Resort Guide: Whistler Blackcomb, British Columbia, Canada

Whistler/Blackcomb has it all. Whether you are looking for tree runs, cliff drops or terrain parks of all sizes, this resort is your one stop destination for shred. The nightlife also pops off and gets quite wild on the weekends. It will all create memories (or lack thereof depending on how much alcohol is consumed) of a lifetime.

 

The sheer variety of terrain at these two peaks is astonishing. Being close to the Pacific Ocean, there is usually no shortage of snow. It’s fulled by the storms roll across from the pacific jet stream.  Whistler averages 11.9 Meters of snow on an annual basis. If you hit it during the right storm, you will get some ridiculous powder days.
The upper elevations on both peaks sit around 2,200 meters. Being that high, it has the driest snow is in these areas. There is plenty of terrain that will challenge your shredding abilities. Both peaks have chutes, cliffs, cornices and tree runs to shred which will leave your calf and thigh muscles burning from the sheer vertical drop.

You will have your teeth clenched as you navigate your way down the chutes right next to a gnarly cliff face

If your looking to get in the trees head on over to the Crystal Ridge express on Blackcomb. Plenty of little poppers and cliff drops are sendable. Use caution when bombing down at high speeds, as the trees can get quite tight in certain areas.
If chutes are your thing, take a run on down Couloir Extreme. A word of advice on this run… don’t take your beginner friends down, this run is not for the faint of heart with a  pitch of approximately 50 degrees. You will have your teeth clenched as you navigate your way down the chutes right next to a gnarly cliff face.

Step up your game in Blackcomb Parks

If you’re a park rat looking to progress your skills in the park, both peaks have terrain parks that are loaded with features. Including different sized table tops, hips, jibs and wall rides.  On Blackcomb mountain, if you’re a beginner to intermediate, start by taking laps through “Big Easy Terrain Park.” There you will find progressive smaller rails and rollers to practice your ollies off. Also a few other features designed to help you progress your freestyle skills.
If your wanting to step up your game, take a lap through the medium sized “Terrain Park”. It spans over 1km in length and is fully loaded with features. With plenty of progressive intermediate features, this park is optimal for the rider who is trying to learn, push their skill level, and step up their game. Here you will find small to medium sized jumps, perfect for dialing in those 540’s. Down tubes and rails, good for practicing those front boards and medium sized hips to send those methods. If you’re a higher caliber rider and just want to chill for the day, this is the perfect training zone to hone in your style.

Blackcomb "Big Dog" Park
Sending it at Blackcomb “Big Dog” Park – Credit: whistlerblackcomb.com P: Brian Finestone

 

For seasoned riders, Blackcomb also has the “Highest Level Terrain park”. It has every feature you can imagine to work on your larger tricks. Perhaps you have your 540’s on lock, and want to step it up to a 720…this is your zone. The kickers here are perfectly sculpted with the correct amount of pop to help you get your rotations around. This park will help you push the limits and challenge your abilities. You’ll get a chance to take some hot laps with the pros, and on a sunny day, you’ll see some pretty impressive tricks go down in this park.
If you’re more of a jibber, then no worries, this park is stacked with features you will enjoy too.  Down rails, pole jams, flat rails, c rails, you name it, this park is any jib heads dream.  Don’t forget to pack a helmet, as it is mandatory in the “Highest Level” Terrain park.
In addition to these three parks, Backcomb also has a 18 foot halfpipe to enjoy. Also a boardercross track if you want to hone in your skills and race your friends.


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Whistler mountain offers 2 terrain parks for you to enjoy as well

Perhaps your shredding Whistler Peak for the day, and don’t want to venture over to Blackcomb. Yet you still want to take a few frothy laps through the park? Whistler mountain offers 2 terrain parks for you to enjoy as well. “The School Yard” terrain park is great as an introduction to park riding, or if you have a young buck who wants to give park riding a go. Here you will find small ride on features and rollers to get your park riding basics down.
If you’re warmed up and ready for something bigger, head over to “Habitat Terrain Parks”. Here you will find a variety of features at a small to medium size. Want to try your first 360 or lipslide? This is the spot. In addition it has some creative nature inspired features such as tree rides and bonks. It’s not a bad place to go right after it snows either, you might just find a few pow landings on park features.
The season at Whistler lasts far into the spring. You can take sunny, slushy park laps into April and even May depending on the season.
If you haven’t had enough riding during the winter, Blackcomb has summer shredding available up on the Glacier. Summer riding goes from June 10th to July 16th. All features are accessed via T-bar, so it is recommended that no beginners head up to the top. Here you will find a summer playground of shred, packed with all sorts of jibs. Wall rides, down rails, dad’s, flat boxes, tubes, you name it.

