When Christmas rolled around this year, Todd & I decided to exchange the struggle and stress of finding the perfect gift for a trip we knew we would enjoy. Having both purchased Epic Passes this season – a snowboarding pass that includes over 17 resorts – a snowboarding trip seemed like the obvious option. One of the resorts included is Whistler Blackcomb, a mountain two hours outside of Vancouver, and a mountain that I’ve been dying to ride for the last three years or so. Whistler it was.
We settled on February 13th-18th, which gave us three days to ride and an extra day to spend in Vancouver. The entire trip took us maybe an hour to plan, we opted out of renting a car and took a shuttle from the Vancouver airport. There are a few shuttle options, but per recommendation of our AirBnb host, we decided on Pacific Coach. As usual, we booked our accommodations on AirBnb and man did we hit the jackpot. We found this beautiful condo on the Whistler side of the mountain, with the raddest host, Adam. Not only was the place perfectly decorated and spotless, but it was a ski in ski out location. And did I mention it was less than $100 a night? Like I said, jackpot.
So now for the snowy details…
Tuesday: Travel Day
Tuesday morning we met at the Vancouver airport, barely made it on our bus, and started the two and a half hour drive to Whistler. The drive up was absolutely stunning, I felt like I was in the middle of a Twilight book. On one side of us was the water and on the other, miles and miles of towering deep-green pines. Like I said, Twilight.
We decided to use our first evening to go explore the Whistler Village and do a little grocery shopping for the week. As I’ve said before, one of the nicest aspects of an AirBnb is the ability to cook your own food and not worry about spending your life savings on eating out. But if you do choose to eat out, Whistler Village is definitely not lacking in top-notch choices. Our first evening we stumbled upon Sushi Village, which we enjoyed so much that we returned two nights later. After a ordering half the menu, a casual David Beckham sighting and talking with some locals about where to ride, we headed home in hopes that the snow would continue through the night.
Wednesday: Powder Day
Much to our delight, we woke up to a winter wonderland outside our window (i.e. the picture above). On top of the joy of waking up to fresh snow, Adam offered to take us riding for the morning. Pro tip: If you ever get the chance to ride a mountain with a local – TAKE IT. We spent the day riding fresh powder, under a blue sky, on a wide open mountain. One of the things I admired most about Whistler Blackcomb was the sheer size of the mountain, it’s so big and open that you never feel like you have to fight the crowds.
We pretty much spent the entire day riding and called it quits around 2:30. Lord only knows how we managed to find our way through the woods, but we ended up right outside our front door when the day was all said and done. We were famished by the time 5:00 rolled around and headed down to Creekbread, where we at our way through T H R E E large pizzas and right into a food coma. The menu provided a variety of delicious options for every pizza lover, the Whistler Community Creekbread (the guys doubted me on this one) and Mopsy’s Kalua Pork were the table favorites.
Thursday: Not Fantastic Weather
Anytime you plan a vacation around outdoor activities the weather becomes a large part of your experience. On our second day, the weather and snow conditions pretty much pushed us down to the lower part of the mountain, where we ended up practicing riding switch all afternoon. (Riding switch is when you ride with the foot you typically have in the back, in the front) It’s been about 16 years since I learned how to snowboard, so riding switch was a comical reminder of how tough those early days were.
Although the conditions weren’t stellar, we ended up staying on the mountain for most of the day just goofing around and looking like we had never stepped on a board before. Once we finally decided to call it a day, we killed some time at the shops until Sushi Village opened and headed back for round 2. Sometimes you just gotta stick with what you know.
Friday: Last Day Best Day
Our last day in Whistler was by far the best day of the trip, possibly the best day of the season. We lucked out by sitting next to a couple from Denver on the lift who clued us in on where to find some untouched powder. So we made a beeline for the Flute Bowl and started the steep hike up the mountain. There was some phenomenal back country right off the back side of the bowl, but seeing as neither of us had packs, we decided to play it safe and stay in bounds. After hiking for a while at the top and riding over a few ridges, we settled on some untouched lines that ended with us cruising through the forrest. I wish I could adequately convey the emotions experienced when you have an entire face of a mountain and a forrest to yourself. Wow.
Seeing as it was our last day, we decided to hit the highly recommended Mongolia Grill for a post-mountain snack. A build-your-own style set up, it has potential to get a bit spendy, but we slid in during the lunch special and split a plate between the two of us. After cruising around some of the shops, we headed home in hopes to get into Rimrock Cafe for dinner. Adam highly recommended Rimrock and based on the fact reservations were booked a week out, we had a feeling it was worth checking out. After making a few phone calls, we were able to get in shortly before they stopped seating. W O W. If theres one thing Canadians are doing right, it’s food. We ordered the duck two ways and the elk filet, both knocked our socks off. The staff was so kind and attentive and we enjoyed talking to the bar tenders who had lived in Whistler for over 10 years. After learning about more spots to ride and finishing off one delicious toffee pudding, we called it a night.
As fate would have it, it was duuumping the morning we had to leave, so we reluctantly boarded the coach at 9 am and headed back to Vancouver for an afternoon of exploring. We had done some research before we arrived, but due to the marginal weather, we decided to hang out at Granville Island for the day. Granville Island is home to a lot of pop up shops, restaurants and the Canadian version of Pike Place Market. We spent our afternoon eating our way through the market and enjoyed every single minute of it. After our sixth course and second trip to A Bread Affair bakery (do yourself a favor and go) we decided to call it a day.
Sunday: Travel Day
It was a bright and early morning for the both of us and of course my flight ended up filling up – ah the joys of flying stanby. Luckily I was able to catch a ride to Seattle and ended up back home just a few hours behind schedule. The end.
Thankful for another week in a country that is quickly becoming one of my favorite places. The mountain and food exceeded our expectations and I will certainly be making a point to return next season. If you like snowboarding/skiing and enjoyed some good food, then Whistler is definitely worth your time.
Well pals, that’s all for now! If you’ve made it this far, thanks for hanging in there with me. I hope you enjoyed it. If you have any questions, or want to know more, just drop me a note.
Love and be loved my friends.
PS. Kicking gifts to the curb this year in exchange for a trip was totally worth it. 10/10 would recommend.Canadasnowboardingtravelwinter