Canada Ski Blog

Canada-Ski news, views and travel specials on resorts in the Canadian Rockies and Western Canada.

Whistler Blackcomb saw the most snow since records began in November but will this record-breaking start to the season save Whistler from the phenomenon known as “Olympic Aversion”?

With headlines like “Olympic Aversion grounds Vancouver-bound flights” and some properties still not booked for the Olympics, there is no wonder why tourism officials and property owners in Whistler are bracing themselves.

Olympic aversion is caused by the fear that the Olympics will mean that there are large crowds and no or little accommodation available with extortionate prices. Over the Olympics (February 11 to 28, 2010) this is partially true. However, during the Olympic events, Whistler Blackcomb is still open and so while the crowds are watching the events, you have the rest of the 8,171 acres/3,307 hectares spread out over two mountains to ski and ride.

Olympic venues such as Turin, Salt Lake City and Beijing have all seen this aversion and so Whistler Blackcomb are doing everything they can from stopping this from happening by extending discounts to their ski tour agents and operators.

Here are some things you can take advantage of as a result of the “Olympic aversion”:

  1. Early-bird ski passes can be bought up to January 15 2010 saving you up to 50% (in previous years this date was November 15). Rates can be viewed here.
  2. Incredible deals on Whistler accommodation before and after the Olympics (February 11 to 28, 2010) as property owners and managers scramble to get their places filled.
  3. The mountains will be quieter than normal away from the events and around the events.

We have seen that this Olympic aversion has affected the whole of the 2009-2010 winter season in Whistler with guests opting for other ski resorts in Western Canada all together even around the Olympic dates and so great deals are to be had throughout the season.

To make things even harder to attract more guests to Whistler this season, other ski locations such as Banff (Banff Norquay, Sunshine Village, Lake Louise) are offering the lowest rates we have ever seen on accommodation, lift passes and airport transfers making it all more tempting for the budget-conscious traveller to choose an alternative to Whistler this year which in this economy, who can blame them?

At this stage it seems the “Olympic Aversion” is happening in Whistler as predicted but the true extent will not be known until after this 2009-2010 winter ski season. For consumers, it means low accommodation rates and lift passes around the Olympic dates.

For more information on ski holidays in western Canada, try Ski Holidays Canada, a small independently owner company based in Canmore, Alberta, Canada.


Photo credit: Mike Mills / Location: Whistler Blackcomb

November 2009 takes the podium as Whistler Blackcomb’s snowiest month in recorded history.

WHISTLER, BC, December 1, 2009 – As the calendar flips over, it’s now official that November 2009 will go down in history as the snowiest month on record at Whistler Blackcomb, dating back to when the collection of weather data began 30 years ago.

November 2009 has seen a total accumulation of 560cm (220 inches) of snowfall, nearly four times that of November’s average snowfall of 148cm (58 inches). This is an increase of more than 19 per cent over the previous record of 469cm (185 inches) set in January 2006, and a 22 per cent increase over January 1992’s record of 459cm (181 inches).

“Whistler is already known for reliable early season snowfall and this year’s record breaking start sets us up for an unbelievable season,” says Stuart Rempel, senior vice president of marketing & sales at Whistler Blackcomb. “To begin the season with a record breaker the likes of 5.5 metres of snowfall has certainly heightened the level of excitement in the resort, especially in this year, as we prepare to be a host venue for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympics Winter Games in February.”

Photo credit: Scott Brammer / Location: Whistler Blackcomb

And now, with the record broken, there is still an entire season of skiing and riding to look forward to. With a season that offers 192 days of skiing and riding, Whistler Blackcomb is already over half way towards the resort’s average annual snowfall of just over 10 metres (33 feet).

“With amazing conditions and stay and ski packages starting from $103 per person per night, there are some great deals to be had,” says Rempel. “Combine this with plenty of availability leading up to and following the Games, the new PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola which opened to incredible reviews last winter, and slopes that are expected be quieter than usual, and there couldn’t be a better time to visit Whistler Blackcomb.”

Both Whistler and Blackcomb mountains are now open, offering thousands of acres to ski and ride at North America’s largest ski resort.

After an early opening with plenty of fresh snow, Whistler Blackcomb prepares to open Creekside and Garbanzo Express on Whistler Mountain this weekend.

WHISTLER, BC, Wednesday, November 18, 2009 – The current storm system has blanketed the mountains with over 204 cm (80 inches) of fresh snow in the past week. Operations crews are hard at work preparing more lifts and terrain to open this weekend as conditions allow.

