As an annual ritual, my girlfriends and I make the trek from the city up to Whistler for a weekend of girlie bonding. (aka: drinking too much wine and making comments that would make the guys cringe.) A lot has changed in nine years: conversations about which courses we have this semester and who was the biggest make-out bandit originally took place between shots of Jägermeister, but now, chats about which area of town to buy in or which spin teacher is best happen between breast milk pumping sessions. But a lot, has NOT changed! There is still a plethora of dancing on coffee tables, and the guarantee of the age old question around 7:30am, “Is it even worth going to bed at this point?” (By the way, the answer to that question is yes. Even for just an hour? Yes.)
So as the ski season approaches, and you start planning where you’ll find the best
champagne powder après party, here’s why you should always keep Whistler Blackcomb in mind, and some tricks of the trade from a local girl.
As far as accommodations go, there are many private chalets to hire which can be ideal for big groups of people. The downfall? Unless you’re walking distance to the main village, you’re going to end up disappointed and spending far too much time in the taxi loop. This year we hired two suites at the Crystal Lodge which has an unbeatable location about thirty meters from the main Blackcomb gondola, and stumbling distance from the two après hot-spots: The Longhorn and the GLC. (Tip: Always use the acronym for the Garibaldi Lift Co. otherwise you may as well wear a camera around your neck while carrying a map of the village around.) The Crystal Lodge was ideal for our group of eleven ladies: plenty of space, two kitchens for wine chilling, and lots of people watching from our terrace. Another great spot for suites is the Sundial Boutique Hotel, which I would also recommend for a couples retreat, along with the go-tos of the Westin, and the Fairmont – which is about a 15 minute walk from the main village.
It wouldn’t be a trip to Whistler without grabbing a “dumbo” of sake (aka: 1.8L) and a pitcher of sake margaritas over at Sushi Village. This place has atmosphere and amazingly fresh eats! The other restaurant you have to check out while there is the Bearfoot Bistro, where I have learned the fine skill of sabering champagne bottles and had a blast with friends in the Belvedere Ice Room while sampling vodka. If you’re up for a romantic dining experience, you will never be disappointed by the locally sourced food at Araxi, which has the most incredible raw bar to set the evening off right. After dinner? Live music back at the GLC (if you’re lucky enough you’ll see a naked man scale the rock fireplace and swing from the rafters!), and you definitely have to experience Buffalo Bills for a night of throwback music and your typical debauchery.
If you’re heading to the mountains for some skiing or snowboarding, you’ll be plagued with the question of which of the two incredible mountains to hit. The general rule of thumb is ski Whistler, board Blackcomb, but personally I prefer Blackcomb even when I’m two-planking it. The key for me is spending the first forty-five minutes of your day getting over to the run called Seventh Heaven. It’s wide open with plenty of untouched gladed runs, and is steep enough to keep a steady pace on a board.
Of course, there is plenty to do in the village as far as shops and spas go, and many other ways to get adventurous than on the mountain. You can really tailor this trip to suit anyone’s needs, but I think we’ll stick to our traditions!
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