Come and join in the largest end of season party on the planet! After 17 years the annual Whistler World Ski and Snowboard Festival is still going strong and due to take over the village on April 12-21 for 10 days of the best parties, the best shows and of course, the best skiing!
The Ski and Snowboard Festival marks the winding down of another winter season, as the days become longer and the sun starts to shine more brightly, come together and celebrate the best ski resort in the world!
You’ll be spoiled for choice as the festival is jam-packed with events including free daily concerts from 2:30-5:30pm at the base of Whistler mountain, parties featuring some of the best DJs in the world, film showings and some of the greatest ski and snowboarding talent on the planet. Whistler is known for being home to more pro riders than anywhere else in the world and for ruling Freeskiing so the shows are truly incredible! The festival kicks off with the Association of Freeskiing Professionals (AFP) Championship featuring the Big Air, Slopestyle and Superpipe competitions. The most talented skiers come together to show off their skills and compete for the coveted title of Big Air Champion. Wowing the crowd as they perform huge jumps, hit the most intimidating rails and get everyone’s adrenaline pumping, you’ll be jumping in your seat!
A relatively new addition to the World Ski and Snowboard Festival is Intersection. This snow sports film competition gives amateur film makers the chance to win $15 000 and to be crowned Best of Show. This year will be its third year at the festival and in its short time it has become one of the most popular events with an average 1800 person crowd! Viewing is held at the conference centre and shown on the big screens to a hyped audience. The rules are simple, the film must be shot over a 7 day period, it has to feature both a skier and a snowboarder and be shot within 100km of Whistler. It must contain at least 30 seconds of park footage and 75% of all footage has to be on the snow! So come and support the local talent and watch some of the most entertaining ski videos out there!
The World Ski and Snowboard Festival represents everything we love about Whistler- great riding, great entertainment and great fun!
Good goggles can make or break a fantastic day’s skiing and having clear vision is the key to success on the mountain. Intersport Rent- Affinity Sports sell a variety of goggles in our stores and our most popular goggle by far is made by Smith Optics. A firm favorite with many riders, including myself, Smith have won multiple awards for their industry leading design including the Backpacker’s publication Editor’s Choice Award for 2012. We carry a range of Smith goggles including the I/O and I/OS models. Smith Optics excel in every area from protection to comfort and offer the best design on the market. The I/O and I/OS share the same design qualities the only difference is the size, the I/OS is created to fit smaller faces. Taken from Smith’s Vaporator series this goggle features a 5x anti-fog inner lenses and guarantees fog-free skiing! The frameless design allows a fantastic field of vision and means lens are easily interchangeable to suit the conditions. It also fits perfectly with most helmets ensuring a snug but comfortable fit, the 3 layer DriWix face foam and lightweight design means you can ride all day!
Spring has sprung in Whistler! March has bought some super sunshine and soaring temperatures to the village! It has been as high as +9 degrees some days and with low winds and bluebird sky, Spring Skiing has arrived! So take off a layer, slap on the sunscreen and head up the mountain to top up your goggle tan! The spring conditions have revealed Whistler’s spectacular views to the max, so now is the perfect time to grab a beer, relax outside the Rendezvous and take in the stunning surroundings. With the clock change on March 11th and the lifts open until 4pm now, the days are longer which means more riding time! These spring conditions may not last long, Whistler had a huge snowfall count of 405cm in March alone last year so embrace the sunshine while it lasts!
We have had a drought, not a drought by normal standards but three weeks without snow in Whistler is a really dry spell for us. Thankfully it’s all over and a wet Pacific front blasted us with 40cm of fresh snow in the Alpine. The roads were chaos as the freezing line was almost to the coast making Highway 99 a skating rink for the first time in weeks. The high winds have loaded the northern and western facing slopes with plenty of snow and just in time for the weekend. There has even been a rush on renting “heli” skis; I’m guessing people have been waiting for fresh snow before booking their trips. The weather has now split leaving a forecast of blue skies for the weekend before another, even larger front moves in on Sunday night and again on Wednesday. The usual weather pattern for Whistler is here again, front after front of wet snow pounding the coast. If you have a few days left on your edge cards or thinking of skiing Whistler or Blackcomb soon, I would recommend this weekend or coming week. March is going to be a busy month but the next 7 days should be great condition with very short lines ups at the lifts.
Its that time of year when all the manufacturers tell us that our equipment is out of date and next years gear is that much better. They spend a week showing off the latest and greatest the ski industry has to offer. I’m going to cherry pick the best of the best and show them to you. First up from Rossignol; the much hyped and anticipated Soul 7.
