The Western Front reporter Colin Floyd spent the weekend up at Whistler Mountain to review the first snow.
Whistler, Canada. A place where there’s great slopes and plenty of money to be spent. I was on hand for the opening weekend of Whistler Mountain, and I must say that this place is truly beautiful.
What I witnessed made my jaw drop for the majority of my stay. Beautiful skies, thousands of skiers and dozens of different cultures all in one place, for mainly one purpose: to have the time of their lives. Blackcomb Mountain and Whistler Mountain were both set to open up on Friday, Nov. 27. But, thanks to some early snowfall, the right peak of Whistler opened on Thursday, Nov. 19, to thousands of eager skiers.
The weather was as expected, highs of 35 degrees but completely clear skies. When I arrived Friday night, Nov. 20, snow was scattered on the ground in clumps, but it was not very fresh. To get to the powder I had to take the gondola all the way to the top, and then hike as high as I could to the highest peak.
Even though the snow was more than 5 feet deep, the cold weather had hardened the top layer so you had to break through it to get to the soft stuff underneath. But Whistler Village was prepared as there were snow machines in the main village square as well as high up on the mountain to keep everyone satisfied.
The lines were not as bad as I had initially thought. The only things I had to wait for was the lift to the top of Whistler Mountain — about 20 minutes tops — and a table for 12 at the hottest restaurant in town, El Furniture Warehouse — about an hour to be seated and get food — where everything on the menu is $4.95 in Canadian currency and the portions are not small in the slightest.
While I came prepared to spend money on the important things: food, lift ticket and beer, I only scratched the surface of what is possible in Whistler Village. Heli-skiing, zip lining, off-road jeep tours, ATV/snowmobile rentals, spas, bobsledding, ice skating, shopping, inner tubing are all available if you’re willing to give up one of your arms.
While the snow was disappointing, that didn’t stop thousands of people from all over the world from hitting the slopes, chowing down in the restaurants and partying it up in the bars and clubs. Come peak season, when there is constantly fresh powder all over the runs, this will be the place to be.