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Best Time To Ski Whistler

Best Time

For Smaller Crowds

Dec 5 to
Dec 20

Best Time To Ski Whistler For Smaller Crowds: Whistler's size of more than 8,000 acres made it legendary in North America. So did its vertical drop, at more than 5,000 feet. With two separate peaks comprising all of this—Whistler and Blackcomb—there are seemingly endless places to stow stashes. How can a place so vast get crowded? It can.

Whistler's popularity is international; the place gets mobbed by Aussies, Brits, and now even Chinese skiers all looking for a piece of the action they've seen in a photo or a ski movie. Long story short: people like this place a lot—and so they show up, a lot. But Whistler's crowds can be tamed if you know where to go.

The early season, before Christmas, while very much a dice roll at many ski resorts, tends to be a fairly dependable time for snow at Whistler. The resort is still sleepy in mid-December, and the temperatures are lower, keeping rain off of the base area, a condition that can pop up in the spring.

Best Time

For Lower Costs

Jan 20 to
Feb 20

Cheapest Time To Ski Whistler: Some of the big peak periods at U.S. ski resorts are much less of a big deal at Whistler—the biggest of which is President's Day. While this weekend in the United States is associated with high costs and crowded slopes, but it's just another weekend in Canada and for the international crowd that frequents Whistler. So this prime weekend is a great time to escape to Whistler when travel and lodging costs at U.S. ski resorts are all jacked up. The same effect holds true for Martin Luther King Day in January, which sees elevated crowds across much of U.S. ski resorts.

Best Time

To Fly

To Whistler

Tues, Weds and
Fridays and Sats

Best Time To Fly To Whistler: There is no way to hack the travel conundrum that is Whistler. Most skiers coming from places farther than Seattle will fly to Vancouver and then trek 150 minutes from there. As many destination skiers are coming from places other than the West Coast, this means a four-plus hour flight with an additional drive that can take three hours. Short of going to Alaska, this is the biggest travel commitment required from any North American ski destination. Finding cheap flights to Vancouver can be tough; it's a long flight and airlines can charge a lot for directs in. Look for flights away from peak business travel times—avoid Sunday nights, Mondays and Thursdays—and hone in on flights on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, when there tends to be more tourist fliers, who are far more sensitive to price, something the airlines' algorithms know.

Best Time

For Snow

Jan 15 to
Feb 15

Best Time To Ski Whistler For Snow: Whistler gets a lot of snow all winter, as storms fresh off of the Pacific swarm the coastal ranges of British Columbia with steady barrages of moisture. These storms, however, tend to be quite a bit warmer than those that set upon mountain further inland on the continent. Warm means wet, and those who ski Whistler often know these conditions well. Because the mountain is so tall—at more than 5,000 feet separating the peaks and the village—it can be snowing perfect light snow toward the top of the mountain and raining at the bottom. We like it when it snows across the entire length of the resort, of course, and there's more of those storms when it's coldest. Whistler is fairly dependable for precipitation, and the mountain usually has good coverage by the first week of January. For the best conditions, on average, trek to Whistler in early to mid-January, when storms tend to be at their coldest.

Whistler Snow Quality Across Full Winter
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