When you think winter in Whistler, probably the first thing that comes to mind is skiing and snowboarding. After all, Whistler Blackcomb is rated as one of the top ski resorts in the world, year after year. It’s the largest ski resort in North America, too, and many locals can attest to living here for most of their lives and still finding new places to explore its nooks and crannies. But if you came all the way to Whistler, you probably want to also sample as many of the non-skiing experiences as you can within your relatively short vacation window. Whether you’re looking for something to do that’s a tad more relaxed, a different kind of adrenaline rush or something in between, here are 4 must-do winter activities in Whistler.
Skis and snowboards allow us to travel through snow downhill and feel an exhilarating rush at the same time. But strap two skis to an 800cc engine with a thumb throttle on the handlebar? All of sudden travelling uphill or over longer distances in snow becomes a lot more interesting. Snowmobile tours in Whistler are available to every level of rider from beginner to advanced, on trails or in powder, for a family outing or a quick rip around the valleys with amazing views. Tours also run during the evening (so to not interfere with ski time) and you can even pair your snowmobile experience with a fine dining meal in a rustic lodge. For more information checkout Whistler’s local snowmobile tour operators. Note that if you book your snowmobile tour with The Adventure Group and you rented through Black Tie Ski Rentals, you’ll receive a 20% discount!
The Adventure Group (20% off for Black Tie Ski Rentals customers)
Cross Country Skiing
This skiing in its purest form, with gear to travel over longer distances in the most efficient way possible. If you’re not familiar with the equipment and technique it’s worth booking a lesson to avoid first day mishaps, however you’d be surprised how quickly many people pick it up. It’s a lot easier to grasp than downhill skiing! There are three local outfitters and trail networks in Whistler:
Cross Country Connection. Located just a few minutes’ walk from Whistler Village, Cross Country Connection is a great place to get your Nordic legs moving around the scenic Lost Lake Trails.
Whistler Olympic Park. Built for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, this legacy center is located about a 20 minute drive south of Whistler in the picturesque Callaghan Valley. An enormous trail network allows for plenty of exploration and the comfortable day lodge is a great place to warm up.
Ski Callaghan. Adjoining Whistler Olympic Park, Ski Callaghan is North America’s most unique and diverse Nordic center. It boasts some of the most beautiful views in Whistler all types of trails from pet friendly to expert and even has an option to overnight in the backcountry at the luxurious Journeyman Lodge.
Bobsleigh and Skeleton
Another legacy of the 2010 Winter Olympics is the Whistler Sliding Centre. While this venue is a huge draw for spectators during athlete training and World Cup sliding competitions, it’s also open to the public! That’s right. You too can run the fastest sliding track in the world in a four-man bobsleigh (with a professional driver) or head first on your own on a skeleton sled. You’ll reach speeds up to 100km/h with skeleton and 125 km/h in the bobsleigh, this isn’t your typical waterslide thrill! The Whistler Sliding Centre is the only venue in Canada that offers the skeleton experience.
Fun for the whole family! Grab your tube, ride the magic carpet conveyor to the top and rocket down one of eight lanes at the Coca Cola Tube Park. There’s no skill or equipment needed for this exhilarating sliding activity, so there’s every reason for the young (and the young at heart) to spend an afternoon at Base 2 on Blackcomb. The Excalibur Gondola provides access from Whistler Village until the Tube Park closes nightly at 6pm. Don’t forget warm clothes and your goggles.
Never a Shortage Winter Activities in Whistler
There’s of course dozens more specialized activities in Whistler from ice climbing to bungee jumping to winter ziplining. But with all that to cram into one vacation, you may need to return next year.