This ski has had an amazing pre-launch…its everywhere; Facebook, you tube, reviews, awards, E-blasts, pro skiers recommendations and blogs. The Soul 7 is 106mm under foot and combines the weight of a back country set up with the ability of a free ride ski. Rossignol has reduced weight between 15-20% by adding a hollow tip and tail; looks like a bee hive design. This make the ski more suitable to touring and reduces the swing weight (Reduced swing weight makes steering the skis easier.) The down side of lighter skis is usually increased tip and tail chatter at higher speeds, but not for the Soul 7. The Soul 7 is in a league of its own for this. The soul 7 is rocker-ed (but not as heavily as the S7) in the tip & tail and cambered under foot, allowing for a smooth confidence building turn. The Soul 7 is very easy to ski and is trying to be a one ski quiver, it skis powder easily but also holds an edge on the hard pack. We think it is a winning combination.
Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains are sitting under a high pressure system that has given some amazing blue bird days and warm temperatures. While the east coast has been hit by a huge storm we have had a series of smaller fronts leave 5-10cms per day and then clear out to leave great ski conditions. The wind has loaded east and north east facing slopes with up to 12 inches of new snow but has scrapped of the snow from the westerly alpine slopes. All the alpine bowls are in great condition and the ski runs have a layer of soft packed snow. We are so used to endless powder days in Whistler that when we have a high pressure and no new precipitation some locals choose not to ski. However the feed back from our European guests and East coats skiers is that conditions are amazing. The weather experts are predicting a weak front to come through next Tuesday and Wednesday but without much new snow. It looks like its time to test out the new race carvers, tune up your edges and don’t forget the sunscreen.
This weekend saw the end of Whistler Winter Pride and the start of the new family day. A new holiday on Monday combined with an extra day off means some people are taking a four day weekend in Whistler. The shops, slopes and restaurants were busy this weekend and it is a welcome boost to the Whistler economy. It is good to see so many young families trying the sport of skiing and have some amazing conditions to learn the basics.
Skier One: Bet you can’t back flip on skis in the dark through a hoop of burning fire??? Skier Two: Too easy! Do you think people will want to watch? Skier One: Hells yeah; How about Sunday? I ll tell my friends. Skier two: See you on Sunday…you bring the fire?
and that is how it began. (maybe!) A now weekly event where families and visitors flock to the base of Whistler and Blackcomb mountain in the skiers plaza at 6.30pm waiting to see tricks and flips with music and fireworks flying. This free event has been a crowd pleaser for many years and the kids love watching the skiers and snowboarders going huge. The timing of this event is perfect for a pre-dinner activity and before the warm of a hot meal. Remember to dress warm and get there early, the show is hard to see for kids at the back. I would recommend warm foot wear and bring a video camera. It would make great addition to the family video of your Whistler vacation.
Temperature Inversion!!! Whistler has experienced an intense temperature inversion over the last 10 days which has meant clear bluebird skies, sun-soaked slopes and warm mountain conditions! With cold temperatures in the Village and the temperature increasing up the mountain, being up top has definitely been the best place to be! There have been some days where the top has been 8 degrees warmer than the valley! Conditions on the hill have been incredible; clear visibility, minimal winds and sunshine have made guests and locals very happy! While these picturesque conditions have been greatly enjoyed, they have lasted a while and it`s time for some snow! Tuesday will be cloudy with a cold front coming in and Whistler Blackcomb is due 3-5cm of snow on Wednesday.
Arguably the most popular time of year here in Whistler, the village comes alive over the Christmas period with everyone after their own special piece of Winter Wonderland, this year was as magical as ever, bright lights lined the streets, festive cheer filled the air and spirits were high in the Village.
Many activities were on offer and enjoyed by tourists and locals alike, from sleigh rides in the snow to Christmas Caroling on Christmas Eve the atmosphere was electric. Festivities kicked off on December 22nd with the Garibaldi Lift Company at the base of Whistler Mountain offering a free lift pass for the first 75 people dressed as Santa or Mrs. Claus!
The mountain conditions couldn’t have been better, with 5 days of powder followed by 5 days of blue skies there was definitely magic in the air! The perfect powder coverage on the slopes, clear skies and our fresh 2013 skis- from the Volkl Mantra to the Salomon Rockette 90- meant there were plenty of smiles and happy guests over the holidays!
Whistler Village rang in 2013 in style, with a spectacular fireworks display, ice skating at Whistler Olympic Plaza and plenty of music and dancing- people of all ages joined in the revelries! A family-orientated celebration there were arts and crafts to entertain the children and street performances all around the village, it certainly was a Happy New Year in Whistler Village, bring on 2013!