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Ski rental in Whistler

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I'm considering a trip out to Whistler next year for my birthday (which is on Easter weekend, so Iíll happily spend the Easter weekend partying, and ski the hills again once the crowds have gone home) and I'm trying to cost it up, and plan what I might do when I'm there.

Ski hire Ė does anyone have any knowledge of the cost and quality of rental skis out there? I have my own skis and think I would prefer to take them (poss. 2 pairs) unless itís easy to change around on hire skis and try fun new modelsÖ (I'm hoping for 2 and a half weeks so am guessing the cost of rental will be far more than the cost (and hassle) of transporting my own)

Edit: just got an online quote for Affinity through Intersport at $372/£190 Shocked Does it get any cheaper booking at particular times, or is that about standard? I suppose it's not bad for 2.5 weeks, and not having to risk your own skis, but still...
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Affinity is one of the cheaper places IIRC. But if you've got your own that are suitable for spring conditions in the PAC NW then I don't know why you wouldn't use them. I think there's a demo centre on the hill that will let you take pairs out for an hour or so at a time.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
oh as for quality rental shops will probably have next year's demos in by Easter and shops will be selling 2016 stock at 50℅ discount.
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@fixx, I swapped at will between piste and powder skis at Affinity (Blackcomb). Not a busy time (mid January) and they just kept both pairs set up for me in the shop (I was staying in the same building) all week.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Summit Sports. I believe they (like many other retail places) are now owned by the resort. They stock a full range of current powder gear and no doubt they have other stuff too. Their staff are locally managed and actually ride (or ski). My buddies (who will generally have powder gear already) use them precisely to check out each seasons's new stuff. You should be able to swap gear around there or anywhere else - it's BC, and you're a paying customer. A stroll from the bottom of the main lifts and accessible from the other side by car if you've someone to wait in the vehicle.

If cost is your prime driver there are probably better places to go than Whistler.

Summit put their range and prices online, although right now they're only listing summer stuff. summitsport.com
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Thanks all Ė really useful, and food for thought!

Itís not so much about being really strict with budget Ė I just donít want to feel Iím throwing away money that I could put towards more beer/guided days Smile

Iím still torn Ė I like the idea of playing with new toys, changing according to the conditions etc, not having to worry about damaging my own skis if conditions are thin, and the reviews above of ski rental places sound great. But I do LOVE my own skis! And there is an extra bit of confidence you get from knowing exactly what youíre skiing on.

The other consideration (I should have mentioned before) is that Iím looking to change to a more touring-focussed set up from this winter on Ė while I know the terrain is different in Canada and there will be huge amounts of Ďin-boundí terrain to ski while Iím there, I would like to do some touring there too. Will it be more difficult to rent skis/bindings to fit my boots or is that also well catered for?
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If you're moving to Dynafiddle set up then the number of places renting tech binding set ups are probably limited - Escape Route will certainly cater to your needs but I'm not sure how big the rental fleet will be elsewhere. Bear in mind you'll be there in spring when there might not be the same competition for inbounds corn lines so there may be less of a need to go outbounds to get the goods although there are certainly good objectives to get to.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Bear in mind that at Easter the weather can be very changeable and you might want to change your skis to suit conditions. You can expect anything from sheet ice in the morning to slush with the real possibility of corn snow and fresh powder.
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In Whistler you're mainly looking at single rather than multi-day tours. Whistler Alpine Guides will rent you equipment as well as providing a guide (https://www.mountainskillsacademy.com/whistler-alpine-guides/). When I went with them a few years back I recall most of the group had hire skis and used their own boots as the climbs were short. I believe at the time they were using Fritschis.

