Which Is The Best Month To Ski Whistler?
Skiers and snowboarders from far and wide rate Whistler Blackcomb as the flagship ski resort in Canada and its many accolades add weight to this reputation. The ski season is long, so which is the best month to ski Whistler?
Whistler Blackcomb has a reputation for varied, quality skiing and snowboarding and hospitality but it can get busy. Picking the best time to visit comes down to a personal choice but the most popular times to visit skiing are between December and March or summer skiing between June and July.
Skiing At Whistler
The number of days of skiing available to the majority of people is quite limited during the season. This makes these days more valuable, so anything that can help these people make the best use of their time is a valuable resource.
This is the origin of Whistler’s winning formula, where it can reliably deliver on good snow, stunning terrain, efficient lifts, excellent ski schools, and hospitality to satisfy even the choosiest.
Whistler is the largest ski resort in North America, located in the Coast Mountain Range. It offers the largest ski area in the world outside of Europe with more than 8000 acres of skiable terrain.
Whistler Ski Season
The ski season generally starts around the last week in November and carries through to mid-May, and sometimes even longer. The action happens between the opposing mountains of Whistler and Blackcomb and even though the elevation of both is only just over 7000 ft (2100 m) the northern latitude ensures plenty of dependable snow.
Whistler Ski Area
The ski area totals 8171 acres (3,307 hectares) of terrain including 12 alpine bowls, 3 glaciers, and over 200 marked runs. There are also quieter, separated ski schools, and family ski areas.
- Blue Runs 18%
- Red Runs 55%
- Black Runs 27%
It is the sheer variety of runs that create Whistler’s charm. 55% of runs are intermediate, which gives you access to wide, rolling cruisers, thigh-busting 7-mile-long runs from top to bottom, as well as glacier and tree trails.
There are also five terrain parks, 3 on Blackcomb and 2 on Whistler, with rails, pipes, and features spread over a total of 99 acres. There are 23 lifts including gondolas, trams, and even heated chairlifts.
Whistler Off The Slopes
As well to the skiing and the terrain parks there are plenty of other activities in the resort if you want to take a break from the slopes. Snowshoeing, tubing, snowmobiling, dog sledding and zip wires will all give you a new perspective on winter in Whistler.
Whistler Village – The Base
Down at base Whistler Village is modern, extensive, and traffic-free with a free shuttle bus to move around town. There is an endless choice of bars and restaurants, as well as the central Whistler Olympic Plaza, where you can show your skills on the outdoor ice rink or take in après ski live music and entertainers.
Upper Village Whistler – 5 minutes Drive
On the fringes of the excitement of Whistler Village, Upper Village is a little more sedate. It has a more secluded feel with its own range of restaurants and upmarket hotels.
Similarly, outside Whistler Village, Creekside is a five-minute drive and the original base for the resort. It’s become a center for families, who like the relaxed accommodation, restaurants, and dedicated gondola up the mountain.
In all three areas, there is plenty of hotels and rented accommodation, but you do need to book early.
The Best Time To Ski In Whistler
It is difficult to suggest a definitive time to ski in Whistler, as a number of external factors may influence your choice of dates. For example, school vacations, probable weather, and the quality of snow all may have a bearing. It’s necessary to assess the different variables and prioritize the most important to establish your best dates.
The best skiing conditions at Whistler are generally to be found between December and February. December and March are typically the months for the heaviest snowfall when you won’t see the sun for several days a week.
Is Whistler Cold for Skiing?
If you’re not put off by skiing in cold weather the coldest months can be a great time to visit Whistler. Many skiers and snowboarders are put off and so the runs will be that much quieter.
Whistler doesn’t have consistently low temperatures although occasionally chilly winter lows can get down to -20 °C+ (below -3 °F).
Average Temperature at Whistler
|Hi||Low °F||Month||Hi||Low °C|
Is Whistler Ski Resort Always Busy?
Whistler reviews are for the most part very positive however, there are two reservations that are repeatedly voiced by visitors: busy runs and lift queues.
The quality and reliability of the resort attract many visitors, which can lead to stress and frustration.
One way around this problem is to visit outside of school vacation dates. As luck would have it, UK school vacations don’t usually coincide with the Canadian ones, creating better opportunities for quieter booking dates.
Canadian School Vacations
|Christmas break||14 Mar to 18 Mar (US vacations vary by state)|
|Midwinter break||14 Mar to 18 Mar (US vacations vary by state)|
UK School Vacations
|Christmas break||20 Dec to 3 Jan|
|Easter break||4 Apr to 18 Apr|
Whistler is home to numerous events throughout the calendar, which are not necessarily associated with winter sports.
What Events Happen at Whistler Through the Year?
Whistler Film Festival (November-December)
Whistler Film Festival is a charitable, non-profit organization that promotes the discovery, development, and promotion of film talent.
Fire & Ice Show (December-April)
During winter on Sunday night, a spectacular display of ski and snowboard skills takes place in the Fire & Ice Show in Skier’s Plaza. Whistler’s best skiers jump and flip through fire performances, accompanied by fire spinners, a DJ and a fireworks display.
Telus Winter Classic is an annual fundraiser, featuring skiing events, wine, beer, food, and evening entertainment.
Is Spring Skiing at Whistler Good?
As the season moves into March the underlying temperature starts to rise slightly, even though the quality of the snow remains good. The traditional winter season often extends into mid and even later May, offering great spring snow conditions.
By early June summer skiing starts on Horstman Glacier on the top of Blackcomb Mountain. The short season finishes at the end of July.
The wide, open park exists out of sight of Whistler below and offers skiing and a public terrain park. Lift access is by T-bars and skiers and snowboarders must be at a level of advanced to expert.
Whistler Blackcomb Key Stats
|Where:||Whistler is in British Columbia, close to the west coast of Canada. Vancouver is the nearest city approx. 76 miles (125km), 2-hour drive south.|
|Highest mountains:||Whistler 7160 ft / 2182 m Blackcomb 7494 ft / 2284 m|
|Annual Snowfall:||37.3 ft / 11.38 m per year|
|Ski Area:||8171 acres (3,307 hectares) of terrain|
|Trails:||Over 200 marked trails and plenty of off-piste|
|Lift Ticket:||Epic Pass 1-day $82.00, 6-day $490.00 holidays extra (21/22)|
|Ski Rental and Ski School:||Both tend to be more expensive than other resorts|
|Downside:||With all the upsides Whistler is naturally popular and crowded with some lift queues.|