Family Day is a stat holiday in British Columbia and fell on Monday, February 9th this year. Whistler Blackcomb Ski Resort was having 50% off regular day passes for BC residents to celebrate so my family thought it would be a great idea to hit the slopes! Was pumped as got a great Helly Tech ‘Approach’ PERFORMANCE jacket for Christmas at Sport Chek in Richmond Centre. Perfect for BC ski hills where it can be snowing one day and raining the next! Waterproof, windproof and breathable, love it. Also can wear to work and not get soaked when walking around the UBC campus during the winter.
Getting up a 5 am isn’t exactly my thing, I like to sleep in though sleeping in now is 8 am vs noon like in my teens. The VW Tiguan was loaded up the night before so by 5:45 am we were on the road. It took a little over 2 hours to drive from UBC to the day parking lot at Whistler. Traffic was almost non-existent the entire trip there.
The closest day parking lot at Whistler is $8/day. Used to be free but $8 is a good price for parking within a 10 minute walk with gear to the lifts.
Only a few people in line at the ticket booth when we got there, showed my driver’s license and wrote down our names so the ticket guy could issue the day pass tickets with our names on each. The credit card sized ticket has RFID or some sort of chip as you can put it in your left hand pocket and the lift gates automatically open when you walk to them. Really cool.
Waited in line for maybe 10 minutes max to catch the gondola up and the four of us has a private gondola ride to roundhouse lodge, about a 20 minute ride.
We skied almost every green run there was and a few blue runs. My oldest daughter is 11 and is the best skier in the family and can do some black runs, my wife is super-fit and can handle most blues, I am next with easy blues and my youngest daughter is starting to get her legs and can keep up with me now at the age of 7. How quick they learn!
Noticed on one of the lifts we all have Völkl skis, the designs on skies nowadays, especially the snowboards are amazing. I picked up my skis and boots from Sports Junkies on Broadway several years ago. Something like $199 for the set of used gear. Not cutting edge but for my level totally fine. The girls all got their gear at Comor Sports on 4th and Burrard. The moved locations this year, just across the street, as their old building was razed for what looks like a new development.
Started to get busier as the morning progressed but Whistler has so many runs it never felt crowded at all. The lines for the lifts were a bit longer but we always managed to get on in less than 10 minutes. The people who really had it sweet were the single skiiers who entered he single line and could merge on to a chair almost immediately.
Ate lunch at the Roundhouse around 11:30. 3 cheese and bacon burgers and 1 curry rice plus a coke and water was about $65. Pricey but was really good. Very large table seating area and took a bit to find a table for the 4 of us. Oddly we could not find any desserts, Chick Pea Hut has cinnamon buns etc but all the girls could find at the Roundhouse were some chips to snack on after.
After lunch took Marmot trail and caught the Harmony Express lift to the top of the mountain and skied Symphony Bowl. The sun was out, snow was firm and it was great. What a spectacular view! We did about 5 more runs after.
Skied to the bottom of the mountain and headed for the car. Traffic back to Vancouver was brutal from when we left at 3:30pm. The return drive time was about double the time it took to get to Whistler! Never knew so many people could depart from the Whistler/Pemberton area after a long weekend to Vancouver. Would have been nice to have been on one of those Whistler coach buses and had a snooze or read a book instead of driving.
Spectacular day, and a beautiful mountain, thanks Whistler!