Big, dazzling, daunting, popular. It’s the Paris of North American skiing—but neither Paris nor Whistler Blackcomb is for everyone. Locals love the frequency of high-quality snowfall in the high alpine, which brings fresh powder as often as seven days a week. But for visitors, the same equation can mean valley drizzles, mountain clouds and a holiday in which they never glimpse the Coast Range’s remarkable glacial landscape. Locals love the brilliant sunshine of the Arctic outflow, a weather pattern that delivers weeks of blue skies, cold temps and astounding views. But for visitors, everything depends on the roll of the weather dice. Come during a bad week and you may never see more than five feet in front of you. What doesn’t change is Whistler Blackcomb’s terrain: 16 sprawling alpine bowls, serious steeps, World Cup race runs, thousands of vertical feet of uninterrupted tree skiing and summit-to-base fall-line nonstops that can last as long as the queue for the Eiffel Tower on a sunny spring day. Also unmatched: The cosmopolitan, all-ages liveliness of Whistler at full rip. “This place is a game changer!” Oh, yes. —Susan Reifer
What’s New » Keep an eye out for new dining options, including Alta Bistro, Fuji Market, Harajuku Izakaya, David’s Tea, Chinese Bistro and the reborn Uli’s Flipside.
On-Hill Lunch » Christine’s at Blackcomb’s Rendezvous, where regionally sourced entrées paired with award-winning Okanagan wines cost only a few dollars more than lunch in the cafeterias.
Family Activity » Riding the Peak 2 Peak for an unforgettable “Wow.”