Pure Powder's Ski Blog

Call +44 (0)20 7736 8191

Pure Powder’s Skiing Resort Guide: Whistler/Blackcomb

Location: Most famously known as just Whistler, Whistler and Blackcomb are two mountains that sit side by side and make up Canada’s biggest resort. Together they make up a whopping 8,171 acres of terrain, split between pisted runs, Alpine bowls and glaciers.

Whistler Village is at the base of Whistler, the hub of the village is a compact, chalet-style, pedestrian-only mountain village that is overflowing with hotels, restaurants and shops. The village sports a L’Occitaine, The Gap, Lululemon and other small boutiques, as well as a ‘necessities’ area with a supermarket, liquor store and pharmacy – so shopping wise, you have all bases covered.

Pure Powder's Skiing Resort Guide: Whistler/Blackcomb

Getting there: One of the reasons for Whistler’s fame with skiers and non-skiers alike is its accessibility. Visitors fly into Vancouver and from there it’s a quick 2-2.5 hour drive up to the mountain. Many choose to rent cars which is recommended if staying outside of the village as the drive is relatively easy. There are also innumerable car services with vans large enough to carry the whole family and their gear that will drop you at your door.  Buses from downtown Vancouver or the airport go regularly too.

Where to stay: Whistler/Blackcomb has everything to offer so it’s down to personal preference whether guests want to stay in the thick of it inside the village, if you want to be a little bit further out where is quieter; or perhaps on the mountain?

If you want to stay in the thick of it, inside the village, then The Westin Resort & Spa is where you should base yourself. The hotel is just steps away from the gondola to whizz you straight up the mountain and guests are accommodated in spacious one- or two-bedroom suites.  The hotel also has  an indoor/outdoor pool, hot tubs, a fitness centre and a spa.

Whistler Village does in fact have a nightlife and après ski can go on for quite a while so if you’re looking to be away from the buzz then head outside of the village and stay at the Aava Hotel. Just a few extra steps away from the gondolas.

Alternatively, the Fairmont Chateau Whistler is always an excellent choice and is neither on the hill nor in the centre of town, but has very easy access to both.

Pure Powder's Skiing Resort Guide: Whistler/Blackcomb

Highlights: When there is a large dumping of snow 7th Heaven is the place to be. 7th Heaven is a wide, gentle bowl that starts above the trees and descends into them. It can also be traversed to reach some great pitches. Make sure to be there when it opens though – skiers flock to it after fresh snow. The rest of the bowls are also superb on a powder day. To make the most of a powder day, we’d highly recommend doing Fresh Tracks –  you enjoy a cooked buffet breakfast at the Roundhouse Lodge before taking advantage of the fresh powder and the perfectly groomed pistes before the mountain is open to the public.  Win, win!Pure Powder's Skiing Resort Guide: Whistler/Blackcomb

Downsides: Being one of the most famous resorts in the world is itself one of the downsides. During the high season and on weekends it can get very busy (with Vancouvians heading up for a weekend ski). Sometimes the lift queues can take up to 20 minutes at the base of the mountain, however it is a large enough mountain that once through the first few funnels, skiers are spread out between numerous areas.

Pure Powder's Skiing Resort Guide: Whistler/Blackcomb

Best piste run: Heavenly Basin off the Glacier Express chair on Blackcomb is one of the best pisted runs. It holds its powder really well so on a snow day it’s fantastic for some bumps – and the runs that surround it are fantastic too so it’s great to spend a couple of hours exploring this area.

Best off piste run: Spanky’s Ladder has some of the best off piste Whistler has to offer. Spanky’s Ladder is a trail that leads off of a chairlift on Blackcomb Mountain that skiers climb up to access the untracked Garnet, Ruby, Diamond and Sapphire Bowls on the other side.

Pure Powder's Skiing Resort Guide: Whistler/Blackcomb

Best mountain restaurant: The Chic Pea at the top of the Garbonzo Express chair is the best for mountain food. It is a quick service restaurant which serves similar food to the other mountainside lodges, but has a focus on warm soups and sandwiches and healthy salads. It is also much smaller and quieter (some of the lunch lodges can seat over 100) but that does mean it fills up quickly!

Best restaurant in town: When in western Canada, it is an absolute must to have fish, especially salmon. British Columbia has some of the best wild sockeye salmon in the world and with such easy access to the coast Whistler has it in abundance. With that in mind, sushi in the tiny village is excellent; Nagomi Sushi is a great place for a meal as their rolls are always fresh, use high quality ingredients and offer a very quick take away service. For wood-fire pizza – head to Pizza Antico.  And for our favourite farm-to-table dining experience check out Araxi Restaurant & Oyster Bar, there’s a reason why it’s been voted the number 1 best restaurant in Whistler consecutively for the last 10 years.


Posted by: Georgie Knox

Mastering Off-Piste Skiing: An Introductory Guide

  For many thrill seekers, the tame slopes of a ski resort do not offer the excitement they’re looking for – this is where off-piste skiing offers an excellent alternative. The popularity of this adventure-based sport has increased over the past couple of years as skiing has become more accessible to more people. And yet, […]

Posted by: Samantha

Helicopter Skiing: The Ultimate Adrenaline Rush

  If you are interested in undertaking an outdoor adventure like no other, helicopter skiing may be the perfect option for you. Helicopter skiing involves off-piste, downhill skiing with the added thrill of a helicopter trip to reach untouched backcountry terrain.   Perhaps breathtaking views and an exhilarating experience are what you are after? If […]

Posted by: Samantha

About Heli Skiing: Myths And Misconceptions

  For those of you who have already had the chance to head out on your very own heli skiing excursion, you will know what to expect when embarking on your next adventure. For those who have not, this brief guide is for you – we will clear up some common misconceptions regarding heli skiing, […]

