining, concerts and more. You can basically ditch the car and walk to everything. You can snowmobile, Zip line, Cross Country ski, or try your hand at Bobsled or Skeleton. If all of that sounds far too rowdy, just relax in one of the many spas or the amazing baths at the Scandinavia Spa.
5. The après scene is just as good as the skiing & riding
With slope side après spots at each mountain base and a nightlife scene that stays up late, Whistler après achieves top marks by almost every ski and snowboard publication. Check out the GLC on Whistler for good times or, if you want to dance in your ski boots, head to the Kokanee Après at Merlins on Blackcomb. Regardless, you won’t have to look far to find great après.
6. Eats for every budget
Whistler’s culinary scene has evolved into one that rivals cities ten times its size. With more than 200 establishments, Whistler’s range is as big as your appetite. Check out the new Christine’s Restaurant on top of Blackcomb Mountain. The Rendezvous restaurant just underwent extensive renovations and is one of ski area’s jewels.
7. An unparalleled perspective of British Columbia on the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola
The PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola was built for sightseers, skiers and snowboarders alike. With incomparable views of snow covered peaks and a ride through the clouds, it connects Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains so visitors no longer have to choose which mountain to spend their day on.
The PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola holds two Guinness Book of World Records: one for being the highest cable car above ground, and the other for the longest unsupported span between two cable car towers.
8. Ranked number #1 by SKI Magazine for great service
Great service at every stop is a given. The Canadians may say “about” funny, but they sure are friendly!
9. Even when the snow is “bad,” it’s good
Whistler Blackcomb receives on average 1,164 centimeters (458 inches) of snow annually. Its ski season is one of the longest in North America, usually starting in October or November and lasting until May.
10. Easy access from many US destinations
It’s not as far as you think! Whistler is approximately a 2.5-hour drive from Vancouver, British Columbia and a five-hour drive from Seattle, Washington along the very scenic Sea to Sky Highway (Highway 99). View Whistler Blackcomb lift tickets.