Whistler during Spring Break is the place to be and over the next few days Pique will provide you with details of Whistler's most popular spring time activities. Every day a new activity will be profiled and to start the series, we present the top 99.
Let's not split hairs, okay...
There are actually 109 things to do here. Top 10, Olympic 10 and 89 others. Consider it a bonus, a gift. Besides, you can't do 'em all while you're here. So maybe it's not such a gift. Maybe it's an inducement to attempt more than you can actually accomplish. Or maybe it's a devilish reason to come back.
The Top 10
1. Ski and Snowboard
How do you spell n-o b-r-a-i-n-e-r. Unless you're here on a conference and maybe even then \u8213 it's why you came, isn't it?
There's lots to see even if you don't ski. Head up the mountain, cross the yawning gap on the Peak 2 Peak, try not to hurt your neck.
You're hungry, it's too late for lunch, too early for dinner. That's why we invented après. Après, you près, we all pray.
4. Lost Lake
Skinny ski around Lost Lake. Magical in the falling snow, even better at night... yes, there are lights.
5. Valley Trail
Walking's free and we've built a trail from one end of town to the other. Don't say we never did anything for you.
Not any particular shop but the activity itself. You know there's something you want. You know there's somebody at home.
Nothing will make you feel better than doing what you do better than you did. Take a lesson or book a camp. Learn whatcha don't know.
8. Eagle Watching
From November to February, eagles sitting in trees south of town, in Brackendale, look like black-&-white Christmas tree ornaments. Big, big ornaments.
Skiing makes you hungry. Lucky you. There are restaurants in town that'll make your tastebuds dance and make you happy you still have teeth.
If you haven't been, you can't imagine how anything this much fun isn't illegal. It's not... really.
Olympic Top 10
1. Ring Toss
Everybody else has had their picture taken near, on or inside the Olympic Rings; you might as well too. They're on the south side of Whistler Olympic Plaza. And while you're there, wander over to the north side and pose in front of the Agitos, the Paralympic symbols.
2. Rattle Your Bones
Belly up to the Skeleton Sport Experience at the Whistler Sliding Centre. Slide down the ice head first on, well, a skeleton. Go on, double-dog dare you.
3. Village Inukshuk
The big imposing guy at the corner of Village Gate and Northlands boulevards may look robotic but don't even think about pressing his buttons or trying to make him smile.
4. Whistler Inukshuk
High atop Whistler Mountain, out the back side of the Roundhouse, he waits patiently, longing to have his picture taken with you and you and you too. Don't disappoint him.
5. Bob Your Sleigh
If the skeleton isn't your thing, you can sign up for a bobsleigh run at the world's fastest track at Whistler's Sliding Centre. You don't get to drive but then, you wouldn't want to.
6. Ready, Aim — Aim?
Skiin' and shootin', shootin' and skiin'. You can do both when you Experience Biathlon at Whistler Olympic Park. Surprising how hard it is to aim when you're panting.
7. Skinny Skis and All
Or, if you're a peace-lovin' person, forget the shootin' and simply Nordic ski where the Olympians did. Skate or classic, your choice; lessons in both, daily.
8. Olympic Rings South
Another good reason to head to Creekside. Look for 'em on the way up. Way fewer people have their picture taken with them. Be distinct.
9. It's All Downhill
Three... two... one... go. Race your friends down the men's or women's downhill course. Some of the best didn't make it; maybe you will.
10. The Jon Montgomery Inspirational Stroll
Grab your pitcher of beer at Black's patio and head down the walk formerly known as the Village Stroll. Listen to the crowd go wild as you reenact the iconic moment from the 2010 Olympics. Just kidding about the pitcher of beer, folks.
On the Mountains
Okay, 89 more to go.
Many, oddly enough, take place on the mountains. Imagine that.
11. Get Oriented
The mountains are big, the runs many. Lucky for you, there are guided tours daily at 11:30. Discover runs — and probably bowls — you didn't know about.
12. Ski Esprit
Ski with people who ski just like you... all over both mountains! Same group and instructor every day, maximum mileage, maximum fun, and a little instruction. a.k.a. The Marriage Saver.
13. Women Only
The top female coaches at Roxy All Star Camps will boost your skiing or boarding skills and confidence in XX-only programs. Don't ski or board like a man; do it better.
14. Extremely Fun
If you like your sliding steep, and want to get better at it — a good idea — Extremely Canadian is your lesson. Two-day clinics will keep you on your feet when it counts the most.