It may still be early in the season but don’t tell that to Mother Nature. With over 362cm’s (142.5 inches) of snow so far this month Whistler Blackcomb has more than doubled its average November snowfall of 148cm (58 inches). With almost two weeks left in the month, as well as over 100cm (40 inches) in the forecast for the next five days, Whistler Blackcomb is well on its way to the possibility of breaking the record of snow in the month of November, 416cm (164 inches).

“I’ve skied here for over 15 years and I’ve never seen this much snow so early in a season, it seems like every day’s snowfall is topping the last,” say’s Stephen Butt, Communications Coordinator and voice of the Snow Phone for Whistler Blackcomb. “We have already received one third of our average annual snowfall for the entire season and it’s only four days into the season, it’s unbelievable!”

With all this new snow, operations crews are hard at work getting ready to open Creekside Gondola and Garbanzo Express, in anticipation of what should be another amazing weekend. On Saturday, in addition to the Whistler Village Gondola, guests will be able to upload and download Whistler Mountain via the Creekside Gondola with access to Red Chair, Emerald Express, Franz’s and Garbanzo Chair.

The heavy snowfall does pose challenges for the operations crews opening the high alpine. With the current blizzard-like conditions in the alpine, crews have not yet been able to access this area of the mountain. Once crews can get to the alpine, lots of work will begin to prepare the area for skiing and riding which includes: avalanche control, and hazard marking and signage. Whistler Blackcomb appreciates guests’ patience as crews work to safely prepare the terrain before opening.

Though there is lots of snow early season conditions do apply. The Whistler Blackcomb Ski Patrol posted “Temporary Boundary” signs throughout the ski area indicating that the terrain beyond the ropes is not yet “ready” to ski or ride, even if that terrain is “normally” within our ski area boundary. Whistler Blackcomb would like to remind guests; though terrain may look appealing from where the ropes are, the terrain may include hazards such as ditches, exposed rocks etc. where more snow is needed before the terrain is considered safe. To see examples of signage used at Whistler Blackcomb click HERE. Whistler Blackcomb would also like to remind guests’ to be aware of tree wells. Skiing and riding in a group is always recommended.

In addition to Whistler Village and Blackcomb Base Guest Relations locations, Creekside Guest Relations and ticket windows will be open starting this weekend from 8am to 5pm.

Follow the Whistler Blackcomb Snow Report, updated 5 times daily, by calling 604-932-4211 in Whistler, 604-687-7507 in Vancouver, or free-phone at 1-800-766-0449.

Be sure to follow this and other ski holiday twitter at rocky-peak Holidays official tweet @HolidaysCanada. You can also view Whistler Blackcomb Ski Pass Rates at

Watch the trailer for this year’s Warren Miller show, “Dynasty” – the largest action sports film on the planet. It will kick off your winter for the 60th year!

For tickets to shows in your area in the U.S.A, visit Warren Miller Entertainment for more information.


Resort Takes No. 1 in SKIING for 13th year, No. 1 in FREESKIER and No. 2 in SKI

WHISTLER, BC, September 18, 2009 – For the 13th year in a row, readers at one of North America’s premier ski magazines, SKIING, have ranked Whistler Blackcomb their choice for No. 1 resort and the resort they want to ski more than anywhere else. FREESKIER Magazine has also ranked Whistler Blackcomb No. 1, and in SKI Magazine, the resort has moved up one spot to the No. 2 position.

“We are thrilled to be on top again this year. These rankings reflect an appreciation of the unwavering commitment from our staff and the community to deliver the most incredible mountain resort experience on the planet,” says Dave Brownlie, president and chief operating officer at Whistler Blackcomb. “We are extremely fortunate to be blessed with the incredible physical attributes that our mountains offer – their size, scope and variety of terrain tops the rankings every year. Add to that a dedicated and passionate group of employees providing an exceptional guest experience, as well as the innovation of the record-breaking PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola, and it obviously all has an impact on our guests and those who aspire to ski here.”

The annual magazine rankings rate resorts on a variety of set criteria, and Whistler Blackcomb consistently scores high in what the results cite as the resort’s greatest attributes. Terrain quality and variety always top the charts, referring to Whistler Blackcomb’s 8,171 acres of glaciers, alpine bowls, steeps and cliffs, plenty of tree skiing, and long, wide-open runs snaking down a vertical mile on both mountains.

