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Whistler, British Columbia

by K Gordon Schultz

Whistler: Olympic Alpine Skiing, Shopping, Boutique Hotels and Luxury Resorts

If you are into downhill skiing at all – or downhill mountain biking (or both) then you have probably heard of Whistler. This resort town in the British Columbia side of the Canadian Rockies is actually not far from the Pacific Ocean (it’s only 125 kilometers north of Vancouver – or 793 kilometers southwest of Banff), and is only 670 meters in elevation – all of which means it is a bit milder and wetter than many other of Canada’s alpine cities and towns.

That doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty of alpine and outdoor recreation in Whistler, however. Set amidst the Blackcomb Mountains, skiers can find the highest lift-serviced vertical slopes and the largest amount of terrain of any ski area in North America. In fact, Whistler Blackcomb ski resort — the official 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games alpine venue — boasts the Peak-2-Peak Gondola which connects both Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains, linking 8,171 acres of terrain into one continuous lift system.

Downhill skiing or snowboarding not your thing? No problem, pick another winter sport or recreational activity: cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, dog sledding, and of course, hockey (this is Canada we’re talking about, after all). In the summertime there is still plenty of alpine and outdoor recreation to be had in Whistler: hiking, cycling, fishing, canoeing, kayaking, whitewater rafting, mountain biking, Whistler golf packages, in-line skating – the list goes on.

Up for something a little bit more leisurely or luxurious? Whistler features more than 200 stores and shops, not to mention spas, hotels, boutique hotels and resorts – whatever you are looking for in your accommodations, you can find it in the city of Whistler. We should also add that Whistler is pedestrian friendly – in fact, it’s pedestrian only! But don’t worry – there is a free shuttle, so getting around town is easy.

Getting to Whistler, British Columbia is also half the fun. In addition to the usual ways, such as driving, scheduled bus, or private tour, you can enjoy the scenic beauty of the Canadian Rockies by train: take the Rocky Mountaineer from Jasper, Alberta, or the Whistler Mountaineer from North Vancouver.

Whistler Monthly Average Weather

Month High (°C) Low (°C) Rain (mm) Snow (cm)
January 0.1 -6.1 68.9 96.3
February 3.1 -4.3 60.3 66.8
March 7.2 -2.6 54 45.5
April 11.6 0.1 59.3 16.6
May 16 3.7 65.1 1.1
June 19.4 6.9 58.1 0
July 22.9 8.8 47.7 0
August 23.5 8.6 47.5 0
September 19.2 5.4 63.7 0
October 11.4 1.7 138.3 8.8
November 3.4 -2.2 126.5 64.9
December -0.3 -6 60.6 111.2

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