There’s some easily found stats floating around about skiing in Whistler – well over 200 runs, an insane amount of bowls, snowfall that equals three double-decker buses stacked on top of each other, and a village which puts the… ‘ray’ into… après?
Dig a little deeper though and you’ll find some of the most extreme, interesting and downright frightening winter activities anywhere on the planet.
That should be it as far as we’re concerned, but in case you need any more reasons to visit Whistler, here are six.
Solo face-first skeleton
Bobsled is so old hat, and skeleton is the new kid on the block. Its upside is that you don’t have to worry about the jumping in bit. You start lying down, just you and your ‘sled’ (it looks and feels more like a dinner tray) before being pushed off a third of a way up the track, down the last 6 corners of the Olympic run. The downside is that you’ll hit speeds in excess of 100km/h and G-force approaching five Gs.
The technique is to stay as still as possible while you hear the grating of ice underneath you, feel the pressure of the g-force pushing you down and see the ice fly past your face. It’s a truly phenomenal experience.
OK, you’ve seen zip-lines before, but you ain’t seen nothin’ like this – check out the video below. When you start measuring your zip-lines in kilometers you know it’s going to be pretty special.
There’s not just one of these either; they’ve stuck two next to each other, allowing you to race your better half to the other mountain, which you can just about make out in the distance as you prepare to chuck yourself over the void. This is the fastest, longest, most awesome zip-line in the world (probably). Oh, and the Coastal Mountain Range scenery is pretty spectacular too.
Spend a weekend in Vancouver
If flying through the air at blistering pace gets exhausting, you’re in luck – Whistler is at one end of what’s known as the Sea-To-Sky Highway, with the mountain peaks constituting the ‘Sky’ bit. At the other end of this famed route is Vancouver – Western Canada’s hub for all things cool and creative; think a continuation of Whistler’s party-adventure cosmopolitan culture in a vibrant urban setting. Home to some of Canada’s prettiest city views, from the much loved Stanley Park to the majestic Capilano River, Vancouver also has a world-renowned culinary scene.
Generally, we don’t like any word with “athlon” in it – it often suggests that there are multiple forms of exercise in our immediate future. Biathlon however combines shooting and skiing, so you know, amazing. You’ll head over to the Olympic Park for this, learning how to skate ski and fire .22 calibre rifles – which is pretty damn difficult when you’re breathing heavily from all the skiing. The bad spy in ‘For Your Eyes Only’ did it and if it’s good enough for a spy in a Bond film then it’s good enough for us.
After all this adrenaline, a little relaxation might be in order. We know, more or less every resort on the planet has great spas – obviously The Westin and Four Seasons spring immediately to mind – but Whistler’s Scandinave Spa is a little different. Tucked away in a little winter oasis and surrounded by firs, the Scandinave offers a feeling of total seclusion. It’s the perfect spot to rest your tired legs and totally unwind.
The idea at Scandinave is to go hot, cold, hot, cold – they call it Hydrotherapy. You’ll go into a hot pool, then dunk in cold pool, into a sauna, then another cold dunk – you get the picture. The last cold dunk is a frozen lake and we can assure you that nothing’s more likely to perk you up before a night out.
To hell with relaxation, we want to chuck ourselves out of a helicopter and ski untouched powder. We’re back on the James Bond theme again and there is no experience on a pair of skis that can match this. You can’t beat the sound of snow flying out of your nice fat powder skis, that feeling of floating as you make each turn, and the fact that your chair lift for the day is a Bell 205 helicopter.
Climbing out of a chopper in full ski clobber makes you feel like a total pro, but when it’s time to catch a lift back up to the top of the mountain and the helicopter lands on top of you, blades circling above your head, it’s pretty much the most exhilarating thing in the world. Back up for another epic run.
Check out our Whistler ski holidays and twin-centre holidays to Whistler & Vancouver over at Crystal Ski Holidays. If there’s anything you think should be on this list, hit us up on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. If you need more inspiration for your next winter adventure, heave a look at our Pinterest page.