15. Happy Campers
Dave Murray camps are the quickest way to ski the whole mountain with more skill. Three-day camps start each Monday. You won't believe the improvement.
16. Try Something New
If you didn't arrive with brand new equipment, try some of ours. Trust me, when your gear was new, it was great... but so was disco and polyester.
17. Try Something Different
In-bounds skiing good; backcountry skiing better.
Hire a guide, rent gear, head for the untracked snow on the other side of the ropes. Change your life. Never look back.
18. Free yer Heels
Telemark skiing just looks like fun, at least if your knees still bend. Give it a try and find out for yourself. Runs daily as private lesson but book in advance.
19. Get your Ticket
Want to teach others the secret of happiness? You too could become a ski instructor. CSIA Level 1 ski instructor courses run throughout the winter on Whistler.
Whistler's Adaptive Ski Program provides people with disabilities ways to enjoy sliding down the mountains. They have the instructors and the equipment to get you going or get you better.
21. Avalanche Awareness Tour
The snow looks great on the other side of the ropes. But is it safe? Know more after this day-long, free program for intermediate and better sliders. Inquire at Blackcomb Guest Relations.
22. Little Knowledge Good — More Better:
Sign up for the full Avalanche Course offered by the Canadian Avalanche Association through the Whistler Guides Bureau. Get real snow smart.
23. A Slide in the Park
Whistler Blackcomb's got five terrain parks with features from mild to wild. Pull your pants down and give it a try — gently.
24. Quick Watson, My Pipe
If you're a pipehead you know how awesome the pipes are here. But if you want to become one, good news: there's a new "beginners" pipe this year. Jump with care.
25. Racer's Ready!
Maybe yes, maybe no. But you can get ready at Gatebusters, Whistler Blackcomb's twice weekly race training day where you can bash gates to your heart's content.
26. Set... Go
After you've run as many gates as you want, the Pontiac Race Centre on Whistler offers the chance to find out who's fastest, you or your friend, er, ex-friend. Loser buys.
27. Shoot the Tube
Surfers get it. The Coca-Cola Tube Park on Blackcomb is a slide anyone can get excited about, even the kiddies. Daily, into the evenings.
28. Fire and Ice
Fireworks, rings of fire, hot dog skiers and boarders daring devils and defying death. Every Sunday evening at 6:30 at the base of Whistler Mountain. And fireworks. Oooh-aaaah.
29. Fresh Tracks
Get up the mountain before the masses, tuck into a big breaky buffet, hit the slopes for more frosted flakes. Get there early if lots of snow has fallen overnight. Daily.
30. Start with Waffles
Waffles at Crystal Hut on Blackcomb. Extreme toppings, extreme pleasure, not a speck of guilt. The on-mountain dining experience if you think whipped cream is a food group.
31. End with Fondue
Can't help it if the two best food experiences happen at Crystal Hut. Canadian Snowmobile Adventures will zip you up for an incredible dinner with even more incredible views.
32. Be a Star
Hire a videographer or still photographer and catch all your action on the hill. Throw down your best moves or just be cute as the dickens. Post to YouTube if you dare.
33. Peak to Valley Race
The longest ski race in the world was February 3-4 weekend. Create your ow version of the event.
34. Two Mountains; One Day
Confuse yourself, confuse your friends. With Peak 2 Peak, there's no reason not to yo-yo between the two on the same day. Just remember where you're staying.
35. Keep Score
The new Whistler Blackcomb Live, Powered by Telus app will add up your vertical and distance and record your top speed. You always wanted to know, didn't you?
36. Stay Connected
Lunch and WiFi? Because you know you're addicted, wireless has been installed at Rendezvous, Glacier Creek and the Roundhouse. Surf & turf & burgers.
37. Local Knowledge
If you really want to experience the mountains like a local, hang out around a lift and cozy up to a local. We're the ones who don't look like tourists. Ask; we'll let you come along.
Off the Mountains
Lots to do on the mountains; more to do off. Really.
38. Get Fit
Nothing ruins an expensive ski vacation like boots that hurt. Okay, maybe broken bones. But bootfitters can fix hurtin' boots and some of the best practice their art here. See one and ski better.
39. How do you Spell Access
We learned a lot hosting the Paralympics. We're not perfect but Whistler is a much more accessible place for other-abled people than it used to be. Get the complete lowdown at whistlerforthedisabled.com
40. Pod People
Whistler Village was built to be explored \uc0\u8213 on foot. Discover it all with downloadable guided walking tour podcasts and tour maps at whistler.ca
41. Skinny Ski
Skinny skis, sweaty skis, call 'em what you want. There are kilometres of trails around Lost Lake and Nick North golf course no matter what you call 'em.
42. Skate Ski
This is cross-country skiing for people who'd really rather be skating. If you haven't tried it, there's no time like now.
43. Passiv Resistance
The Lost Lake PassivHaus is a 2,700 square foot marvel that cost $280 to heat last year — last full year. And you can rent your x-country skis there.
44. Olympic Venues I
Tour the Sliding Centre. Learn about bobsleigh, luge, skeleton and other fascinating things you probably don't know much about.
45. Olympic Venues II
Whistler Olympic Park is south of town. You don't have to Nordic ski or ski jump to enjoy seeing what's there.
46. Olympic Venues III
The high-performance athlete training centre in Whistler's newest neighbourhood, Cheakamus Crossing, is one of the Games' lasting legacies. You can still smell the, er, excitement.
Give your legs a break; take a snowmobile tour. Backcountry, near country, ancient cedars, up the mountain. Vroom, vroom.
48. Jingle Bells
Cozy under the blankets in a one — or two — horse open sleigh and get all winter wonderland with someone you love.
We're about halfway through this list. I need a cup of coffee; how about you? All over town, your choice.
50. Sleigh & Sup
Tack on a gourmet fondue dinner après sleigh for even more of an evening out. Don't forget a carrot for the horse.
51. Skin the Cat
Snowcat skiing and boarding takes you into the untracked backcountry without the effort of climbing up yourself. You do have to get yourself down through all that powder though. Poor you.
52. Or Tour the Cat
If you just want to see what endless slopes of snow and no people look like, you can tour the backcountry in comfort.
53. Heli Tours
Blackcomb Helicopters buzz the resort, the mountains and Garibaldi Park, taking sightseeing to a higher level. Gee, all the people on the ground do look like so many dots.
54. Ice Climbing
Hire a guide and get vertical on a cascade of frozen water. Gear and skills provided; bring yer own guts & mittens.
55. The Love Racket
As in tennis, anyone? Yup, in winter. At the Whistler Racquet Club north of Marketplace. Just in case you aren't getting enough exercise.
North of town at Meadow Park there's the nicest sheet of frozen water. Cut some figures during public skate hours.
57. Zipline Canopy Tour
Ever wonder what if felt like to be a monkey living in the canopy of a jungle forest? This won't help you understand that but it is pretty cool, even without monkeys.
Glide effortlessly higher above the ground than you really want to think about... on a teeny, tiny cable. It's completely safe, really.
59. Bungee Jumping
Off a high bridge south of town. Towards a rocky creekbed. With a stretchy line stopping your fall. No, I'm not kidding.
60. The Core
If you've still got excess energy you need to work off, drop by for a great workout or a sadistic spin class. Climb their walls, not your own.
61. Meadow Park
Swim, steam, workout, squash, skate, or just sit around and watch those who do.
62. Riverside Trail
One of Whistler's best walks/snowshoes. East at Function to the river, then follow the trail on either side upstream to the suspension bridge. Cross and come back to where you started.
63. Interpretive Forest
Just before the Riverside Trail is Whistler's Interpretive Forest. Another great walk, this one with signs to tell you what you're looking at.
64. Spa Day
Who deserves it more than you? Well, me, of course. But go ahead, treat yourself to an overall body experience at one of Whistler's great spas. Two even.
65. You Finnish'd
Scandinave Spa turns up the heat with Whistler's newest offering in the world of hot water. Give yourself a couple of hours. You'll be glad you did.
66. Get Board
See 'em being made; smell 'em being made. Get educated with a free factory tour at Prior Snowboards in Function Junction. Oh yeah, they also make skis. Same smell, more thrill.
67. Get Culture
Go native at the Squamish Lil'wat Cultural Centre. Stunning art and culture from the original Whistlerites. Great gift shop. Open daily.
68. Art Crawl
There are way more galleries in town than churches. And they just love it when you come see what's on their walls. Make your own itinerary.
69. Pub Crawl
I think this one's self-explanatory. But if you're shy, there is an organized Club Crawl with other people, some stranger than you.
Really! You don't think this is culture? Eat, drink, watch, be watched. Every day, even in winter. Okay, order yogurt then.
There's something to offend and please everyone on the shelves of Whistler's award-winning library. The ultimate browse and not half bad machine coffee.