Posted by: Samantha

Heli Skiing: Prepare For An Unforgettable Trip

  In the past, heli skiing used to be a sport that only those adventurous few who could afford the exorbitant cost could enjoy. However, more recently, with the help of companies like Pure Powder, the sport has become more accessible than ever. Today more and more avid skiers are being introduced to and partaking […]

Posted by: Samantha

Plan An Unforgettable Off-Piste Skiing Trip

  If you are eager to set off on an unforgettable off-piste skiing trip, then you have come to the right place. Pure Powder is one of the best ski specialists based in the UK, but we organise off-piste ski adventures all around the world. In this quick read, we will cover some essential information […]

Posted by: Samantha

A Comprehensive Guide To Heli Ski Preparations

  Let’s get into the ins and outs of trip preparation for your next heli ski adventure! At Pure Powder, we take care of all the logistical aspects of your skiing experience, but there are a few things you can do from your side to make sure that you kick off the excursion as prepared […]

Posted by: Samantha

Helicopter Skiing vs Resort Skiing: A Comparison Of Skiing Experiences

  Over the past few years, there has been a rapid rise in the popularity of helicopter skiing. Spurred ever onwards by this increased interest in the sport, Pure Powder strives to make heli skiing an accessible activity for skiing novices and veterans alike. With helicopter skiing now more accessible than ever, avid adventurers have […]

Posted by: Samantha

Steep Heli Skiing: Exploring Alaska

  If real thrills are what you’re searching for, heli skiing with Pure Powder is the way to go. We organise heli skiing trips all over the globe, tailoring each experience to your level of expertise. For the experienced skiers looking for an adrenaline rush, Alaska is the holy grail of pure skiing freedom.   […]

Posted by: Samantha

Heli Ski Gear Guide: Must-Have Skiing Equipment

  If you have ever participated in a heli ski experience, you will know that having the right equipment is essential. Not only does the heli ski gear protect you from the elements out in the backcountry, but it can also improve the entire experience overall. Regarding heli ski gear, experienced skiers stick to functional […]

Posted by: Samantha

Incredible Heli Skiing Destinations

  If you are considering setting off on your very first heli skiing adventure, allow us to walk you through some of the amazing options you have at your disposal! In this brief guide, we will have a look at a few different heli ski destinations and consider what makes each of them unique.   […]

Posted by: Samantha

Off-Piste Skiing: Embrace The Freedom Of Untracked Slopes

  Very few sensations can be compared to the feeling of off-piste skiing in deep powder snow. If you have yet to throw yourself into one of these incredible ski excursions, allow us to fill you in on the basics of off-piste skiing. In this brief guide, we will cover what exactly an off-piste skiing […]

Posted by: Samantha

Helicopter Skiing: The Ultimate Alpine Experience

  Helicopter skiing is a great way to take your ski experience to the next level. In this brief guide, we will explain the differences between our tailored heli skiing excursions and your typical ski getaway. Of course, this is not to say that a standard resort skiing trip cannot be a great experience, but […]

Posted by: Samantha

Some Useful Advice For Your Heli Skiing Adventure

  As exciting as a heli skiing trip surely is, it is always best to go prepared. In this quick read, we will walk you through a few different aspects of our heli skiing adventures, arming you with everything you need to know about heli skiing before you embark on your trip.   When you […]

Posted by: Samantha

Best Heli Skiing In Canada: Make Your Next Adventure Unforgettable

  CMH Heli Skiing offers not only the best heli skiing in Canada, but some of the best off-piste skiing adventures in the world. The interior ranges of western British Columbia, Canada have been hailed as the Mecca of heli skiing excursions, and for good reason. There is no shortage of choice with Canadian Mountain […]

Posted by: Samantha

Exploring The Heli Ski World: An Introductory Guide

  When hearing the term “heli ski”, peoples’ minds often wander to the world of action movies. The word may evoke images of James Bond or Jason Bourne leaping off a helicopter several feet in the air onto a steep slope, followed by villains, as they expertly manoeuvre their way down death-defying heights and avoiding […]

Posted by: Samantha

Off-Piste Skiing: Your Questions Answered

  If taking on challenging terrain sounds like a thrilling adventure, then off-piste skiing may just be the ideal outdoor sport for you. Venturing outside the boundaries of standard ski resorts can be a rewarding experience, allowing you to leave behind the groomed slopes and instead make tracks across the fresh snow of the backcountry. […]

Posted by: Samantha

Heli Skiing: Everything You Need To Know

  Heli skiing is an invigorating outdoor sport involving breathtaking views from remote backcountry slopes. Whether you are an excited first-time/beginner skier or a seasoned skier looking for a new challenge, heli skiing has something to offer. In this quick read, we will be covering everything you need to know about heli skiing.   If […]

Posted by: Samantha

Pure Powder’s Skiing Resort Guide: Silver Star

Location: Located in the stunning Okanagan Valley, Silver Star is British Colombia’s fourth largest ski resort where you can expect the famous champagne powder we all know and love due to being further west. The varied terrain spreads over 3,282 acres and attracts every kind of skier. Getting there: Silver Star is extremely easy to get […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Pure Powder’s Skiing Resort Guide: Sun Peaks

Location: Sun Peaks is the second biggest ski area in Canada, behind Whistler. It is the perfect warm up destination for anyone who is heli skiing at CMH’s Cariboos Lodge. Getting there: Sun Peaks is located in the heart of British Columbia, only a 45 minute drive from Kamloops and less than an hour by […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Tree Skiing in BC, Canada

The tree skiing in the interior ranges of British Columbia is very unique.  The trees protect the snow from wind and sun damage; so not only is it where you would expect the deepest snow to be, it is also where the powder remains perfect for longer which makes tree skiing a very enjoyable experience! […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell