Acres: 8,171 | Vertical: 5,280’ | Snowfall: 461” | whistlerblackcomb.com
Biggest, tallest, best: The only problem with shredding this Canadian behemoth is deciding on which of its massive twin mountains to start. “I keep telling people to ski Whistler so they stay off Blackcomb,” says pro freeskier and Whistler local Stan Rey. It makes sense that Rey prefers the aesthetic steeps and challenging lines of Blackcomb’s Spanky’s Ladder, but now that you can grab the (still-amazing) Peak 2 Peak Gondola for an 11-minute ride over to Whistler, it’s well worth exploring West Bowl to Christmas Trees, which shelter fluff and offer keen depth perception on Pacific Northwest storm days. But for all the on-mountain riche, Whistler’s best terrain might be the slackcountry on its edges—something the resort is acknowledging with a new Youth Backcountry Program, which gives kids age 13–18 the tools and skills to make wise decisions while chasing the allure of untracked snow.
Can’t-Miss Run: Two mountains deserve two picks. Year in, year out the seven-mile-long Peak To Creek is still the best way to take in Whistler’s mile-high spread with thigh-crushing turns. On sunny powder mornings, the open bowl of the Blackcomb Glacier earns you face shots and the best inbounds views in North America.
Resort Bite: New chef Steve Ramey (formerly of Vancouver’s lauded Hawksworth) brings a bit of city glitz to the mountains at Christine’s on Blackcomb. Pair an expansive valley view with Hamachi dressed in pickled grapes, almond puree, and flat leaf parsley.
Local Advice: If you get tired of dancing on the bar in your boots with Germans at the Garibaldi Lift Company, follow the locals to Fitz Pub in the Upper Village or Dusty’s in Creekside, home of a massive patio and the town’s best Caesars (that’s Canadian for Bloody Mary). —Ted Alvarez
From the Early Winter 2016 issue.