Where do Pippa Middleton and Luxury Travel Mom love to ski? Vanity Fair asked her, they must not have my number. Anyway, we have the same answer-Whistler Blackcomb Ski Resort in beautiful British Columbia.
Why? Whistler-Blackcomb hast the most skiable terrain in North America and the second highest vertical drop. Sound too intense for beginners? Au contraire, this family friendly resort has slopes for every skier from the hot dogger to the bunny slopers.
Where to stay:
The Four Seasons Whistler is almost ski in/out. While you can’t drop your skis at your front door, they do even better, a ski butler at the base of the mountain will take your skis and store them for you. Leave your boots at the ski concierge overnight, they will put them on the heaters and all will be nice and toasty for you to hit the slopes the next morning.
Forget your skis or even your ski clothes? They rent it all. We always travel with our own boots and helmets and rent skis on site. We weren’t planning on renting our ski clothes but when Air Canada lost our luggage we were relieved to know we had the option. I had never heard of renting ski outfits and realized what a great idea this is for families who only ski once a year. Gear can be blindingly expensive and a painful purchase when you know it’s only going to be worn once and outgrown by next year. For the family that wants to give skiing a try without the huge capital commitment required for gear, this service is sheer brilliance. Luckily our bags arrived in the wee hours the next day and we were able to wear our own clothes.
The rooms at the Four Seasons are perfect for families, they feature fireplaces and miniature robes. The outdoor pools are heated to a temperature that was comfortable enough that even I went swimming. The multiple hot tubs were toasty and well served by the restaurant and bar, we ordered snacks and drinks IN the hot tub. The excitement of this cannot be overstated.
Where to eat:
The town of Whistler is chock full of fab restaurants. The ease of skiing off the mountain and into a restaurant is perfect for families. Hit the Garibaldi Lift Company on Sunday nights for apres ski and the mind blowing fire and ice show when skiers fling themselves through rings of fire. The boys were disappointed to learn they couldn’t give that a go. Sidecut at the Four Seasons offers up regional meats and seafood paired with fab wines. Not only was it a favorite of mine, Pippa Middleton raved about it in said Vanity Fair column. The time difference however kept the boys less enthused about fancy meals out.
What to do:
Um, ski. Hello this is the pinnacle of skiing. And yes, even if you are a novice skier, you can enjoy yourself at the very top. The Peak 2 Peak Gondola joins Whistler to Blackcomb and if you wait for a gray car you can ride with a glass bottomed view. The boys were a little nervous so we opted for a regular ride, what started out as fear turned into awe for the 11 minute ride through the mountains.
All around the mountain you’ll see these stacks of rocks. They are inukshuks and were built for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. They were created by First Nations people and are a symbol of welcome.
Zip Trekking: What is zip trekking? Simply put, zip lining through the forest in your ski clothes. We spent the day with Ziptrek and crisscrossed the forest over frozen rivers at dizzying heights. You’d think this might frighten small children. Not these monkeys. I would recommend this for anyone that doesn’t have a fear of heights. The staff does a great job of keeping you safe and giving information on the land and nature around you.
Ice Skating: There is a charming little ice rink in the middle of the village. There are plenty of coffee and sweet shops nearby, including the all necessary Starbucks. Be sure to stop in to the renowned Purebread bakery for some of their famous treats, trust me on this one. As we were in Whistler as talent for their marketing videos, I had a fake husband and daughter for some of our outings. So this is our fake family photo. Don’t we look happy? You can see the videographer behind us.
Despite growing up in Seattle, this was my first trip to Whistler. I had visions of it being too large to enjoy. I was so wrong. It’s an incredibly manageable mountain and the terrain is simply mind blowing. How could it have taken me this long? As most of my readers know, we are a ski obsessed family, my dad was an Olympic skier and I’ve had all of my children on skis since they were tiny, this is a story about Why We Ski. I have strong opinions about skiing and ski resorts, I have nothing but amazing things to say about Whistler. The only drawback being that it’s not on the east coast. If someone could work on that please I would appreciate it.
We were hired by Tourism Whistler to appear in their marketing videos, the Four Seasons hosted our stay and many of our meals. This blog post was not part of my agreement, I just want my readers to know how amazing this resort is and that it is absolutely worth whatever travel you have to do to get on these slopes. I cannot speak for my fake husband.