Photo Essay of Whistler Blackcomb, British Columbia
I'm just going to be honest. Ski towns feel a little bit like westerns. Once you've been to one, you've been to them all. Am I right? Well at least that's largely been my experience this winter, when I've visited more ski towns then I have in my entire life.
But before avid skiers and ski town mayors come after me, hear me out. What ski towns do, such as South Lake Tahoe, Mammoth, or Whitefish, they do really well. Well-groomed runs, epic views, on-mountain après-ski, and off-mountain après-ski in the way of a unique dive, brewery, or distillery. That, as I see it, is the wheelhouse of most ski towns, and that's perfectly okay, because when most travelers are just coming up for a ski weekend, that's all a ski town really needs.
But then I went to Whistler. And well Whistler kind of cheats. First off, it's within striking distance of one of the West Coast's best cities, Vancouver, which is rare to be that close to such a big metro. And then they have the Olympics that were there just a few years ago. What that means is that you have accessibility to Olympic sports for non-Olympians that for years were only accessible to Olympic athletes. You can bobsled, you can skeleton, you can luge, you can biathlon (which I did half of, which you can read about here). You can even zipline during the winter. And the food and drinks aren't too shabby either, which I'll write about in my next Whistler post.
My point is this: Whistler is an all-in-one winter destination like others aren't. If the conditions aren't ideal (which was the case my first two days in Whistler) or you're not a skier or snowboarder, then you won't have a problem finding an array of other things to do, such as the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola, learning an Olympic sport, ice skating, or the Fire & Ice Show, all of which my friend Dana wrote about in this post about Whistler for non-skiers. But if you are a skier or snowboarder, like I'm a recent convert of, Whistler doesn't suck for that either. Actually, it's pretty damn good. Bonus points that contrary to many West Coast ski resorts, Whistler is open through mid-May.
But enough ranting and raving. I'll let these photos do the talking.