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Whistler

Vibe
posted: 10/03/2002

Plunk Vail, Aspen, and Jackson Hole down next to Whistler Blackcomb, and the B.C. behemoth would dwarf the total skiable acreage of all three. We're talking 9,250 acres and two peaks topping out above 10,000 feet. But when the sun goes down, Whistler rises even higher: With the globe-trottingest mix of skiers this side of the big pond, more than three dozen bars blasting thumpin' bass, and scores of gyrating go-go dancers, you can feel the reverberations clear to the Interior.

The Joe
If the rocket-fuel cappuccinos and hyperkinetic barristas with flowers in their hair at Moguls don't wake you up, you'd better sit on the patio and reevaluate your decision to hit the hill. (Whistler Village Square, 604-932-4845)

Apres
Late-winter afternoons are best spent at Citta (604-932-4177), a sunny island of blond wood and river rock in the center of Whistler's steady stream of clomping pedestrians. Locals call the east deck Florida and the west deck California. The chick shot of choice, a Broken Down Golf Cart (melon liqueur, Amaretto, and cranberry, shaken with ice), will make you bicoastal in no time. Later you can climb the stairs to the Garibaldi Lift Company for a trancelike techno vibe. Lie down on one of the low-slung couches and bring on the Sex Cheese-a gooey, pungent five-fromage blend served on slats of Armenian flat bread. It's so satisfying you won't mind the cleanup. (Skier's Plaza, 604-905-2220)

Eats
Just the calories: Recline on burlap coffee sacks and get a roast chicken dinner with all the fixins at Gone Bakery and Soup Company for C$11. (4205 Village Square, 604-905-4663, gonebakery.com)
Put Some Sauce on That: Order fish in most ski towns and you're looking at a plate of Gorton's of Gloucester. At Whistler's Sushi Village, though, the salmon is fresh off the Vancouver docks. The Beautiful Roll is tops, but strawberry sake margaritas are the principal reason for the rowdiness in the nine tatami rooms in the back. (4272 Mountain Square, 604-932-3330)
Bust out the Plastic: Noirish waiters move like caffeinated shadows through Araxi, a chic eatery where the Alberta beef is aged 28 days and the lobster mac 'n cheese is decadently comforting. Juice drinks are squeezed to order and the after-dinner grappa hits you like a velvet hammer. (4222 Village Square, 604-932-4540, araxi.com)

Up all Night
Suds: Floor-to-ceiling windows give patrons at Black's a sky-box view of the passing parade on the plaza below. Throw back a Nelson Paddywhack, an Old Speckled Hen, or one of the other 97 beers at this sun-filled English pub. (Mountain Square, 604-932-6945)
Shaken, Not Stirred:
The Savage Beagle lives up to its oxymoron of a name: Red velvet curtains hang above the kind of black rubber floor found around hockey rinks. The martinis are the mortar that hold it all together. (9-4222 Village Stroll, 604-938-3337)

Crash Pads
Hitchhiker: Pass out upstairs from The Boot pub in The Shoestring Lodge. Four in a dorm room for C$29 each. (7124 Nancy Greene Drive, 604-932-3338, shoestringlodge.com)

Workin' Stiff: Set yourself up in a slopeside condo complete with hot tubs and home theater options through Whistler Executive Accommodations. Ninety properties range from C$170 a night to C$2,500. (877-325-1177, whistlerexecutive.com)

Bank Robber: The Pan Pacific Lodge has the best location (it's at the base of Whistler and Blackcomb lifts) and glitziest decor. Book it for C$309- C$1,059 midwinter or C$129 in April. (4320 Sundial Crescent, 604-905-2999, panpacific.com)

For the Boys Back Home
There's Something About Whistler video by Whistler resident and ex-patt cinematographer, Greg Stump.

Live Music & Dance:

With a bamboo-and-tiki motif infused with jungle beats, Tommy Africa's sunken dance floor is an island of hip in a sea of staid. (Whistler Village, 604-932-6090, tommyafricas.com) When Ace MacKay-Smith and her go-go posse get their weekend groove on, sequined string bikinis, fishnet stockings and knee-high go-go boots quake into fleshy blurs. Didn't see enough skin at Tommy's? Try The Boot, an infamous, windowless basement bar that features the Das Boot Ballet on most nights. Just don't expect tutus; the dancers are nude. (7124 Nancy Greene Drive, 604-932-3338, thebootpub.com)

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