“It’s a poll of our readers, not the editors. And the readers overwhelmingly chose Whistler,” says Jake Bogoch, editor of SKIING Magazine. “When our readers think of Whistler, they think of dark storms, granite-lined bowls, blocky cliffs, and long, long runs. That’s why they want to go there more than anywhere else.”

In addition to the terrain variety, nightlife and après ski activities always rank high. The après and nightlife scenes in Whistler Village are legendary, and it all takes place only steps from the base of the mountains. “Whistler exudes an energy that is difficult to replicate anywhere else, and guests love it, citing it as one of the key reasons they come back year after year,” continues Brownlie.

With the resort on the cusp of hosting the world as a proud venue for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, this could be the beginning of the most defining year yet. Whistler Blackcomb is open throughout the winter, with 90 per cent of its 8,171 acres of terrain available throughout the Games, accessed from three of the four base areas. Early booking offers provide opportunities to save up to 39 per cent on a vacation package this winter, and includes a best price guarantee for those concerned about committing early. If guests find a better deal later in the season, Whistler Blackcomb will take care of the difference.

Whistler Blackcomb’s official opening day is November 26, 2009. Book your Whistler Ski Holiday before November 15 2009 for excellent early-bird ski package deals!

Get ready for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games!

Looking to work at some of the best ski resorts in Canada?

Try the following links for employment opportunities at each of the ski resorts:

Lake Louise

Sunshine Village

Banff Norquay



Kicking Horse



Whistler Blackcomb

Jasper –

Good luck!

Perfect for a family of 2 adults, a youth and 2 children and no one has to sleep in the living room!

What you get:

2-bedroom unit in the Aspens on Blackcomb Mountain – this is perfect for families and the unit included in this ski package was renovated in 2006. The Aspens is a ski-in/ski-out property.

You get everything else you would need on a Ski Holiday in Whistler including airport transfers, ski passes, ski rentals and ski lessons. Children ski and rent FREE.

Applicable dates: Checking in on December 18 2009 for 9 nights. Check out December 27 2009.

Property Summary:

  • Two Bedroom, 2 Baths, ~881 sq ft
  • Bedding: 1 Double Bunk, 1 King, 2 Queen
  • Style: Condo
  • Entrance Style: Elevator
  • Fireplaces: Gas Fireplace
  • Layout: 2 large bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, Beautiful living area, fireplace, fully equipped kitchen, six person dining, ground floor patio
  • Living Area: Beautiful living room furniture, sofa, loveseat and chair/ottoman, fireplace. New flooring in 2006! Many personal touches.
  • Dining Area: Large table with six chairs.
  • Kitchen: Full Kitchen with all amenities, new dishes and cookware, granite counter tops.
  • Property Amenities:
  • - Heated Pool, Two Hot Tubs
  • - Unique Features
  • - Ski-in, Ski-out / Free Ski Valet Service
  • - Internet

Discounted “early bird” package below:

- 9 nights – 2-Bedroom renovated unit in the Aspens described above.

- 7 of 8 day lift passes – 2 adults, 1 youth, 2 children *children ski free*

- 8 day ski adult rentals – 2 adults, 1 youth (Beginner skis/boots/poles) *children rent free*

- Return scheduled airport transfers (door-to-door): 2 adults, 1 youth, 2 children

- Lessons – 5-day Ski Esprit Weeks starting Monday DEC 21 (Group Lesson ski level 2-6) – 2 Adults

- Lessons – 5-day Ski Adventure Camp starting Monday DEC 21 (Group Lesson ages 7-18 years) – 2 Children, 1 Youth.

Discounted package price including all discounts, promotions and taxes: CDN$8,475 (~US$7,656). Price is based on 2 adults, a youth and 2 children. No further discounts permitted.

For more information on this Ski Holiday in Whistler send a ski holiday booking request.

