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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

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

CMH Private Heli Skiing Trips

Heli skiing is the ultimate skiing experience – we don’t know a skier out there who doesn’t have heli skiing on their bucket list.  What’s not to want – deep, untracked powder in every direction, fresh tracks at every turn, no lift queues and a helicopter at your service!  Now, imagine it all to yourself […]

Posted by: Georgie Knox

Where Can I Go Small Group Heli Skiing?

Smaller heli ski groups mean greater opportunities for deep snow and more epic lines; and  heli skiing in groups made up of 4- or 5- guests can mean that your mountain experience is as intimate as possible.  You can either fill a helicopter with your buddies or join a ready made small group.  It’s best […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Pure Powder’s Resort Guide: Revelstoke

Location: Revelstoke Mountain Resort is located in North America’s ‘deep snow capital’ in the heart of British Columbia. It was voted Canada’s Best Ski Resort in 2020, which is most likely due to its 3,120 acres of skiable terrain that includes the longest vertical ski hill in North America, trumping Whistler in 2008 when their […]

Posted by: Suzy Small

Where Can I Heli Ski In Chile? 

What a better way to spend the summer than heli skiing in the Andes…Powder South, offers an excellent heli skiing programme which is be based out of four different locations.     The Heli Skiing Programme:   Heli Skiing in Chile is based out of the Chilean Andes Mountains and it has access to over 1 million acres of terrain – where to heli ski here is endless. Most of the skiing is on open Alpine […]

Posted by: Georgie Knox

The Top 5 Heli Ski Lodges in the World

We’re all about the best powder skiing experiences in the world, and as your heli ski experts it is only right that will pull together our top five ultimate heli ski lodges in the world. We couldn’t think of any where else we would prefer to be right now. Each lodge is sumptuous, with impeccable […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Pure Powder’s Christmas Gift Guide for Skiers & Boarders

Stuck for Christmas gifts for the skier or snowboarder in the family or for friends…then check out our ultimate gift list for this upcoming Christmas Go Pro Hero9 A Go Pro has to be the ultimate gift for any skier or snowboarder and the Go Pro Hero9 is the one to go for. As the […]

Posted by: Georgie Knox

In the Press: Forbes

In The Press: Forbes Photo from Tordrillo Mountain Lodge Alaska has to be one of the most desired places to heli ski in the world, and we aren’t the only ones that think so. Forbes have recently written an article saying that “avid skiers are seeking out Alaska as the top place to heli-ski” Alaska […]

Posted by: Georgie Knox

Plan B. Where Can I Heli Ski During A Covid-19 Winter?

We’re massive fans of the interior ranges of British Columbia in Canada and in our humble opinion it’s as close as heli ski perfection as you can get.  It’s where you’ll find huge expanses of un-tracked ‘Champagne’ powder, tree-skiing for bad-weather days and unbeatable heli skiing know-how from the guides and pilots.   However, this is no normal season and as things stand the Canadian government are keeping […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Pure Powder’s Ultimate Heli Ski Packing List

It’s all very exciting – you’ve got your trip booked; flight tickets in hand; passport at the ready…  you can practically smell the powder!  However, you’re standing over an empty bag thinking – have I got everything?  We’ve pulled together our top packing tips to make sure that you’re all set.  What ski clothes to pack?  […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Are Touring boots compatible with CMH bindings?

Photo By: Zach Doleac  Our most asked question in the 2019/2020 season was – are my ski touring boots compatible with the CMH bindings?  So… we’ve decided to write a blog about it and get it answered once and for all! Taking skis CMH Heli Skiing provide all their guests with fat, powder skis which […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Pure Powder’s Resort Guide: Kicking Horse

Location: Kicking Horse Mountain Resort’s 1,315 vertical is known for its deep light powder and huge snowfall – no wonder it’s nicknamed the Champagne Powder Capital of Canada. It attracts skiers looking to experience amazing snow in a picturesque setting. Kicking Horse has a wide variety of terrain in its 3,400 skiable acres; better suited […]

Posted by: Georgie Knox

Pure Powder’s Skiing Resort Guide: Lake Louise

Location: Lake Louise is a hamlet located in the Banff National Park in the Rocky Mountains. Its name comes from the extraordinary vibrant blue lake which is at the base of Mount Victoria. The lake itself is a 6-minute drive from the centre of the hamlet and was named after Princess Louise Caroline Alberta, the fourth Daughter of Queen Victoria. Although the hamlet is small with only a few hotels and […]

Posted by: Georgie Knox

Pure Powder’s Resort Guide: Banff

Location: Banff is located in a picturesque National Park in Alberta, Canada.  It was named by the President of the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1884 after his hometown Banffshire in Scotland. With one of the longest ski seasons in North America, Banff has access to over 8,000 acres of ski terrain spread across is three ski […]

Posted by: Georgie Knox

Pure Powder’s Top 10 Blogs of 2020

We’ve updated our top 10 favourite ski blogs which bring you the latest ski news, top tips and fashionable destinations.  Get your powder fix today and whet your appetite for the season ahead…  powdermatt.com/   To kick off the list we have this cracking a blog by Matt Mosteller – one year, while his friends were busy getting […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Top Resorts for your Heli Ski Warm Up in Canada

The Telegraph listed their Top Ten Ski Resorts in Canada, among them was some of our favourites for pre-heli ski warm up.  They are great destinations to try out that famous Canadian powder before you embark on your heli skiing adventure with CMH.   Revelstoke Revelstoke is a small town but is the perfect place […]

Posted by: Georgie Knox

Heli Skiing for First Timers – What are my Options?

Embarking on a heli skiing trip for the first time can be daunting and so we wanted to highlight some options specifically geared towards first time heli skiers. If you are a strong piste skier, have a decent level of fitness and are keen to start skiing in the powder then heli skiing could be […]

Posted by: Charlie Brooksbank

Heli Skiing in Canada: 4 reasons why it’s special

If you’ve ever wondered why 95% of the world’s heli skiing operators are based in Canada check out our 4 reasons why heli skiing in Canada is a must for everyone’s bucket lists. ONE// TERRAIN They say size doesn’t matter, but in the case of heli skiing, Canada’s sheer scale makes it the perfect place […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell