Whistler Resort Reviews
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Visitor reviews for Whistler Ski Resort
March 10, 2016
Paul from Canada
Whistler is flippin' going off. Ultra mega pow. By the time this review actually gets posted, who knows, but right now it's nipple deep pow and only going to get better with colder air on the way. Thankfully, this year has been kind to us and we have a fairly typical snowpack and many great powder days.
I gotta say, I feel bad for all the visitors who plan expensive trips from afar months in advance, expecting to get the epic face shots they see in the pictures, only to be sorely disappointed when the weather deals them a crummy hand. But the weather is a fickle mistress, and that's just the way it goes. Whistler is no different than any other mountain in that regard. You can get skunked anywhere.
It's weird how many people think they are entitled to light dry powder and face shots and then bitch and complain when they don't get it. Don't blame the mountain. My advice would be to leave your expectations at home and come with an open mind. Take what the mountain offers you with humility and gratitude and you'll have a great time and bitch less. When life gives you lemons, make lemonade right? And really, is there ever really a bad day in the mountains? Maybe that depends who you ask, but I would say there is no place I'd rather be. Just being there is a gift. If you can recognize that, you'll have a fine time indeed. And if you're lucky enough to score epic snow, it'll be that much sweeter. Cheers!
Overall: 4.2. Based on 143 votes and 134 reviews. Vote
(1) At least one overnight stop, (2) requires a whole day, (3) requires more than half a day – you may have time for a few turns (4) arrive by lunchtime and ski all afternoon, (5) there is a main airport within an hour of Whistler.
Public Transport: 4.2
(1) There are no buses or taxis to Whistler, (3) there are slow or infrequent buses / trains available, (5) getting to the resort is easy with frequent bus / train connections.
(1) An ugly resort in a bland setting, (3) average mountain views and resort, (5) a spectacular setting and a beautiful / historic resort town.
(1) No places to stay in/near Whistler, (3) a few places to stay in the resort, (5) a wide variety of accommodation suitable to suit all budgets.
Cheap Rooms: 3.3
(1) No budget accommodation available, (3) just one or two hostels so book ahead, (5) several cheap hostels and pensions available.
Luxury Hotels: 4.8
(1) No luxury accommodation available, (3) just one or two luxury hotels so book ahead, (5) several up-market hotels in Whistler.
Ski in/Ski out: 4.5
(1) The ski area is located far from any accommodation, (3) a free ski bus takes you to the ski area in a short trip, (5) Ski-in ski-out accommodation is available.
(1) There are no child care facilities at Whistler, (5) the resort has excellent child-care facilities including at least one reasonably priced creche.
(1) Occasionally gets enough snow for skiing, (2) is often closed due to a lack of snow, (3) occasionally suffers from a lack of snow, (4) rarely suffers from a lack of snow, (5) Whistler is snowsure even in the poorest seasons.
(1) Whistler relies entirely on natural snow, (3) there are just a few snow cannons, (5) there are snowmaking facilities on all pistes.
Snow Grooming: 4.1
(1) There are no snow groomers at Whistler, (3) occasionally some pistes are left ungroomed and in a poor state, (5) all the runs at Whistler are groomed daily.
(1) there is nowhere to ski when it is windy or visibility is bad and lifts often shut, (3) there are some trees for poor visibility but main lifts sometimes close, (5) Whistler is mostly in forest where you can ski in flat-light and windy days, lifts rarely close.
Nearby options: 2.5
(1) If snow conditions are poor at Whistler, it will be poor everywhere nearby, (3) there are good alternatives within an hours drive, (5) other locations on the same lift pass provide a rich variety of snowsure ski conditions.
Regional rating: 4.3
(1) Whistler usually has poor snow conditions compared to other resorts in region, (3) has average conditions for the region, (5) usually has the best snow conditions in the region.
Lift Staff: 4.4
(1) The staff at Whistler are rude or unhelpful, (5) lift staff at Whistler are pleasant, cheerful and eager to help.
