Located 56km beyond Squamish and 125km from Vancouver, WHISTLER is Canada’s finest four-season resort, and frequently ranks as one of the world’s top-five winter ski destinations. Skiing and snowboarding are the main activities, but all sorts of other winter sports are possible and in summer the lifts keep running to provide some of the world’s finest mountain biking, supreme highline hiking and other outdoor activities (as well as North America’s best summer skiing). It is a busy place – over two million lift tickets are sold here every winter; fortunately, it also has one of the continent’s largest ski areas, so the crowds are spread thinly over the resort’s two hundred-plus trails and 37 lifts.
The resort consists of two adjacent but separate mountains – Whistler (2182m) and Blackcomb (2284m) – each with their own extensive lift and chair systems (but a joint ticket scheme). The mountains can be accessed from a total of three bases, including lift systems to both mountains from the resort’s heart, the purpose-built pedestrianized Whistler Village, the tight-clustered focus of many hotels, shops, restaurants and après-ski activity. Around this core are two other “village” complexes, Upper Village (for the gondola to Blackcomb Mountain), about a kilometre to the northeast, and Village North, about 700m to the north. Around 6km to the south of Whistler Village is Whistler Creekside (also with a gondola and lift base).