The perfect family ski property in Kimberley Ski Resort, the Timberstone. The Timberstone is a brand new ski-in/ski-out accommodation, located at the top top of the T-Bar at Kimberley Ski Resort with a private hot tub, hardwood floors, granite countertops, heated floors etc. This is a very nice ski property and we have provided some photos below. It is a condo (or apartment) style 2-bedroom unit with 2-bathrooms.
Arrive: Thu 11-Feb-2010
Depart: Sun, 21-Feb-2010
Nights: 10 nights
Pax: 2 Adults / 2 Children
Your ski package includes:
- 9 or 10 nights accommodation in the 2-bedroom Timberstone unit (generic pictures below)
- Two 8, 9 or 10-day adult lift passes (can be used at Fernie for the day – approx 1 hour, 20 mins away)
- Two 8, 9 or 10-day child lift passes (can be used at Fernie for the day)
- Two 10 days mid-performance ski rentals (skis/boots/poles) – Adult
- Two 10 days ski rentals (skis/boots/poles) – Child
Total Discounted Package Price including EARLY-BIRD Discounts, promotions and all taxes: CDN$4,497 (approx ~£2,518) No further discounts permitted.
Payable on location:
- 10-day car rental (Jeep Liberty or similar). 1400 Kilometers free / $0.25 / extra Kilometer. Note: Calgary Airport to Kimberley BC is just over 400 km each way. Car seats available for rental at $12.00 per day each.
Estimated Grand Total CDN$1,203 (~£674)
Total for car rental and ski package = CDN$5,700 (~£3,192)
Rates are subject to change and confirmed at time of booking.
For more information on this ski package, or to book, contact Ski Holidays Canada.

Timberstone Lodge, Kimberley
Timberstone Lodge, Kimberley
Timberstone Lodge, Kimberley

Ski Holidays Canada have just released details on two of their ski tours which they’ll be offering for winter 2010. These smaller personalised ski tours will take you away for the hustle and bustle of larger ski resorts to smaller “secret” ski resorts.

These ski tours can be adjusted for specific ability levels.
Please contact Ski Holidays Canada for more information or to book.
Their FREEPHONE number from the U.K. is 0800-567-SKI2
Their FREEPHONE number within North America is 1-888-747-6259
They are on MOUNTAIN STANDARD TIME (GMT-7 hours)
Ski Tour #1: Soft Snow Adventure
Duration: 11 nights 10 days of skiing
Supplier Ski Tour Overview:
This adventure will take you some of Canada’s best-kept secrets. This is about Big Snow, Small Crowds and Cool Towns.
We visit Kimberley, White Water the town of Nelson, Red Mountain and the town of Rossland. These ski resorts average 15 to 40 feet of snow a year. These ski resorts are away from the hustle and bustle of the large ski resorts short line are all we see.
We recommend this ski tour to start with a pick up from the Canadian Rockies International Airport (formally known as Cranbrook airport) – this airport is only 45 min to Kimberley Alpine Resort.
Daily flights to the Canadian Rockies International Airport are available from Vancouver or Calgary.
The ski adventure would start with a Saturday arrival to the Canadian Rockies International Airport and end with a Wednesday departure from the Canadian Rockies International Airport. We suggest either flying Air Canada or British Airways to the hub city of either Vancouver or Calgary. From there, Air Canada will take you to Canadian Rockies International Airport which is only 45min to Kimberley Alpine Resort. This is were the ski adventure starts.
For your return, Air Canada will take you back to the hub city of Vancouver or Calgary via the Canadian Rockies International Airport. Rossland is only 3.5 hours to the airport.
Ski Tour Summary:
- 11 nights 9 days skiing
- 3 nights Kimberley Alpine Resort 3 days skiing
- 3 nights in Nelson – 2 days skiing White Water
- 5 nights in Rossland- 4 days skiing Red Mountain Resort
Ski Tour Itinerary:
Saturday (Day 1): Fly UK to Calgary or Vancouver, then on to Canadian Rockies International Airport were the experience ski guides will there to meet you. Kimberly Alpine Resort is only 45 minutes away. After check in your experienced ski guide/host will meet you in the Kelsey Restaurant pub.
Sunday to Tuesday (Day 2 to Day 4): For the next 3 day skiing Kimberley Alpine Resort with your experienced ski guide, on Day 4 you will leave the resort around 2 pm and travel to Nelson (travel time 3 hours).
Tuesday to Thursday (Day4 to Day 6): You will check into the historic Hume Hotel. After check in you will meet in Mike’s place pub then off for dinner. The next 2 days of skiing is at White Water your experienced ski guide/host will meet you for breakfast then drive to White Water about 20 minutes away. One of these days will be an off day. If you would like to ski on your “day-off” there will be an extra cost.
Friday (Day 7): Early morning move to Red Mountain about 1 hour away at the end of the day stop at one of our favorite place for a beverage. Then check into the Prestige Hotel in Rossland then off to the historic Steam shovel pub.
Saturday to Wednesday (Day 8 to 12): The next 4 days are skied at Red Mountain your guide will meet you after breakfast and take you to Red Mountain. Red is about 10 minutes away, from the hotel.
Day 12: You will be taken you to the Canadian Rockies International Airport. There are 2 or 3 flights daily to Calgary and Vancouver. Recommended as the drive to Calgary is about 10 hours.
This ski tour includes the following:
- Ground transportation
- Accommodations in 31/2 to 4 star hotels
- Breakfasts
- Lift tickets
- Ski Guide/host
- Group Photo
Available Dates:

- Jan 16th to Jan 27th 2010
- Feb 6th to 17th 2010
- March 13th – 21st 2010
$3199.00 + 5% GST per person (Total: CDN$3,359 / Approx £1,775*)
*Exchange rate correct at time of publication. Visit for up-to-date exchange rates.

