Ski Canada - BC

Whistler Blackcomb Resort Reviews

Ski Canada - BC

Whistler Blackcomb Resort Reviews

Visitor reviews for Whistler Blackcomb Ski Resort

Whistler Blackcomb Ratings

Overall: 4.1. Based on 198 votes and 165 reviews. Vote

Access: 3.8

(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 Blackcomb.

Public Transport: 4.0

(1) There are no buses or taxis to Whistler Blackcomb, (3) there are slow or infrequent buses / trains available, (5) getting to the resort is easy with frequent bus / train connections.

Scenery: 4.5

(1) An ugly resort in a bland setting, (3) average mountain views and resort, (5) a spectacular setting and a beautiful / historic resort town.

Accommodation: 4.4

(1) No places to stay in/near Whistler Blackcomb, (3) a few places to stay in the resort, (5) a wide variety of accommodation suitable to suit all budgets.

Cheap Rooms: 3.2

(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 Blackcomb.

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.

Childcare: 4.0

(1) There are no child care facilities at Whistler Blackcomb, (5) the resort has excellent child-care facilities including at least one reasonably priced creche.

Snowsure: 4.2

(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 Blackcomb is snowsure even in the poorest seasons.

Snowmaking: 3.9

(1) Whistler Blackcomb relies entirely on natural snow, (3) there are just a few snow cannons, (5) there are snowmaking facilities on all pistes.

Snow Grooming: 4.0

(1) There are no snow groomers at Whistler Blackcomb, (3) occasionally some pistes are left ungroomed and in a poor state, (5) all the runs at Whistler Blackcomb are groomed daily.

Shelter: 3.9

(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 Blackcomb 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 Blackcomb, 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: 4.2

(1) Whistler Blackcomb 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: 4.3

(1) The staff at Whistler Blackcomb are rude or unhelpful, (5) lift staff at Whistler Blackcomb are pleasant, cheerful and eager to help.

Crowds/Queues: 2.8

(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: 4.5

(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: 4.6

(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: 4.6

(1) The ski runs are featureless and unvaried, (3) the ski runs are varied but not extensive enough for a week, (5) Whistler Blackcomb has diverse and interesting pistes including forests and high alpine terrain.

Beginners: 4.3

(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.

Intermediates: 4.6

(1) No intermediate terrain at Whistler Blackcomb, (3) intermediate skiers will get bored after a few days, (5) vast areas of cruising runs.

Advanced: 4.7

(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 Blackcomb, (3) average sized park quite well looked after, (5) huge park area and expertly crafted pipes, jumps and boardercross trails.

Off-piste: 4.3

(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.

Cross-country: 4.2

(1) There is nowhere to go for cross-country skiing around Whistler Blackcomb, (3) there are some cross country trails available, (5) the area features many spectacular and well maintained cross-country trails.

Luge/Toboggan: 3.9

(1) No designated luge or toboggan runs, (3) there are toboggan runs that open quite often, (5) Whistler Blackcomb has long and well maintained luge / toboggan facilities suitable for all ages.

Mountain Dining: 4.2

(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.

Eating: 4.5

(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.

Apres-Ski: 4.5

(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: 4.3

(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.

Entertainment: 4.3

(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: 3.4

(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): 3.4

(1) Overall, Whistler Blackcomb 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): 3.5

(1) Overall, Whistler Blackcomb 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.