Sometimes we all just want to be left alone in the dark. Popcorn helps. A good movie helps even more. Village 8 has, surprise, eight of 'em.
73. Dog Walk
Walking a dog will make you live longer. WAG's got dogs that need walking every single day and they'll love you for takin' 'em for a walk. Maybe they'll even lick you if you taste good.
Whistler's got more yoga studios than doughnut shops. Come to think of it, Whistler doesn't have any donut shops. But lots of yoga studios. Stretch, you down dog.
Sushi is the official food of skiers and boarders. Whistler, not surprisingly, is blessed with several great sushi restaurants and many entertaining sushi chefs wielding very sharp knives. Arigato.
The town of Alta Lake — that'd be this town before we changed the name to Whistler — started life as a fishing resort. The ones that got away live on in spirit. And, believe it or not, you can try catching 'em in winter. Hire a guide.
All Whistler celebrates wine and food — in that order. Seminars, tastings, wine dinners and, oh yeah, parties. Nov. 10-13.
78. Bizarre, Eh?
Bizarre Bazaar is Whistler's original, once-a-year artisan market. Just in time for the holidays. Nov. 25-26.
79. Lights, Camera, Achtung
Like movies? Like lots of movies? Whistler Film Festival is a feast of great movies, beautiful people and the magic of light and shadows. Nov. 30-Dec. 4.
80. Happy New Year
First Night is Whistler's more sober way of ringing in the New Year. The whole family can dance in the streets, be entertained and get a year older together. Funny hats optional.
81. Pride Goeth
Don your gay apparel and catch WinterPride, Feb. 5-12. One of the biggest and best gay ski weeks anywhere in the whole rainbow world.
82. Festive and Artistic
Whistler Winter Arts Festival runs throughout February and March. Celebrate art and culture as only Whistler can. Details at whistlerartscouncil.com.
Simply Whistler's best party of the year, the Telus World Ski and Snowboard Festival is a 10-day celebration of mountain culture. Music, films, photos, fashion, theatre, freakshow. April 13-22.
84. Live History
Whistler's museum is bigger and better than ever. Check out where this place came from; you won't believe it. I don't believe it yet.
85. Live Music
Take those things out of your ears and catch some live music. Après, special shows some evenings and the occasional big name act. Check Pique Newsmagazine's entertainment listings.
86. Curl up with a Good Bookstore
Armchair Books is a browser's bonanza and a buyer's delight. Such a cute store in such a cute town.
87. Develop Good Taste
Whistler Tasting Tours lead you by the tastebuds to some of the town's best restaurants where they pair food with wine and create full bellies and great memories.
88. Brewery Tour
Okay, so it's really more about drinking the stuff but the Whistler Brewery will show you how they make it.
2:30 and 4 pm Tuesday through Saturday. Besides, it's a great reason to go to Function Junction.
89. Get Bounced
While you're there, drop in to Whistler Bounce next door. Go crazy on their trampolines and learn some new tricks. On second thought, maybe before the brewery tour.
90. Get Arty
Drop by a local artist's studio and watch art being created... or procrastinated. Sometimes the difference is subtle. The Whistler Arts Council can steer you towards local artisans.
91. Get Personal
With a personal trainer. Find out how to maximize the payback when you're doing things you probably don't want to be doing as much as you want to be doing something else.
92. Drop-In Sports
Basketball and volleyball are played each week at Myrtle Philip. Call the Parks Dept. for info and charge the net. Or is that spike the ball?
Make someone's old stuff your new stuff. Yes, the Re-Use-It Centre at Function has sold the occasional diamond at Zirconium prices. Honest.
94. Reflect on Reflex
After a couple of days in ski or board boots, you'd be amazed at how good a reflexology session makes your piggies feel. Happy feet make happy skiers and happy skiers ski better.
The therapeutic kind, although frankly, after a couple of days of sliding — and falling — there's a fine line between therapy and sheer pleasure.
Even if you didn't garage sale on the mountain and twist yourself into a pretzel there's probably something kinky about you. We have the best physiotherapists in the world. Let one of them work on your kinks.
The difference between spine and supine is, well, there's a bigger difference than just u. Keep your spine in line to keep from becoming supine — or something like that.
If you can walk, you can snowshoe. Snowshoe tours happen all over town and on the mountain. Channel your inner Bigfoot.
It's illegal to leave Whistler without at least one souvenir proving you've been here. You can get 'em almost anywhere in town so what are you waiting for?
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