Everything you need to know about shredding Whistler's slopes this season

Nov 18 2020, 8:38 pm

With many events and activities being put on pause since the start of COVID-19, you might be wondering what Whistler will look like this winter.

Well, we’ve got good news. The snow is coming soon, the majestic mountains haven’t gone anywhere, and Whistler’s unparalleled slope-side experience will still be available — with a few important changes to be aware of.

So, this winter, take the time to embrace the magnitude of nature’s beauty. Pursue the thrill of unforgettable moments. Relish in the great outdoors with friends and family. Satisfy your spirit’s need for the vast and the wide open — just do so safely by planning ahead, taking precautions, and enjoying Whistler responsibly.

Think ahead and make reservations

Tourism Whistler/Ben Girardi

In an effort to keep on top of sanitization, maintain social distancing, and manage the volume of traffic on the hill, Whistler Blackcomb has implemented a Reservation System. All reservations are done online, and you must have a pass to book.

A lift ticket comes with a reservation automatically for the day it was purchased. Passholders will also have up to seven Priority Reservation Days and seven Week-of Reservation Days. When you use a priority day, you get it back, meaning you can book another priority day — so, you always have seven priority days in the bank.

So whether you have a family tradition you’d like to continue, a bubble-friendly weekend trip planned, or a day off work one week when it just dumped, reserving a spot is required. Families can absolutely book days together as long as they’re on the same account. If you can’t get the days you want and have days left on your pass, you’ll be refunded by Epic Coverage.

Choose the right pass for you

Passes available include The Epic Pass, Whistler Blackcomb Unlimited Pass, Whistler Blackcomb Day Pass (1-10 days), and Edge Card. There’s a very defined difference between a pass product (flexible dates, reservation ability, Epic Coverage, best deal) and a lift ticket (locked-in date, no coverage), so you’ll want to do some research.

Check out the graphic below for more details on the difference between a Whistler Blackcomb Day Pass and Whistler Blackcomb Lift Ticket.

Passes are only available in advance of the season, so booking early is imperative. They also offer significant savings and advantages over in-season lift tickets.

Group up for the chairlift and gondola

Tourism Whistler/Guy Fattal

The social distancing and bubble grouping will apply to any gondola and chairlift rides. Before you get on, attendants will be checking to make sure everyone aboard is part of the same bubble. There will be no mixing of groups, and if you happen to be travelling by yourself, that’s absolutely fine! There will be a designated space with an appropriate amount of room.

Throughout Whistler Blackcomb, there will be signs, floor markers, one-way systems, and Whistler Blackcomb employees to help people keep a safe and required two-metres distance apart from one another.

Wear a face cover

Many Whistler businesses, in accordance with recommended protocols, are now requiring you to wear a mask or face cover to enter. It won’t just be the bars and stores either; you’ll need one for the chairlift lineups, the gondola, and all indoor Whistler Blackcomb facilities.

Wearing a mask is easy when in the Village, but it’s even easier than you might think when you’re up on the hill. Your face covering just has to cover your nose and mouth, something you’re probably doing anyway in the cold and the snow. A face mask, a scarf, a Buff, and a neck warmer are all acceptable options as well.

Embrace the expansive spaces

Tourism Whistler/Guy Fattal

Whistler Blackcomb is the largest ski resort in North America at an astonishing 8,171 acres! There are over 200 runs, serviced by 36 chair lifts, with an hourly lift capacity of 69,939 people. That’s a massive amount of space.

There’s the potential for the border between the United States and Canada to remain closed, as well as restrictions staying in place for international travel. This could mean that the amount of people travelling to Whistler for the winter season will mostly be Canadian and heavily reduced. Therefore, we’ll have the same amount of terrain and potentially fewer people.

This is a rare winter to fully take in the overwhelmingly large and beautiful mountains right in our backyard. 

Travel responsibly

Adventure has never been more important — for our minds, our bodies, and our communities — but this year, Whistler invites you to discover a new place. It’s important to inform and educate yourself on how to adventure differently and responsibly in Whistler.

Health and safety is a top priority, and the resort is asking visitors to enjoy patiently, explore responsibly, interact considerately, and play simply.

Due to COVID-19, things are fluid and often changing.For up to date information, reach out to the whistler.com team at 1-800-944-7853. They live and work in Whistler, and they’re always ready to help.

With open minds, gratitude, and responsibility, you can look forward to riding and skiing into what could be your best winter on the hill.

Visit the whistler.com/adventure-differently to plan your trip and for up-to-date information.

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