Show all 35 ratings

December 04, 2012
William from Ski United States United States
I have visited many resorts in both the Americas and Europe and I found Whistler to be a good resort. However, not as good as many people say. There was good snow but nothing to be amazed by and the lift system can get overcrowded. However, the new peak2peak gondola was a very nice addition to the resort. All in all, I believe many of the extremely protective and precious reveiws saying how amazing Whistler is are a bit misleading as, although being a good resort, in my opinion it may not be the best in North America as resorts such as Breckenridge and Aspen are probably better and less crowded. Compared to resorts in Europe, in my opinion, Whistler, I'm afraid, cannot keep up with the ever changing landscape of the sheer amount of resorts the Alps has to offer. Bearing all of this in mind though Whistler is a very good world class resort but perhaps is not the best in North America and not as good as everyone says.
November 11, 2012
Stu from Ski Canada Canada
Whistler/ Blackcomb has it all. Nobody can match their acreage. As far as the line-ups go, what we do is ski the lifts closest to the roundhouse first like Emerald & Big Red, then as the hordes show up, we go further away to lifts like Harmony & Symphony. The powder there can be pretty heavy & once it's tracked out, it's pretty tiring to ski. There are some buses that are free, like the one up to Blackcomb village.
July 25, 2012
Rob from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
I've spent two seasons in The Three Valleys in France and a few months in Whistler, BC; both designated as the largest and most versatile on their hemispheres, so this review covers the seasonal worker's review of Whistler. Everything that has been put into legend regarding Whistler is effectively true, but has also been mentioned without the negatives. It is mostrously large and takes a huge ammount of time to cover a hill; those on vacation will not get bored of this monolith. After five, or six weeks, however, a local can start to feel that, for all the mountain there aren't really many lifts and connectivity is scarce. One lift for one mountain area or bowl, but little choice in how to get around or get back out. This creates a bottleneck at almost every lift. With such large, wide mountains, a huge amount of people can fit on the runs, but they'll always come back to the bottleneck, where, on a standard day, you'll wait for twenty minutes minimum at any common lift. A small note, for Europeans to heed, is that many of the black and all of the double black runs are not actually trails; they are the 'off piste' that you go searching for. Every possible chute or drop has been sign posted and drawn onto the maps, so you'll have a nightmare trying to find a decent drop that hasn't been sessioned within 20 minutes of lift opening time by anyone old enough to read a trailmap. Back country is still back country, but without a guide you'd be insane to go wondering off into the unknown and dropping off the back side of the mountains. The Blackcomb glacier is a giant bowl which everyone talks about, but, unless you're up there early on a snow day (and it'll take you 50 minutes to get up there!) you will find nothing but crust and a twenty - thirty minute (depending on speed) flat road of ice around the entire base of the mountain before getting to the next available lift (also at a bottle neck, only one lift up from the resort). So, for a 60-90 minute round trip; I avoided Blackcomb glacier and went to the beautiful glades around the other side on "7th Heaven" every time, which have their own chair, but on a clear day, which is rare, you really do get the best runs, glades, bowls, conditions. The problem with Whistler Blackcomb, you see, is it's size. In an attempt to reduce lift costs (or evnvironmental impact) the owners have put in only very large, long lifts, to service a designated area. This creates the bottlenecks and also means that you cannot find a short cut across the mountain. You have to use the main chairs, and the, sometimes futile, places that they've been planted. The Whistler Bowls (there are three areas of these) are spectacular riding, but again, all signposted and tracked out by 9.30am (lift opens at 8.30 and fast-track passes allow people to go up early and eat breakfast on the mountain, where they get the 30 minutes headstart). On a snowday, you'll grab your gear and march out there, ready for the tough-guy time, however, much of the time you will be riding in a cloud. And although fun to challenge yourself, riding a tracked-out double-black bowl in a thick white cloud gets tricky. When you can see, you will find an amphetheatre of epic mountain potential, but you have to ride further and better than the rest to get to the untracked places. - And the old Warning, unless going through a cold snap; if it's snowing on the mountain, it's likely raining in the town.... It's very, very low and very coastal down there... It will snow, but then, with the front passes, the rain will wash that away to the base. It is hard to get the riding conditions you want in this town and when it does snow, it is thick and heavy. Either it's tracked, or it's snowing (and you're in a cloud and it's tracked) or it's raining towards the bottom. It was warm last year, but not uncommonly warm... Enough about the mountain though... If you're in Canada this is the largest scene and one of the only mountains designed with the town at the actual base of the mountain and not a 15 minute drive away... Seasonaires don't have cars! - The town has all the tools, shops, bars, restaurants, clubs, hotels, groceries, carparks, tourist centres and etc that you would ever want. Getting around is not easy if you don't have a car, however. - There is no free shuttle bus! - You pay for the bus just like any normal town and that gets seriously expensive when you're loosing $5-$10 every day. There are only three lift stations, Blackcomb-upper, Whistler central and the original Whistler village. However, over half the town is a thirty minute (minimum) walk away from these areas. Whistler is a string of hamlets and micro-villages built along a 7 mile main road, with the village near the bottom and Whistler-main two thirds of the way up. If you're going for accommodation, look at your maps and seriously think about the cost of that bus-pass and the amount of walking you'll be doing, just to get around. Yeah, it's a "five minute bus ride", but you walk for ten to get to the bus, wait for ten, ride for five and walk for ten. Then you can begin your day. If you work in town, which you probably will, location could suck up or save you 2 needless hours every single day. In short... If you want Canadian friendliness and North American snow, try and find a smaller town and sacrifice the acreage for the real town people. (Whistler in it's popularity is half Australian, Irish and British, and the Canadians are more frequently just the locals, who've been there for years.) If you want a huge resort/valley with all the connectivity, infrastructure, technology and amenities, go to Europe! Whistler is a combination of the two, but in being so, it looses sight and fails on both accounts. It can be argued that this makes it truely unique and that 8000 acres of unique experience can't be bad. But life and money is short and if you have only one choice for a Canadian resort, I guess this could be your one. But in a world where even the Lonely planet guide now tells you all the five star restaurants in town, you have to wonder if it's cultural saturation and tourism that made you want to come here. Whistler's popularity is routed in it's size; both town and mountain. But in this it creates a problem of saturation and eventually dilution of what you went there for in the first place. A true tourist-town, it has little real spirit left.