If you’re more of a jumper, then perfect! There are usually some sizeable jumps up on the glacier if your looking to progress your jumping abilities. The jumps are usually larger and more intact earlier on in the season, as it can get a bit melted come July. As the Glacier is only open 12pm-3pm, it has more forgiving spring conditions. These are usually a bit softer and slushier when you’re trying to learn those new tricks.

Camp of Champions for summer shredding

If you’re looking to shred in the summer without the crowds it’s a good idea to book a “Camp Of Champions” trip. This will give you access to a private terrain park. You’ll also get the chance of some coaching from some of the world’s top snowboarders. The park crew is frequently out raking the takeoffs of the jumps, to ensure that you have a consistent take off.
In summer, the weather is usually pretty spectacular, and you’ll have some epic, slushy bluebird park days. All different sizes of jumps are available to enjoy. From the smaller booters for learning those switch back 540’s, to the massive 20 meter plus jumps. Perfect if you would like to attempt your first double backflip or 1080.

Camp of Champions, Blackcomb Glacier
Camp of Champions, Blackcomb Glacier

 

There are also plenty of rails. With down flat downs, flat downs, down rails, and more. You can hone in that bag of tricks for next seasons upcoming rail jams. As you take hot laps on the T-bar, you’ll be able to see some pretty impressive riding from guest riders such as Stale Sandbech and Sebastien Toutant. You can book weekly, and if your looking at saving a little coin, just park access is available for a low cost.  For more information on COC, visit campofchampions.com.

Downhill mountain biking is an adrenaline rush like none other

 After the summer shred up on the glacier, you have the option of heading back down to the village and hiring a downhill mountain bike. If you’re into snowboarding, I suggest that you give this a go. Downhill mountain biking is an adrenaline rush like none other. Imagine yourself gripping onto the handlebars for dear life, cruising through small skinny wooden ladders up in the trees. You then hit a gap into a perfectly sculpted transition 3 meters below, just in time to line up for a massive hip! Downhill mountain biking is the definition of “sending it.”

Whistler Mountain Biking
The definition of “sending it”, Whistler Mountain Biking – Credit: whistlerblackcomb.com P: Rob Perry

 

Whistler bike park has the largest downhill mountain bike park in North America with almost 1500 meters of vertical. Here you will find all sorts of ways to descend the mountain. The upper mountain is full of technical descents, with tight trees, rock drops, and bumps. It will have your adrenaline buzzing trying to keep your bike on the track.
Down lower, you’ll come across some really fun flowy tracks that have kickers the whole way down. They are maintained everyday to help keep the washboards to a minimum. One of the local favorites is “Dirt Merchant”. With berms, kickers and hips it will keep you airborne for over half of the way down.

Whistler in Spring

In addition to snowboarding, Whistler has much more to offer. In spring, you my want to test the waters and do a little paddling. Head on down to Alta Lake and hire a canoe or SUP paddle board. Soak up the rays and enjoy the serene alpine environment. Beautiful views of snowcapped mountains are your background as you navigate your way around the lake. If you want to enjoy a nice stroll, and perhaps a springtime swim, head on over to Lost Lake. Or you could hire a mountain bike in the village and go for a cruise.
In 2016, Whistler’s skateparks received a facelift with over $800,000 in investments from the local council. The skatepark is a shredders dream. It’s got a snake bowl, heaps of hips and rails that will keep your skate fix entertained until sunset. During the winter it may not be open as it may be covered in snow. Come spring, this park is an excellent way to skate the evening away after slushy spring snowboarding on the mountain.
So you want to party?  Whistler village has you covered.  If nightclubs are your thing, check out Maxx Fish, Garfinkel’s, or Tommy Africas. Be careful with these clubs though, as you’ll definitely be shredding with a hangover the next day. They get  wild. If you are looking at a casual night out, head on over to the Dubh Linn Gate Irish Pub. Here you can enjoy a scrumptious burger or chicken wings with a Guinness.  If scotch and whiskey are your thing,  no worries, plenty of selections to choose from here.

Be careful with these clubs though, as you’ll definitely be shredding with a hangover the next day

If you are super hungry from shredding all day and need something super filling? Head to Sidecut restaurant for an awesome steak. Choose from a variety of cuts including Tenderloin, Ribeye, Stripling, Wagyu, and more. Pair up that juicy steak with a frothy beer or your favorite glass of red.
Whistler/Blackcomb is a once in a lifetime experience and a must go destination for any true shredder.
Check out more resort reviews and great Travel ideas here.

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