(1) the resort is always busy and there are usually long lift queues, (3) it is quiet apart from occasional weekends and school holidays, (5) it is uncrowded and lift queues are very rare.
Ski Schools: 4.6
(1) No ski schools available, (2) one or two ski schools but local language only, (3) a few ski schools but book early for multi-lingual instructors, (4) plenty of ski schools and multi-lingual instructors available, (5) excellent ski schools with friendly multi-lingual ski instructors.
Hire and Repairs: 4.7
(1) Nothing can be sourced, not even ski-wax or ptex. (3) there are some ski shops but rentals need to be booked in advance, (5) good quality ski equipment can be purchased or hired and overnight repairs are possible.
Variety of pistes: 4.7
(1) The ski runs are featureless and unvaried, (3) the ski runs are varied but not extensive enough for a week, (5) Whistler has diverse and interesting pistes including forests and high alpine terrain.
(1) Beginners can only watch others ski and snowboard, (3) a few gentle slopes but beginners will get bored in less than a week, (3) Vast areas of gentle terrain.
(1) No intermediate terrain at Whistler, (3) intermediate skiers will get bored after a few days, (5) vast areas of cruising runs.
(1) Nothing for advanced skiers and snowboarders, (3) enough steep terrain for a few days with some good offpiste, (5) Enough steep terrain and offpiste areas to entertain advanced skiers for at least a week.
Snow Park: 4.5
(1) Not even a kicker at Whistler, (3) average sized park quite well looked after, (5) huge park area and expertly crafted pipes, jumps and boardercross trails.
(1) No off-piste worth mentioning, (2) off piste is out-of-bounds, (3) some varied offpiste that stays fresh for one or two days, (5) a vast array of off-piste routes that can stay untracked for several days.
(1) There is nowhere to go for cross-country skiing around Whistler, (3) there are some cross country trails available, (5) the area features many spectacular and well maintained cross-country trails.
(1) No designated luge or toboggan runs, (3) there are toboggan runs that open quite often, (5) Whistler has long and well maintained luge / toboggan facilities suitable for all ages.
Mountain Dining: 4.3
(1) Nowhere to buy food by the pistes, (3) some places to eat up on the mountain but they are often busy and expensive, (5) there is a variety of excellent mountain eateries right next to the slopes to suit all budgets.
(1) Bring your own food, there isn't even a shop. (5) A wide variety of places to eat and drink in the resort, from fast food to fancy restaurants.
(1) Nothing to do, not even a bar, (3) there are a few bars in the resort but nothing special, (5) clubs and bars stay open until very late and have a friendly atmosphere.
Other Sports: 4.4
(1) No sports facilities at all apart from ski lifts, (3) resort has just a small public swimming pool, (5) resort has all kinds of sports facilities, including a full-size swimming pool.
(1) Besides the snow and walking there is nothing to do here, (3) the non-skier will find things to do for few days but may become bored after a week, (5) the resort area is a fascinating place to visit, regardless of winter sports.
Winter Walks: 4.3
(1) Very limited walking and no snowshoe trails, (3) a couple of designated scenic walking/snowshoe trails, (5) extensive and diverse winter walking trails for all abilities.
Ski Pass Value: 3.7
(1) A 1 week ski pass is overpriced compared to the number of lifts available, (3) the ski pass is averagely priced and covers a reasonable number of lifts, (5) ski passes are excellent value for money and cover a lot of lifts spanning a big area.
Value (National): 3.7
(1) Overall, Whistler is one of the most expensive ski resorts in the country and not worth the money, (3) overall represents average value for money, (5) overall offers the best value resort in the country.
Value (Global): 3.8
(1) Overall, Whistler is one of the most expensive ski resorts in the world, (3) overall it offers pretty average value for money compared to resorts from other countries, (5) internationally the resort offers excellent value for money.
