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Whistler, BC

Time to hit the slopes in Whistler

The dark-and-gnarly form of Black Tusk pokes high out of the spread of mountains that surround Whistler Blackcomb. Photo by Barb Sligl

On a bluebird day at Whistler Blackcomb (the ski resort opens on November 28 this season…get ready!), there are no bad runs. But if that sun is shining, take a ride all the way up the Peak Chair to 2,182 metres.

From here, there’s Whistler Bowl (hello, moguls) back under the lift, but the easier way down is around the backside of Whistler Peak, stopping for selfies by the inukshuk with Black Tusk in the background, a gnarly finger pointing into that blue. Glide past the spread of Garibaldi Provincial Park (peak after peak after peak) and zip alongside Little Whistler Peak and into the opening of The Saddle (a Whistler-level “blue” run) next to Glacier Bowl. The steep drop will get your blood pumping. Yee-haw!

Next up: 1,925 hectares of skiable area, 1,530 metres of vertical, more than 200 runs, 37 lifts, almost 12 metres of snow…and a wow traverse of the valley between Whistler and Blackcomb via the Peak 2 Peak gondola, the longest and highest such lift in the world (with Guinness World Records).

Whew. Take a break from the downhill action and recoup with après-ski in the village (from a chilled vodka in the ice room at Bearfoot Bistro to a well-deserved bottle of Whistler Brewing’s Lost Lake IPA) and then some cultural reflection at the Audain Art Museum (home to a beautiful collection of First Nations masks and works by artists like Emily Carr). And when the stars come out, go just beyond the buzz of the village to Cougar Mountain, where the award-winning multimedia forest walk Vallea Lumina is now open throughout the winter season.

Get “lost” in the beauty of Lost Lake, a short walk from the Upper Village. Photo by Barb Sligl

In the morning, if your legs are still burning, stretch them a slower way: a walk in the Upper Village to Lost Lake (the inspiration for that IPA—or two—last night). The body of water is a serene spot best taken in via the trail around its shores with pretty vistas framed by stoic trees. In late fall, you’ll get the last glimpses of bright-yellow leaves, another sunny counterpoint to the snowy white of the ski hill, which rises high above. Stay awhile and, yes, get lost in the Whistler vibe. — Barb Sligl

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