SKI Magazine readers have ranked Whistler resort as the number one ski destination in North America, again. The Whistler folks are certainly chuffed by this good news, as they get set to open the mountain in just over two months’ time, on November 27.
So what’s bright, shiny and new at Whistler for this upcoming ski season?
New Cabins on the Whistler Village Gondola
Hooray, less awkward perching on a gondola shelf. Whistler Blackcomb is making the journey to the alpine a lot more enjoyable with the addition of new eight passenger gondola cabins for the Whistler Village Gondola this winter. Whistler Blackcomb has invested big money to upgrade the existing original cabins which have been transporting guests up the mountain since 1988. The new “Diamond” level cabins have been selected to dramatically improve the experience for skiers, snowboarders, and sightseers with all eight passengers able to sit comfortably on bench seating inside while storing their gear on outside racks.
So okay, the new lifts were installed last year, but I’m STILL excited about WB’s new lift capacity expansions, as they’ve been installed in some of my favorite skiing areas on the mountain. In the Harmony Bowl on Whistler, the high-speed, six-pack chairlift has replaced the four-seater version. On Blackcomb Mountain, the newish Crystal Ridge Express chair has opened up a whole new area in the Crystal Zone with its high-speed quad lift. Getting to the powder faster? That’s what it’s all about.
This winter Whistler Blackcomb will have some new food and beverage option available to skiers, snowboarders and sightseers.
Garbo’s Grill – Located on the Essentially Blackcomb Coffee Bar (EBCB) patio at the base of Whistler Mountain, Garbo’s first opened in summer and specializes in customizable burgers. Garbo’s offers a protein choice of hormone and antibiotic free beef burger patties, grilled chicken breasts or quinoa and vegetable burgers. Diners then have a choice of over 20 garnishes, including a variety of cheeses, mustard and tarragon aioli, crispy onions and organic arugula. In winter, Garbo’s will be adding new breakfast options to the menu.
StonesEdge Gastropub – StonesEdge offers creative and elegant pub fare such as falafel bites with spicy ancho barbecue sauce and Greek yogurt and bacon-infused Caesars through a bacon straw, all served at budget-friendly prices. Open from 8 a.m. – 1 a.m., StonesEdge, located across from the Whistler Conference Centre welcomes locals and visitors alike on one of Whistler’s sunniest and largest patios.
La Cantina Urban Taco Bar – Tacos in the snow? Yes, please. This Mexican taqueria serves a wide variety of tacos including the classics like house chorizo, pork or brisket as well as house specialities such as chicken in pipian sauce topped with cactus salad or tuna in a Korean chile paste topped with coleslaw salad and mango chutney. La Cantina also offers vegan and vegetarian tacos like the Cubano with spicy beans, tabbouleh, avocado, and spicy tomato sauce. All items are 100% gluten free (including some beer).
20th Anniversary of the World Ski & Snowboard Festival (WSSF)
The World Ski & Snowboard Festival (WSSF) is set to take place April 10 to 19, 2015, and this year will be celebrating its 20th anniversary in Whistler. Having grown over 19 years into the largest annual winter sports and music festival in North America, the World Ski & Snowboard Festival is a 10 day and night showcase of the best of snow sports, music, arts and mountain culture. WSSF features major professional ski and snowboarding competitions, the largest annual free outdoor concert series in Canada, career‐making, photography and film showcases and the best spring snow conditions in the world.
If you’re planning a winter vacay at Whistler this ski season (and you should), do check out my other Whistler posts:: Why you should plan family ski fun at Whistler Blackcomb, Family Certified Ski Fun, Skiing with Kids in Whistler, British Columbia, and Best Whistler Hotels for Families.
Photo Credit: C Laroye
Are you planning a winter holiday in Whistler this year? Share your favorite things to do in the comments below.