May 09, 2012
doc fingers from Ski Canada Canada
Rains all the time at Whistler-don't go!! Just kidding. You must try to come for a month or at least 2 weeks mid Feb to mid March. You will have 50% chance equally of sun and snow in a normal season. The price we tend to pay for powder is bad, is small price to pay for most.
April 24, 2012
NoisyParkser from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
My how I wish I lived in Canada and had Whistler on my doorstep! And March was such a good month for snow. We went over for the tenth year at the end of January and we love it every time. Aren't a lot of another reviewer's complaints just common sense?? For instance, we saw the night before that there was a good dump overnight and guessed it would mean an early line for fresh tracks the next morning - so got there early; and surely the ticket can be used another day if the limit passes before you get on? Yes, it can be crunchy below Olympic but this year we had new powder every day and rated it as our best year. And of course it can take 40 minutes on the gondola - the mountain is that big. Anyone reading this should make sure they put Whistler down as their next skiing trip. [note from the editor : text edited to avoid blog type threads]
April 18, 2012
IslandDoc from Ski Canada Canada
Whistler is awesome. As someone who has work and family commitments, not to mention living on the island it is so worth the 5hrs travel I spend to ride mountain. If you think the lift lines are bad here for it's size you should ride some places where the mountain is 1/8th the size with lines just as bad. Don't trash the mountain because you're brilliant vacation idea was ruined because 10 thousand other Americans also had the same brilliant idea... "fools seldom differ!" If you have the skill level for it head over to the Amphitheatre first thing in the morning. If it's not open due to a fresh dump ride Harmony until it does. Once it starts to get busy head over to Blackcomb and ride the Glacier or 7th Heaven expresses. Lakeside bowl is fabulous and the glades on lower panorama never get boring. If you're starting late don't start on Whistler, every vacationing family always go to Whistler but Blackcomb is just as good, if not better! If you have kids who can only run greens take them up to 7th Heaven anyway, run the Green line to 7th Ave or the Expressway and down Sunset Blvd, it'll take you 30-45 mins for sure and it's a great experience for the little ones. Some of the blues up top are not even that bad. My son (7) and niece (10) were riding the panorama run without even realizing it was a blue until I told them afterwards. Gave them a lot of confidence when they realized some blues are really just slightly harder greens!
April 17, 2012
Ron from Ski United States United States
Good advice below from many reviewers on avoiding lift lines at Whistler. Unfortunately, many of us with school-aged children can't avoid the busy vacation weeks and getting to the lifts when they first open isn't so easy either with kids. So, I offer an alternative. Vacation at far less crowded areas like Big Sky or Jackson hole. I can recall skiing Presidents Week at Big Sky where every other chair was empty and no one was in sight on many of my runs. Neither JH nor BS is quite as big as Whistler, but both are huge mountains with great variety. Snow quality is better (top to bottom light powder rather than Whistler's good on top and frozen crud on bottom). No rain either. A supposed downside is that both are difficult to get to because they require a airline connection from most US cities. However, total travel time from the East Coast is actually comparable to Whistler. OK, the night life is weak at Jackson Hole and non-existent at Big Sky, but that's a minor consideration for most families.
April 17, 2012
RB from Ski United States United States
Just returned from a vacation to Whistler, my first since a brief visit a dozen years ago. This latest visit has changed my opinion to the better. My concern with Whistler has always been the lack of dependability of the weather due to a low village altitude and proximity to the coast. Rain is always a risk. (Recall the 2010 Olympics?). Even if the weather is nice when you are there, the snow on the lower slopes can be crud due to previous rain events. That said, Whistler is such a huge area with such varied altitudes and terrain that you can ski the upper two-thirds of the mountain and still have plenty to keep you satisfied for a week. Whistler has everything from open bowls, to tree skiing, to bumps, to groomed runs - all in great quantities. The village is really quite nice. Too new to be as quaint or authentic as some European ski towns, but up-scale, varied and lively nonetheless. Don't expect to have the mountain to yourself. Lift lines can be an issue during busy periods. However, by afternoon the crowds thin out noticeably. All in all, Whistler is an area that deserves serious consideration for a ski week. However, given the vagueries of the Pacific Northwest weather, it's worth waiting a little to book your reservations (at least long enough to determine if the overall winter pattern is setting up favorably).
April 11, 2012
Scott from Ski Canada Canada
To the gentleman complaining about the size of Whistler, lift times & everything in between: Thanks for NOT coming back to what you made sound like a hellish vacation. Whistler has some of the best terrain in the world, you just have to be smart about how you ski it. I'll thank you not to deter people with comments like this. We need the tourism (as do most areas right now!) and the resort on a whole is doing the best it can to come up with new innovative ways to attract guests to the town and don't need false reviews like this.
April 11, 2012
canali from Ski Canada Canada
To the complainers on lift wait lines, simple: get there early to enjoy the fresh runs and lack of lines....and to those doing 'first tracks' easy on the buffet: 'tis easy to overeat with all the great food; and instead of feeling recharged you feel bloated and as if a 5lb block of cement is in your gut....been there done that (as have many others).