We spent last weekend at Whistler Blackcomb – our first foray onto the slopes in this ski season. I had been expecting to avoid Whistler this year since I thought that accommodation pricing would be higher than usual because of the Olympics but I was able to find a pretty good last-minute deal for a hotel room on WhistlerBlackcomb.com. Here’s a quick preview into how things are shaping up for a great Winter Olympics.
Vancouver To Whistler Transportation Improvements
The sea-to-sky highway improvements are largely completed and just fantastic. There’s now a two-lane highway (dual-carriageway) almost all the way from Vancouver to Squamish. Between Squamish and Whistler there are passing lanes at regular intervals. I hope this means that the long tail-backs of cars on a single-lane highway, with some reckless driving by those eager to get to the resort, should now be a thing of the past.
The Snow Conditions At Whistler
January can be a hit or miss month in terms of fresh snow on Whistler and Blackcomb mountains. (You can check historical statistics here). Since November the resort has been filling my inbox with emails telling of incredible snowfall this season. Before we booked our hotel, I fruitlessly searched online to validate this claim. Now you can take it from me: the current snow conditions at Whistler Blackcomb are fantastic. There’s plenty of fresh powder all over the mountains.
Preparations For Olympic Events At Whistler
The Downhill and Super-G events will be held at Whistler on the Dave Murray Downhill and Franz’s runs (men’s and women’s respectively). Since we’ve know this, it’s become a family habit to race the DM Downhill when we visit Whistler. (CAM is our current reigning champion). These runs are in great shape with lots of snow cover all the way to Creekside. You do have to take a slight detour between upper and lower DM Downhill because of construction for what looked like a viewing stand. The helicopters flying overhead carrying loads of lumber were a new sight on the mountain.
Olympic Shopping Opportunities
There’s Olympic logo gear, toys and totchkes in most shops in the village especially those run by the resort. Color choices may be deemed questionable by some (personally, I have no intention of ever wearing a shirt of that particular green hue, and I’m fairly partial to green), but there are plenty of shirt designs in more tolerable colors and BigB just loved the soft toy versions of the Vancouver 2010 mascots, Miga, Quatchi and Sumi.
Local’s Tip For Bargains At The Whistler Blackcomb Outlet Store
My post on cost-saving ideas for family skiing was one of my most popular posts last year. In line with my focus on keeping an eye on your budget while enjoying this great multi-generational sport, here’s a tip for families planning a visit to Whistler: the Whistler Blackcomb outlet store in Squamish is worth a stop for some excellent deals on gear and clothing. For example, on this trip, we were able to get CAM a $200 Columbia men’s jacket for $100.
Whistler Trip Report Jan 2009