you hang up your boots at the end of ski season, head to
Whistler. March and April offer prime skiing
conditions, and experienced skiers can even keep going until as
late as May.
With the sun setting later, there’s plenty of time to enjoy the
slopes before it’s time to enjoy your sundowner in town. Our
favourite thing about spring skiing in Whistler, though, is choice.
Choice of runs, choice of restaurants and choice of activities.
Skiing is just the tip of the iceberg, and if there’s a better way
to start a day than setting off on a snowmobile breakfast to savour
skillet eggs while drinking in vistas of a frozen lake, we’ve yet
to find it.
Why we’re heading to Whistler this spring
Long length of season
It’s lucky that the season is so long here, because Whistler has
more than 1,925 skiable hectares to enjoy. Throughout March, the
Peak 2 Peak Gondola joins Blackcomb and
Whistler mountains, meaning you can easily zoom between the two in
the same day, with Blackcomb Mountain staying open throughout April
and into May.
Don’t waste time in getting going: from Vancouver, it’s just a
two-hour hop along the Sea To Sky Highway to Whistler’s lofty
peaks. If those city legs get sore exploring the myriad runs on
offer (after all, they’re used to tackling broken London
Underground escalators rather than zooming down mountains), the hot
and cold outdoor pools of Scandinave Spa will sort them out in no time. The
setting, fringed by pine trees, is relaxing in itself.
Great snow conditions
Spring days mean powdery pistes, and you don’t have to get up at
the crack of dawn to enjoy them. The snow is at its best when the
sun has warmed it a little. Enjoy leisurely mornings soaking up the
view from your hotel. Boutique choice Summit Lodge has quirky rooms and forest views,
and castle-like Fairmont Chateau Whistler, serenely sandwiched
among the trees, makes the mountain summits look close enough to
Beginners get to enjoy the prime conditions, too, as one of the
most scenic descents, the Burnt Stew Trail, is a green run. Don’t
miss North America’s longest run, the 11km Peak to Creek, taking
you from the top of Whistler Mountain to Whistler Creekside at the
bottom (open throughout March). Best of all, you end up right by
the Creekside Gondola, ready to head straight back up the mountain.
If only every day could be spent with the sun on our faces and snow
beneath our feet.
The Umbrella Bar on Whistler Mountain is a local institution,
with panoramic views. Better yet, there’s a gondola to take you
back to base when the night draws to a close. Après doesn’t finish
when you leave the slopes though, and Whistler Village has a
plethora of watering holes. If whisky is your poison, take the
Whistler Distillery Tour and Tasting (Friday
and Saturday evenings, with home-distilled vodka and gin also on
offer). Craft beer aficionados, meanwhile, should download
Whistler’s interactive beer guide, which includes nine
different venues. For classic cocktails with a twist, march your
(ski) boots to The Raven Room.
Hungry skiers need fuel, and Harajuku Izakaya serves sushi that you’ll be
dreaming of long after packing away your mittens and goggles. A
great vegetarian dining scene isn’t something usually associated
with ski resorts this side of the pond, but Whistler is the
exception. We’d recommend the slap-up vegan lunches from The Green Moustache Organic Café.
Great value, minus the crowds
Prices drop dramatically later in the season, as does the number
of people on the slopes. All this leads to a more relaxed vibe, and
good odds of getting into your favourite restaurant at the last
minute. A bottle of Canadian pinot noir and a ribeye steak at
Sidecut Steakhouse, here we come.
Want to escape the world some more? Try heli-skiing (available until mid-April). Being
dropped onto a clean whiteboard of a landscape ready to trace the
first lines takes going off-piste to the next level.
Main photo credit: Tourism Whistler / Guy Fattal
Find lower rates and plenty of variety in Whistler between
March and May. Start planning your trip at whistler.com/uk