Sitting lakeside in a hammock, embracing winter and taking in the snowy view.

The blanket of white has fallen in Whistler, and it’s here to stay. There is something about a fresh coating of snow that makes things feel brand new and makes us excited to explore with a new perspective. Our rituals change with the season; our morning routines take a little bit longer as we slip on a pair of cozy gloves to scrape off the windshield and shovel the front step before embarking on our day. Winter slows us down and reminds us that it is the season that put this beautiful backyard of ours on the map.

We think living in a winter wonderland is magical and couldn’t wait for the return of winter! While skiing and snowboarding are a big part of embracing winter and welcoming the snow to Whistler, we want to welcome it all! We love the entire lifestyle change that comes with our favourite season! Get a little inspiration from our Return of Winter video on the endless, frosty inspired adventures, big and small, that await in Whistler.

I love watching this video because it makes me antsy to get outside and embrace winter. Here is a breakdown of what our crew did in the video to keep your creative planning juices flowing! If you’d prefer that someone else create the perfect winter escape for you, check out the Gibbons Life Party Reps – they know how to line up multiple days of winter inspired fun!

Embracing Winter through Snow Exploration

Winter skin that is tolerant of the cold is only built by playing outside often. The more time you spend outside in the winter, the less the cold temperatures will make you shiver, meaning embracing winter adventures will be more enjoyable and you’ll want to do it more often! If you need tips on how to dress like a pro for winter activities check out our Ski Gear Essentials Guide.

Skiing and Snowboarding

Whistler is the epicentre for skiing and snowboarding. Whistler Blackcomb offers seemly endless terrain for all abilities and all snow conditions. If ski touring or splitboarding is more your style, we’ve got plenty of opportunities for that too! Before stepping foot in the backcountry make sure you’ve educated yourself on avalanche safety. Start by taking an AST course with Mountain Skills Academy, have the essential ski touring gear (beacon, shovel probe at minimum) and are with a crew you trust.

With that said – amazing touring can be accessed off of Whistler Blackcomb or other areas in Garibaldi Provincial Park. Pick up a copy of John Baldwin’s backcountry maps for your area of choice to get some insight before venturing into the backcountry.

Skiing in deep powder snow.

Carve it up. Nothing says embracing winter like shredding pow. Image: Abby Cooper

Snowshoeing and Cross Country Skiing

If the downhill rush isn’t your main thing, give snowshoeing a go! You can reach the base of the screen Alexander Falls that is featured in the video or book a snowshoe tour with Canadian Wilderness Adventures!

Looking to go a little bit faster than snowshoes can carry you? Try Cross Country Skiing, it is in abundance in Whistler! The Lost Lake trails offer a beautifully groomed trail system right next to the Whistler Village, or head out to Olympic Park or Callaghan Country for even more trails! One thing that these exploration missions have in common? Toasty layers, a bit of planning and of course a coffee to go – don’t forget that one!

Activities for Non-Skiers and Boarders

Personally, I love skiing and snowboarding, but I have plenty of friends that don’t feel quite as strongly about the sport, and that’s okay! As mentioned above there are tons of activities in town that don’t require you to sit on a chairlift with various sliding devices strapped to your feet. So many in fact that there is an entire blog dedicated to winter in Whistler for non-skiers and boarders, check it out! You don’t have to commit to a full day of the outdoors to have a little taste of winter fun!

Embracing Winter with Cozy Things

Regardless of if you love being outdoors in winter or not, we can pretty much promise anyone that they will enjoy popping a bottle of bubbles on the Longhorn Saloon patio next to a warm fire pit. Tapley’s Pub also has a cozy fire pit setting and poutine to boot! If you’re visiting Canada and haven’t sampled poutine, you must check that off the list! Nothing says après like melting cheese curds and warm gravy poured over French fries, yum!

Poutine served at Tapley's.

A bucket-list treat. First time in Canada – you need to try the poutine at Tapley’s!

Next on the cozy list, is most definitely hot tubing! Whether you prefer to visit the Scandinave Spa or soak in a private hot tub, there is something universally amazing about relaxing in hot water outside while surround by snow. Ready to move indoors for the evening? There is no better spot in the house than next to a crackling fire.

There is no doubt in our minds that winter is a magical time of year. Our inner child shows as we all find joy playing in the snow in various forms. The conversations that happen around a cozy fire with tea or cocoa in hand are something I always look forward to. Join us in embracing winter and share your favourite winter experiences by using the hashtag #ThisIsWhistler on Instagram!


Feature Image: Kris Harris

Abby Cooper

A lover of all things outdoors, Abby Cooper is a splitboarder, hiker, adventurer, year-round snow seeker, photographer and writer.