The Mountains - Skiing & Snowboarding
|Whistler Blackcomb Combined|
|Average Snowfall||10.42 metres / 410 inches / 34.1 feet
(1,092cm annual average of past 10 years)
|Total Terrain||8,171 acres/3,307 hectares|
|Longitude/Latitude||50° latitude, 122° longitude|
|Mountain Restaurants||17 with a total of 6,540 restaurant seats|
|Highest Lift Accessed Elevation||2,284 metres/7,494 feet|
|Whistler Village Elevation||675 metres/2,214 feet|
|Creekside Base Elevation||653 metres/2140 feet|
|Number of Lifts||37|
|Hourly Lift Capacity||69,680 skiers per hour|
|Individual Mountain Stats||Whistler Mountain||Blackcomb Mountain|
|Top Elevation||2,182 metres
|Skiable Terrain||4,757 acres
|Parks & Pipes||2 parks||3 Parks, 1 Super Pipe, 1 Snow Cross Track|
|Total Number of Lifts||19 (plus PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola) including:
2 high-speed gondolas
7 high-speed quads
2 triple chairs
8 surface lifts
|17 (plus PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola) including:
1 high-speed gondola
6 high-speed quads
3 triple chairs
7 surface lifts
|Longest Run||11 km/7 miles Burnt Stew to Side-Winder, Upper and Lower Olympic||11 km/ 7 miles Green Road down Easy Out|
|Snowmaking||215 acres/87 hectares||350 acres/142 hectares|
OPERATING DATES 2012.2013:
Official Opening Day: Thursday, November 22, 2012
Whistler Mountain and PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola closes: April 21, 2013
Blackcomb Mountain closes for skiing: May 20, 2013
Blackcomb Mountain closes for sightseeing: May 24, 2013
Whistler Mountain and PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola reopen: May 25, 2013
Blackcomb Mountain Summer Glacier Dates:
Blackcomb Glacier Opening Day: June 22, 2013
Blackcomb Glacier Closing Day: July 28, 2013
Whistler Mountain Bike Park Operating Dates:
Bike Park Official Opening Day: May 17, 2013
Last day of Summer Operations (Bike Park and Sightseeing): Oct 14, 2013
Whistler Blackcomb is the sum of its natural assets, and when it all gets added up, it is naturally impressive. With over 8,171 acres of terrain and over 200 marked trails spread across two gargantuan mountains, Whistler Blackcomb can proudly boast it is North America’s largest ski area. Skiers and riders can seek out their perfect zones and then change their minds depending on the snow conditions and whatever whim strikes their fancy. Skiers and riders can explore wide-open glaciers, pillage powder-filled bowls and go deep in a silent glade. Next why not cruise down perfectly groomed trails, boost huge air in the terrain parks or get the next generation stoked by making pizza turns with the little ones in the beginner-friends family zones? With the most terrain and one of the most advanced lift systems in the world it is no wonder some of the world’s best skiers and riders call Whistler Blackcomb home.
A Family That Skis Together, Stays Together
Anyone who grew up skiing or snowboarding will report many of their happiest memories occurred on snow. From exploring winding trails through the trees and laughing as dad’s long skis get caught up, to nursing a cup of hot chocolate and excitedly recounting details of every single run, family time doesn’t get any better than connecting on the mountains.
Whistler Blackcomb had family at the forefront when designating a special Family Zone on Whistler Mountain, accessed by the Emerald Express. This slow skiing area features a variety of terrain options to keep all skiers and riders in the group happy and together. For the more adventurous, Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains also feature “secret” playgrounds for kids to discover and explore. The Magic Castle on Blackcomb and Tree Fort on Whistler are outdoor playgrounds hidden in the trees where the kids can kick off their skis for some playtime before heading back to the trails for more turns or to head to the kids’ sized terrain park “Terrain Garden” on Blackcomb Mountain to get some air and slide some mini boxes.
Whistler Blackcomb Terrain Talk With The Experts
Some of the ski and snowboard industry’s best known athletes and insiders fill us in on their favourite terrain and where they head on a powder day:
I head straight to Rock and Roll (Blackcomb) for a hit run bright and early in the morning. It's a great run to get your legs ready for a solid park day, if that's your thing.
- Craig Beaulieu, professional snowboarder
When I am in Whistler I love to hit Peak to Creek. You get a super long run that lets you sample a bit of every type of terrain Whistler Blackcomb has to offer: Exposed steeps, wind-protected pow, trees, high-speed groomers, rollers, natural side hits ... then you get spit out at the Creekside where there never seems to be much of a lift line. Can't beat that.
– Joel Muzzey, TransWorld SNOWboarding Senior Editor
I really love the Chimney (Blackcomb). Everybody hits Spanky’s first thing on a powder day and leaves Chimney for me. Plus, I like the high-speed entrance line.... seeing how far I can make it up the hike is a lot of fun.
- Rory Bushfield, professional freeskier
I'm a huge fan of Whistler on a powder day but sometimes on really busy days, and days where it hasn't snowed in a while, I like to head to Disease Ridge (Blackcomb backcountry). There you’ll find lots of snow, some steep lines and way less people.
– Dominque Vallee, professional snowboarder
I have a list of places I love: Spanky's Ladder (Blackcomb) for the best snow quality and largest alpine bowls; the Blowhole (Blackcomb) since it is the coolest wind feature; and Couloir Extreme because it is an epic, inbounds run located very close to lifts. Also Pakalolo (Blackcomb), is perfect for your first little, narrow couloir and it is kind of a hidden gem, and the Coffin (Whistler), under the Peak Chair.
– Matty Richard, professional freeskier
I love the Wind Lip and the Seventh Heaven quarter pipe (Blackcomb). With so many ski hills designed with skiers in mind, these were two places built, by nature, for snowboarding. These spots made it into the big snowboard movies back in the day and that was a big part of early snowboard progression.
- Scott Serfas, TransWorld SNOWboarding staff photographer
I don't want to share my best powder day runs since that is top secret but when it's a sunny day, made for groomers, nothing beats a high-speed run from the top of Big Red Express to the bottom of Creekside (Whistler). Every local has their own version of the "Red Chair Hit Run" that goes from the Roundhouse to the bottom of the chair – there are lots of super fun side hits and features all the way down. If you still have legs at the bottom of the Red Chair nothing beats blasting down the Dave Murray Downhill with your friends and finishing in Creekside at Dusty's for a tasty Caesar!
– Braden Dean, professional snowboarder
In my opinion, the most iconic run on Whistler Blackcomb is Spanky's (Blackcomb). Spanky’s is so much more than just a run. Under that one name are three huge alpine bowls with steep technical lines, smooth open faces and a plethora of rocks to jump off. Also, because Spanky's is north-facing, the snow quality keeps better longer. There’s nothing like first tracks in Spanky’s after a new snowfall.
- James Heim, professional freeskier
One of my favourite zones is VD Trees (Whistler). With the amount of snow and storms that hit Whistler Blackcomb there can be days the alpine won't open. So if you don't have the option to ski off the Peak Chair, VD Trees are an easy choice for some deep trees and good terrain. Off the top of Red Chair you can traverse far skier’s left and do a short boot pack to the top of the run. Then you have about 2,000 feet of pillowing, cliffy, treed awesomeness. With a solid fall line and so many choices on how to make it down, it's an area you can lap all day and not ski over many tracks. You can get pretty creative with all the hits and pillow poppers and it makes for some quick laps while waiting for the Peak to open.
- Riley Leboe, professional freeskier
I have to say a couple of Whistler Blackcomb’s most iconic runs are West Cirque (Whistler), or another instant classic is Pigs Fancy or Flute Chutes on Flute (Whistler). My preference on Blackcomb would have to be anything on the Spanky's side, and especially Ruby Bowl as the snow fills in beautifully there when the weather is just right.
- Alex Wigley, professional ski mountaineer
Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains face each other. Their physical connection at the base, and the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola forever bind them together, but every skier and rider who has explored these mighty mountains know these brothers have little in common.
To the north, Blackcomb Mountain’s crest is seen from the village while Whistler Mountain’s peak is hidden from view. The tree-covered knoll that appears to be Whistler’s peak is actually only about a third of the way up the mountain.
As the senior of the two mountains, Whistler’s design feels organic because the trails were built and developed over time. Meandering trails and endless bowls spread across the alpine and just like an old man with his favourite fishing hole, Whistler will only share its secrets with you when it gets to know you. Blackcomb Mountain is big and bold, a brash teenager in comparison, who shows you all it has and dares you to take it on. Which is the best? There’s only one way to find out. Get out there and explore!
Summer Snow And Gold Medal Coaching
Once summer hits, most skiers and riders have to travel south for their snow fix. Not so in Whistler where summer snow can be found from June 22, 2013 to July 28, 2013, making Whistler Blackcomb’s ski season the longest in North America.
Blackcomb Mountain’s Horstman Glacier attracts some of the best ski and snowboard athletes in the world to train on its snowy summer slopes, not to mention an army of filmers and photographers hoping to document the next big thing. The glacier teems with jumps, spines, rails, giant air bags, a halfpipe, moguls and race gates as ski and snowboard athletes learn new tricks and train for winter.
Everyone is welcome to witness the progression and try summer glacier skiing if they can ski at an intermediate or above level. There are several lanes and a small terrain park open to the public. Access the Horstman Glacier by uploading the Wizard Express chairlift from the base of Blackcomb Mountain, followed by the Solar Coaster chairlift. From there, take a short shuttle bus to the base of 7th Heaven chairlift and then head up the chair. There are two t-bars accessing the glacier.