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Tips and Tricks for Gearing up for Winter

Whistler Winter Ski Gear Guide

Unlike many people in the Sea to Sky area, winter can be a daunting season for some. Dressing for the part can help you conquer the cold weather. Whether you’re roaming around the village, learning how to ski or snowboard or want to upgrade to the newest equipment, shopping for the right gear can be a challenge. 

Keep reading to find out more from winter’s biggest fans. 


Let’s start at the base, literally. A good base layer can save you on the coldest or warmest days. The number one rule is to stay away from cotton. Instead, try synthetic or merino wool. Synthetic layers can keep you nice and cool on warm days and are breathable when working hard. Merino wool is an excellent option with varying thicknesses; you can plan for any temperature. Why not try something with 100% natural fibres that are breathable and odour resistant? Set yourself up for success from the beginning! 

Check our partners Icebreaker for top-quality Merino wool base layers. 

If you’re recovering from an injury or looking for injury prevention, try compression base layers or socks. Compression socks and pants can help with circulation, increasing the blood flow to specific body areas. 

Mid-layers and layering 

Layering is an essential part of staying warm all winter long. The two main options for mid-layers are down and synthetic. Down filling uses duck or goose down feathers to create high-performance insulation. Typically down is lightweight, breathable and packable. It is an ideal option for cold, dry days. Synthetic insulation is best for wet west coast days. Synthetic layers are not water sensitive, keep insulating even while damp, and are fast drying. There is a time and place for either layer, especially in the Sea to Sky area, where you can experience any and all types of weather in a day. 

Some days, you may want to dress in both layers. For example, a thin synthetic layer underneath a down jacket, while temperatures rise throughout the day, you can remove as needed.

Gearing up for winter in whistler

Photo by Paul Morrison


Whether you’re looking for a rain jacket, intro to skiing jacket or a high-performance shell, there’s a large variety to choose from. If you’re planning to enjoy a stroll through the village or just getting into the world of skiing/snowboarding, you may want to try a fully insulated jacket. It will be great at keeping you warm at all times while walking, standing around, and waiting in lift lines. On the other hand, if you’re looking to progress your skiing/riding or break into the backcountry, you may want to consider a shell jacket. A shell jacket can help you layer properly and protect you from the elements. In Whistler, we experience a high number of rainy and snowy days; having a high-quality, waterproof jacket will last you for years to come. 

When it comes to waterproofing in jackets, keep an eye out for terms such as 3L Gore-tex, Futurelight 3L fibres, and Lifa Infinity technology. In addition, most companies have developed their own waterproofing technologies; find the one that fits you best and is in your price range. 

Winter Ski Gear Whistler

Photo by Eric Berger

Skis and Snowboards 

Skiing or snowboarding can be an intimating sport for many. And why wouldn’t it be? You’re sliding down a massive mountain with sticks strapped to your feet. Learning anything new has its ups and downs, what better place to learn than Whistler Blackcomb’s World-class resort. 

First up, you need to decide if you’re going to be skiing or snowboarding. If you have ever tried surfing or skateboarding and enjoyed yourself, you may want to try snowboarding. Its similar body positioning and movements will likely make the transition easier. Ice skating or rollerblading is a very similar sensation to skiing. Whether you’re skiing or snowboarding, each has pros and cons. It’s up to you to figure out which feels more natural. 

When first starting, it’s best to use skis or boards that are smaller in length. The proper size for you depends on your height and weight; check out the closest Can-Ski to see an expert find the right fit for you. The shorter length will make learning easier, allowing you to make smoother turns and be lighter on your feet. 

If you’re looking to upgrade your current setup, Can-Ski carries the newest lines from top brands. So treat yourself to a setup longer and wider underfoot for Whistler’s deepest pow days. 

Whistler Blackcomb has 8,171 acres of skiable terrain, 35 lifts and gondolas, and 200+ trails. Those who are new to Whistler or skiing/riding, book yourself a lesson to get the most out of your vacation. If you’re an advanced-expert skier, join a clinic or get a guide with Extremely Canadian to show you the goods on the mountain. 


The boots. The base, the start of comfort. Fortunately for our Snowboard friends, their boots are typically always more comfortable. Ski boots are a different story. The soft liners wrapped in cold hard plastic, make it a challenge to find the perfect boot. If you’re renting, try to find boots that fit snug without any pinch points. If you’re planning skiing more than five days a season, investing in a pair of boots would be in your best interest. With custom liners, footbeds, and specific punching, uncomfortable boots are a thing of the past. 

Everyone’s feet are unique; finding the right boot for you depends on your arch, calf muscle, foot width and other factors. Take the time to see a specialist and customize your boots. 

Whistler’s premier boot fitting will be available at select locations: Can-Ski Blackcomb, Can-Ski Creekside, Can-Ski Performance, Can-Ski Village and Summit Sport.


It’s the little things that can affect your vacation. Having a protective helmet, warm gloves, and good-quality goggles can make all the difference. Chose the right helmet for you, try on different models to achieve a snug fit without wiggle room. If you have a previous head injury or want advanced concussion prevention, pick up a helmet with MIPS technology.

Nobody enjoys cold, wet hands. There are various types of gloves with different fabrics, warmth levels, and sizing. Try them on to find what works best for you. Pro tip: If you run cold, try using mittens instead of gloves. 

Whistler has its fair share of cloudy storm days on the mountain; seeing is essential. Having the right pair of goggles will make or break your ski day. If you do a lot of your skiing in Whister, having an “every day” or low light lens is the best option for typical conditions. Experiencing fogging on the mountain can happen; tuck your goggles in an outside jacket pocket to reduce moisture on the lens. To avoid fogging, remember to leave your goggles out in a warm, dry place after skiing. 

Investing in good-quality safety gear will leave you less stressed on the mountain and able to enjoy the fantastic wilderness surrounding you. 

Whistler Winter Clothes

Photo by Eric Berger

Whistler Blackcomb’s Turkey Sale

Winter is creeping around the corner and will be here as soon as we know it! Don’t wait until it’s too late; get prepared early while inventories last. What better time to shop around than during Whistler Blackcomb’s Annual Turkey Sale, receive discounted prices on top quality gear. Sales will be from October 8 - 17, 2021 at select locations. 

Directions and store hours are below! 


  • October 8: 12pm – 8pm
  • October 9-17: 10am – 6pm Daily


  • October 8: 12pm – 8pm
  • October 9-17: 10am – 6pm Daily


  • October 8: 12pm – 8pm
  • October 9-17: 10am – 6pm Daily


  • October 8: 12pm – 8pm
  • October 9-17: 10am – 6pm Daily


  • October 8: 12pm – 8pm
  • October 9-17: 10am – 6pm Daily