Whistler’s incomparable vistas
Meteorologists are predicting that La Niña will bring epic dumps of powder to Whistler for the second year in a row this winter. You may want to pounce on this good news, especially since the newly built Olympic venues are now open to the public. Experience the rigors of the biathlon as you ski cross-country around Whistler Olympic Park with a loaded gun slung over your shoulder ($85; whistlerolympicpark.com); afterward, skate-ski a moonlit network of night trails ($22). At the Whistler Sliding Centre, the fearless can take a piloted bobsled ride reaching hair-raising speeds of 78 miles per hour or plunge headfirst on a solo skeleton ride, all down the steepest and fastest competition track in the world ($149; whistlerslidingcentre.com). At Whistler Blackcomb, the area’s two-peak ski resort, snowboarders can rip through the new 14-foot half-pipe before taking a shot at Blackcomb Mountain’s Olympic-size 22-foot half-pipe (with lift ticket, $96; whistlerblackcomb.com). Brave skiers on Whistler Mountain should take a spin down Dave Murray’s Downhill, named after the famous Canadian Alpine team member, and Franz’s Run; both hosted the slalom and super-G during the 2010 Games. Right now, record-setting Whistler—200 downhill runs spanning the largest skiable terrain in North America (8,171 acres) and the world’s longest ski season—can be had for great prices (beaten only by pre-Thanksgiving and post-spring-break deals) if you travel after New Year’s Day and before President’s Day.
Alfresco dining in Whistler
WHERE TO STAY
LUXE Nita Lake Lodge is a boutique charmer with commanding lakefront views, an ayurvedic spa, in-house charcuterie, and handcrafted cocktails. From $259. 888-755-6482, nitalakelodge.com
BUDGET Centrally located in Whistler Village and just steps from the main Whistler and Blackcomb lifts, Crystal Lodge & Suites offers modern rooms and 25 on-site shops and restaurants. From $176. 800-667-3363, crystal-lodge.com
GOOD FOR GROUPS Lure the pack back home to First Tracks Lodge’s four-bedroom suites, where you can cook in full kitchens. Escape for a meal at nearby Creekside Village. From $1,023. 800-320-0896, firsttrackslodge.com
Photography: (top) Steve Rogers; (bottom) Randy Lincks