February 13, 2016
Steve from Australia
I've been skiing for 37 years & have skied in France, Austria & 10 different resorts in the USA. I finally made it to Whistler 6 days ago for 10 days skiing. I must say that from my experience, so far, Whistler is far & away the worst place to ski that I have seen. The mountains are, of course, huge, the staff are great & service is fantastic. The village seems to be a great place with lots of action (sadly, I'm a bit past that stuff). What sucks is the skiing. I have never in my life been anywhere where the snow quality is more miserable here than anything I have ever experienced, including in Australia. First, we had two days of sunshine & early morning boilerplate ice, which melted to sludge. Two days before I arrived they claim to have had 50cm of fresh snow. Two days later on my first day on the mountain there was no snow on any trees anywhere. How is that possible? Heat is how. By 10am the snow turns to slush as deep as anything I've seen. Day 3 saw it trying to snow at the very top but mostly it just rained, heavily. Yesterday it started snowing lightly up top with the word going out that there would be continued snow overnight. Today we woke up with news of 8cm of new snow. I was on the Wizard chair at 8.15 to get this good stuff. Fortunately the Wizard chair has a rain hood because it was essential. No such luck on Solar Coaster. By the time we got to Rendezvous we were utterly soaked. We put on a brave face & tried a few different runs on the few chairs that were opened (patrol was letting off bombs all over the place, and that's reasonable). The "fresh" snow could better be called glue. By 10am we'd had enough & came down off the mountain. It rained all day long in the village & everyone walked around looking miserable. The forecast for the rest of our trip is for more of the same, but heavier. The Whistler website is saying we might get up to 30cm a day. The problem is that by the time we get up to this level we'll be so drenched by the warm temperatures low down that it will be pretty hard to get excited by what is likely to be glue 30cm deep.
Now it sounds like I'm looking for someone to blame but of course there is no one except the climate change naysayers. But I warn anyone thinking of coming here, bring heavy duty raincoats; you will need them. Don't listen to the Whistler marketing people who will tell you it's been voted no 1 resort in North America. It seems to me that all the voters were brought here at company expense on the rare great days that undoubtedly occur here. In the meantime, spend your hard earned on resorts where you get what you paid for. I'm going back to Sun Valley, Idaho: greatest mountain anyone could hope for.
January 22, 2016
Matt from United Kingdom
We have been to Whistler 7 times in the last 13 years and it truly is an amazing place; if I had the money to move there I would. It’s true that you can experience all types of weather there, from blue bird face shot powder days to rainy ‘pineapple express’ days up to mid mountain and even above. We may have been lucky when we have been, but the brilliant days have far, far outweighed the not so powder warmer days, but I suppose that is the same with everywhere at this altitude. The mountains are so vast that you can ski/ride all day and never ride the same piste, or line twice. I’m a fan of off-piste tree runs and 7th Heaven and Crystal Ride even on a half good day are amazing. The parks (and there are a lot of them!) are stunning, I'm too long in the tooth now to make good use of them but just riding through and hitting the odd kicker and watching the pros do their stuff brings a smile to my face every time. Maybe global warming is having an effect (I have my doubts based on my limited experience) but I’ll be honest, I've had dodgy conditions in all types of resorts at all altitudes so don’t be swayed, if you have the chance to go to Whistler, you will not regret it.
January 20, 2016
Sal from Canada
Great skiing today ! Still some pow around and broken clouds with more snow expected tonight! Mountains have good snow all the way from top to bottom!
January 19, 2016
greg from Canada
I fear that climate change has brought the golden days of Whistler, as a powder destination, to an end. As anyone who has spent their lives in the mountains and actually lives in Whistler (not Aussies who have been here eight weeks and claim to be locals) can tell you, the climate has changed, the glaciers have receded, and the average season here is now much warmer and drier than the past. A few degrees makes an enormous difference, especially in an area as warm and wet, compared to the rest of Canada, as Whistler. The freezing level has barely dropped below mid mountain the last three winters, and it is currently raining to the peak for the *nth time, with more than 2 inches forecast for the next three days (again). The high freezing levels have even compromised the heli-skiing terrain.
