In recent years, Whistler-Blackcomb has climbed up the ranks to become one of the leading contenders for the title of "greatest ski resort in the world". This skiing location offers excellent skiing conditions, one of the best high-speed lift systems in the world, extensive variety of alpres-ski alternatives, and comprehensive skiing facilities. Since the 1990s, Whistler has been voted the "best North American ski resort" on several occasions, and it is the most preferred international skiing destination for Japanese skiers.
Whistler and Blackcomb are situated about 70 miles north of the city of Vancouver in British Columbia, Canada. Together, they form the largest skiing area in North America, and they are about 50% larger than their closest competitor. They cover an area of more than 8,000 acres, and they feature over 200 marked trails. They provide direct access to 216 pistes, which can be reached by 33 ski lifts. The ski lifts can transport up to 59,000 skiers in one hour. Located at an elevation of about 7,000 feet, Whistler and Blackcomb have excellent snow cover, as well as 259 snow cannons to produce natural snow/
When observing the ski area of Whistler-Blackcomb from Whistler Village, Whistler Mountain is the one located furthest to the right. It reaches to a height of 7,160 feet, and it has a total vertical drop of 5,020 feet and an inbound skiable area of 4,757 acres. The skiing area on Whistler Mountain is served by 20 lifts, which consist of two gondolas, two fixed grip chair lifts, seven high-speed detachable quad chair lifts, two T-bars, and the Peak-to-Peak Gondola that connects to Blackcomb Mountain. It has two base areas, namely, Whistler Village in the northwest and Whistler Creek in the southwest.
Whistler Mountain has a very diverse skiing terrain, which consists of seven black diamond bowls, mogul fields, tree skiing trails, steep double black chutes, tree-lined carving trails, and groomed beginner and intermediate trails. The best place for beginners and first-timers to ski is the Olympic Station, which is situated just above the Whistler Village. There are green easy trails running around the mountain, one of which is the Bear Cub Trail that leads to the Express Way and back to the village. Every ski lift on Whistler Mountain provides access to at least two long corduroy trails for intermediate skiers. The Harmony Express lift, which runs to Little Whistler Peak, takes skiers to the long Harmony Ridge Trail and several small bowls below the ridge. This trail offers excellent skiing after a snowfall.
Free riders will have a wonderful time skiing on Whistler Mountain. The deep and steep West Bowls is an amazing place for advanced skiing after a good powder fall, and the area around the Garbonzo Chair offers fantastic tree skiing and snowboarding. The Symphony Amphitheatre was formerly only reserved for hiking, but since the winter season of 2007, it was made accessible to skiers through the installation of the Symphony Express Chairlift. With more than 1,000 acres of advanced and intermediate skiing terrain, it has become one of the favorite inbound backcountry terrain spots on Whistler Mountain. The trails in the area have symphony-related names, such as Rhapsody Bowl, Flute Bowl, Encore Ridge, and Adagio.
From Whistler Village, Blackcomb Mountain is the one furthest to the left. It is about 8,000 feet high, but its peak is not serviced by lifts. Lifts run to a maximum elevation of 7,347 feet, above the 7th Heaven Chair. The mountain has a skiable vertical of 5,133 feet, which is higher than that of Whistler, but its inbound skiing area of 3,414 acres is smaller. There are 17 lifts serving the ski area on the mountain, and they include three fixed grip triples, six high-speed quads, one gondola, seven surface lifts, and the Peak-to-Peak Gondola. Blackcomb is home to the well-known Couloir Extreme, which is regarded by Skiing Magazine as one of the world's top ten steepest inbound runs.
Blackcomb Mountain is steeper than Whistler Mountain, and it has 4 steep and challenging back bowls, fast chutes, long trails, open powder fields, and heavily-treed areas. Most skiing resorts do not allow beginners to ski on upper mountain terrain, but Blackcomb does not have such a restriction. With green trails leading to its upper slopes, it provides an exciting skiing experience for less experienced skiers. From above the 7th Heaven Chair, skiers can use a green line trail to cruise down to the base area, but they have to be cautious because the trail crosses several other trails along the way. In the winter season of 2006, the Blackcomb home trails were widened to provide greater safety for beginner skiers and ease traffic congestion.
Intermediate skiers will find the long cruising runs on Blackcomb Mountain very thrilling. Some of them are easy, but others may be a little more challenging. To the right of 7th Heaven, there are two long and wide trails called the Upper Southern Comfort and Upper Cloud Nine. The trails that run from the Jersey Cream Express Chairlift to the Gondola are steep and fast. Skiers who like long trails can take one of the trails that are located to the left of Crystal Chairlift. Back bowls on Blackcomb Mountain that lead to the Blackcomb Glacier, such as the Diamond, Garnet, Ruby, and Sapphire, are steep, and they are great places for advanced skiing. The Double Black Couloir Extreme, which can be found near the Hortsman Glacier, offers a test of skill and nerve, and the Wind Lip provides plenty of air opportunities. After fresh powder, the area around 7th Heaven Express is ideal for full throttle carving turns.
Those who wish to learn how to ski or improve their skiing skills can attend the Whistler Blackcomb Ski and Snowboard School. This school has very experienced instructors, and it offers programs for skiers of all skill levels and ages. Students can enroll in private classes, daily group classes, backcountry classes, terrain park classes, piste skiing clinics, women skier programs, or multi adventure camps for kids.