Ski Tour #2: Ski and Wine Adventure

Duration: 11 nights / 12 days

Supplier Ski Tour Overview:

On this 12 day, 11 night tour, we are going to ski Sun Peaks and Apex Mountain Resorts, both located in beautiful British Columbia. It includes 6 nights with 5 days skiing at Sun Peaks and 5 nights with 4 days skiing at Apex Mountain.

Sun Peaks is the true meaning of ski-in and ski-out. It has something for everyone, from its 5 mile beginner run to the steeps of the Berfield chair, all contained in a warm and friendly mountain village setting. Apex Mountain Resort is one of Canada’s hidden gems with a great mix of terrain, lots of sun and lots of fresh dry snow.

Both resort have great “off piste” skiing within the resort area boundaries for the intermediate to advanced skier. The average area temperatures range from -4c to -10c (12 F to 25F). Sun Peaks and Apex Mountain both average 20 feet of snow a year – this is more snow than a 2 story house!

The ski tour would start with a Saturday arrival to Sun Peaks and end with a Wednesday departure from Apex Mountain Resort. We suggest you either fly Air Canada or British Airways to the hub city of either Vancouver or Calgary. From there, Air Canada will take you to Kamloops for the start of the adventure at Sun Peaks. For your return, Air Canada will take you back to the hub city of Vancouver or Calgary via Kelowna, a short 1.5 hour drive from the Apex Mountain.

Ski Tour Summary:

- 6 nights 5 days skiing Sun Peaks
- 1 day of wine tasting as we travel to Apex
- 5 nights 4 days skiing Apex Mountain Resort

Ski Tour Itinerary:

Saturday (Day 1): Fly UK to Calgary or Vancouver, then on to Kamloops and a 50 minute bus ride to Sun Peaks Resort. Check into Cahilty Lodge. After check in, your experienced ski guides will be in the lobby for anyone that would like an orientation walk around the village of Sun Peaks.

Sunday to Thursday (Day 2 to Day 6): For the next 5 days you can ski with your experience ski guide/host. Sunday after your day of skiing a reception is held with one of Canada’s most recognized athletes, Nancy Greene and her husband Al Raine.

Friday ( Day 7): Depart for Apex Mountain around 9am with stops at 2 vineyard along the way. We will stop in the town of Penticton for supplies like beer/wine and munchies. We will continue the short drive to the resort and check into Apex Mountain Inn and Spa.

Saturday to Tuesday (Day 8 to Day 11): For the next 4 days ski with professional, experienced guides.

Tuesday evening your rap up dinner is in the gun barrel saloon.

Wednesday (Day 12): Check out of the hotel and off to Kelowna for the flight back to the UK.

Other Winter Activities:
There are many other great activities besides skiing. Below are activities that are not included in the itinerary, some of these activities will have extra cost involved.
- Dog sleighing (Sun Peaks only)
- Horse sleigh rides
- Canadian Junior Hockey Games (Sun Peaks only)
- Snowmobile tours
- Snow tubing
- Mountain Fondue dinner followed with a torch light ski down (Sun Peaks only)
- Ice skating thought the forest on a well maintained 1 km long loop with a large bone fire going as well. (apex only)
- Day of Wine tours and local brewery tour. We will need a minimum of 10 people. (Apex only)
- Snow Cat skiing: Is like helicopter skiing except you are taken by grooming machine on roads that are used in the summer by logging trucks. These grooming machines can seat up to 11 people.

This ski tour includes the following:
- Ground transportation
- Accommodations in 31/2 to 4 star hotels
- Breakfasts
- Lift tickets
- Ski Guide/host
- Group Photo

Available Dates:

- Jan 16th to Jan 27th 2010
- Feb 6th to 17th 2010
- March 13th – 21st 2010


$3299.00 + 5% GST per person (Total: CDN$3,463.95 / Approx £1,831*)
*Exchange rate correct at time of publication. Visit for up-to-date exchange rates.

Space is limited on these above ski tours so Contact Ski Holidays Canada to book before they fill up!
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