This place will still be a haven for families with six digit incomes, who barely ski two runs a day and come for the apres, food, and massages more than the snow, but the true ski bums are fleeing this place like rats from a sinking ship for places of higher altitude and colder temperatures.
April 26, 2015
Angela Griffiths from United Kingdom
I am in Whistler right now; arrived on Friday. We were really concerned with the reports of no snow and admittedly we are getting nowhere near the Whistler experience. However, absolutely fab alpine skiing at the top of Whistler and more lifts and slopes opened yesterday to cope with weekend visitors. Still having a wonderful time and some great slopes and skiing available. Probably the best weekend here for a month plus the lovely Canadians have everything under control. I love skiing in France but so refreshing to have safe areas and none of the threatening high speed skiers and polite queues.
April 13, 2015
Leslie from United States
We fell in love with Whistler 15 years ago and keep coming back for the excellent variety of skiing and the variety in the village. We highly recommend the resort in the heart of winter. The Telus festival, in April, used to be a highlight. However, the resort has become increasingly stingy. I can understand the weather dependent activities closing as spring starts to arrive. Good-bye snowmobiling, dog sledding and outdoor ice skating. Inexplicably, the resort now chooses to drop other popular activities: fresh tracks breakfast, food choices in the main eating areas, the number of eating areas on the mountain; these are not weather dependent. This starts a vicious cycle of late season visitors enjoying a less than world class experience. Come in February and March. Take your spring break somewhere that is rolling out the red carpet instead of shuttering its doors.
April 09, 2015
HD from South Africa
I've tried to maintain an annual snowboarding trip to Austria since 2002 but, due to losing my job, my gear has been gathering dust for a year and will continue to do so for years to come. Not being able to snowboard anymore is one of the worst things to happen as our annual trip was always a highlight, regardless of snow conditions. So appreciate being on the slopes and forget about expectations.
I have a friend over there right now and he's having a blast. Yes, he says he can see the potential and perhaps not experiencing it as he imagined, but having a blast none the less.
March 25, 2015
Michael from United Kingdom
I'm in Whistler right now with my wife and six year old son. We arrived on 20th March and have enjoyed excellent skiing with fresh snow every day. I've skied all sorts of terrain; piste, off-piste, trees, steeps, wide open snow filled bowls, bumps, untracked powder; you name it, I've skied it. I can tell you, with absolute certainty, that I would not have got close to the variety and expanse of terrain if I had chosen to ski in Europe this week and I've only been skiing on Whistler and not touched Blackcomb yet.
It's true that a lot of runs, a couple of hundred metres below mid station level, aren't in great shape and you can just about ski down to each base area but I'm not sure why you would want to.
At the end of the day, none of us can control the weather but the resort can help to provide the best possible experience for visitors and Whistler does it brilliantly with friendly, helpful and genuine people who will do whatever they can to make your stay the best; it feels very natural. Ski school is excellent and comes strongly recommended to get the best from the terrain on offer.
To another reviewer: I understand you've had a bad season but don't be fooled by thinking Colorado is the panacea; I was there in Snowmass this time time last year and, whilst I had an excellent time, it wasn't much different snow wise and I'm having an overall better time in Whistler.
This is my second time in Whistler, last time being in 2012 and I find it to be excellent; I will be back.
March 21, 2015
James from United Kingdom
I came to Whistler for the season under the impression that Whistler is the best resort in North America. Whistler certainly has the best marketing department of any resort in North America and no doubt worldwide. It has only snowed occasionally and often a thick heavy snow and the few times there was a decent powder dump the change in temperature destroyed that snow in less than 24 hours.
Admittedly, the terrain if there is snow, is amazing but the recent trend, with global warming, looks like Whistler can no longer be considered a world class powder resort. However, rest assured the marketing department will continue to "incentivise" websites and reviews to place it at the top whilst regularly forecasting snow that is never due to boost weekend ticket sales!
If you are in North America head to Colorado where at least if it snows that snow will be light. If you are in Europe stay there for lower temperatures, better huts, food, apres and atmosphere. Don't be fooled by the Whistler marketing department!