Spring Ski Season is Here
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After a few months filled with shorter days and colder weather, we are starting to say goodbye to our winter season and say hello to spring.
If you have planned a spring ski vacation to Whistler, you are in for a treat. Spring in Whistler is arguably one of our favourite times of the year. The days are brighter; birds are starting to break out in song, snow is melting in the valley, and there's more bluebird days on the mountain and simply good vibes all around.
We've compiled a list of the top things to know for Whistler's best spring skiing experience. From the right gear to the best place for an afternoon beer, prepare for the spring skiing experience of a lifetime.
For spring skiing, you want to prepare for changing temperatures. The best way to do that is by dressing in lightweight, moisture-wicking layers. The sun's rays can be warm, but you may work up a sweat and find yourself routinely skiing or standing in the shade again. This can get chilly quickly, especially if your clothes get damp. So, layers are your friend!
Bringing a backpack along will also come in handy for removing extra clothes and carrying other essentials we will mention below. If you plan on hanging around Whistler or Creekside Village, you can also benefit from packing a different shirt to change into once the ski day is over.
As you may know, the sun is stronger higher up on the mountain, especially with the reflection of the snow. To avoid sun damage and dry, burnt, or chapped lips, sunscreen and lip balm with SPF 15 or higher are essential. You also want to protect your eyes.
On a bright day, wearing goggles with darker lenses will protect your eyes while still allowing you to see clearly. Wearing lenses made for snowy and overcast conditions on a sunny day can actually damage your eyes, as they are designed to let in more light.
We all know that feeling comfortable throughout your ski day makes a difference. If you have ever experienced sweaty hands while skiing, you'll recall it's not the best feeling. You’ll want to avoid sweating heavily in your gloves, especially when you plan to ski multiple days in a row. Consider getting a pair of lighter-weight gloves for your spring skiing adventures. You'll thank us later!
Now that we have you covered from head to toe, getting your ski or snowboard ready for the spring conditions is next. With warmer temperatures, the snow can become more of a slush consistency, making for a sticky ride if your gear hasn't been waxed recently.
If you're staying in Whistler Creekside, we recommend you take your skis or snowboard to Canski for a fresh wax.
Weather and Conditions
One of the perks of spring skiing is you can take your time getting on the hill and not worry about being unable to get enough runs in. At this time of year, the longer hours of sunlight allow the lifts to remain open until 4 pm. So if you wish, you can enjoy snoozing in and a relaxing breakfast before heading to the hill for some sunshine laps.
One thing to note is that it's always a good idea to check the weather and conditions before heading up the hill. For instance, if the snow had melted from the afternoon prior and froze overnight, it could be relatively hard-packed.
That being said, if you're after skiing crisp groomers, you'll want to head up early before the sun starts heating the snow again.
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Planning Your Day
If you're looking to enjoy a day of sun-filled skiing or riding, your best bet is to start your morning on Whistler and then take the Peak 2 Peak gondola over to Blackcomb.
On Whistler, we recommend Whistler Bowl off of Peak Chair because it tends to receive a nice amount of morning sunlight. Although, this is a black diamond run and is not suitable for beginners. Additionally, Harmony Ridge off of Harmony Chair is also a popular run appropriate for all skill levels which offers beautiful views of Blackcomb and the surrounding mountains.
As the afternoon draws near, it's a good time to take the Peak 2 Peak gondola and enjoy a scenic ride between Whistler and Blackcomb. Once on Blackcomb, 7th Heaven is an all-time favourite spot for spring skiing. The lift is positioned perfectly to soak up all the afternoon rays. You also get a beautiful view of Whistler from this location.
When hunger sets in, you have several options. Both Roundhouse Lodge on Whistler and Rendezvous on Blackcomb have large decks with outdoor seating and stunning views.
The lodges are great places to rest your legs, have a bite to eat and drink a cold beer or refreshment. However, if you want to steer away from the crowds, a popular aspect of the warmer weather during this time of year is it allows for comfortable picnics outside. So pack some lunch and snacks with you, and find a quiet scenic spot on the slopes and enjoy the ultimate mountain top picnic.
We highly recommend giving it a try on one of your ski days.
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Finishing off the Day:
After a day of exploring the world-class ski terrain on Whistler and Blackcomb, it's time to make your way over to the gondola.
During late spring, the snow melts closer to the valley. At this time, rocks, trees, and other obstacles become exposed through the snow, and it's no longer accessible to ski from the top to the bottom of the mountain. Download the gondola to the mountain's base to ensure your safety and save your skis and board from damage.
Whether you're heading to one of the many restaurants and bars in the main village or enjoying the local favourite spot, Dusty's, in Creekside, you will have an exceptional time enjoying the sun-soaked patio aprés scene in Whistler, BC.