Escape Route are a good option, as are Excess Backcountry (the latter being much more centrally located). You can certainly hire tech-compatible kit from Excess.
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If you rent you can change ski daily if you want. We use Summit who have always been good and right next tow Whistler Gondola. You can leave skis there too over night so just carry boots up and change in shop pick up skis and you are in queue 2mins later. They were bought by the mountain but still same nice people in there, so no change.
If you do take your own skis you can go to the Yurt near the round house light board and try as many different skis as they have in there free. They let you have them for half days but if you like them go back and as long as they don't have someone waiting for them you can keep them for rest of the day. Good way to test a load of skis in real conditions, without having to go back down to the village.
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@fixx, Affinity at Blackcomb where quite happy to swap carvers and powder skis at will for me. In essence, I rented two pairs for the price of one for a week.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Can't remember exact prices (5 years ago) but I did think they where a rather more expensive to rent there compared to Europe (ischgl St anton etc) but the gear was top notch and where flexible to change skis for weather change. But be quick if there is fresh snow for better chance to try exactly what you want. As said above they often have a tent up on whistler mountain for you to try different skis free of charge. Personally I wouldn't dream on getting on a plane for a winter holiday without my skis whether for a weekend or a few months.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Gosh, just seen I made the same post the best part of a year apart!
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
One assumes that OP isn't going given that she is laid up in Serre Che on the SOPIB.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
The OP is indeed going Smile Doctors says I can ski again by the time I get there (and gave me a stamped and signed letter saying the same for insurance purposes) - though I will of course be taking it easy the first few days! Yes, I was very lucky the fall wasn't worse.

I'm taking my own kit, as I moved to a tech set-up over the summer and so rental gear will be an issue. Plus I prefer my own kit, and have put the rental money towards lessons while there.

It was quite a thread bump Smile All booked back last November - I'd actually forgotten about this thread, as there was a lot of chat and advice from people on the main Whistler thread - sorry! I don't normally post and run Skullie
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Oh well that's good news. I thought I was good at fairly aggressively scheduling ski trips but clearly I am but a novice.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Can I resuscitate this thread, but with a slightly different focus.

I have mostly finished organising a trip to Whistler for the family at Christmas, but have yet to do anything about ski hire.

Iíll be taking my own equipment, however, I need to rent equipment for the rest of my family (who are intermediates).

Are there any recommendations for places that would be a good place to rent their equipment from?
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@wsirhc, I think you'll find it is all good, as a shop with a poor reputation wouldn't last long when there is so much competition.

The resorts own locations at the base of the main lifts offer plenty of choice and they are setup to support huge volumes of skiers/boarders. You can order everything in advance to make your first day smoother.

https://www.whistlerblackcomb.com/purchase/rentals/ski-rentals

There are other more specialized shops for boarders, telemarker and touring, but for intermediate skiers the main stores will be fine.
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I have used Summit sport? once .. Ok but not brilliant but it was 6 yrs ago. Used Whistlerblackcomb at blackcomb base once they were good. Only rented because BA lost the luggage both times.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Thanks for your advice
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@wsirhc, Note they are all nearly all actually owned by the Mountain now so little in price difference.

We have always used Summit (when independent now part of WB) which have been ok for us over the last 10 years. Added advantage of leaving the skis free in their storage overnight. So you can walk up carrying ski boots and change in their locker room, leave your walking boots in the racks and grab skis and be in the Gondola Queue in 5 mins. Not sure about the comment above was it service or gear that was not brilliant? @PowderAdict. If you don't like the skis just change them for something else plenty of choice and can even work to whatever the conditions are if you want boats for a powderday.

Book them online in advance to get best price - discounts reduce in November so get on it.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
The Gear was the problem. The skis they gave me the toe piece of the binding fell off part way down Jersey Cream. It fell off mid turn, resulting in me heading down hill without the ski. I Found the ski spent 30 mins finding the rest of the bits of the toe piece then i had to either go down or climb back up. Went to the restaurant at the bottom of jersey cream jammed the binding back on with the help of the tool kit and some of the tape that holds the universe together. I then went up the lift walked from the top of that lift to the gondola and back down on the gondola. That took the majority of that ski day, and they charged me a full days ski hire. So no I don't rate them Evil or Very Mad
The manager then tried to blame me for the damage and wanted me to pay for new bindings, I said i would take them to a different shop for a 2nd opinion on the state of the skis. There was a climb down at that point but no refund and i haven't be back in since.
Don't normally hire skis but mine were somewhere on a BA flight on their own. 3 full ski days before they turned up.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Oooh, Iíd forgotten all about this thread again.

I ended up taking my own skis, and had switched to a more touring focussed set up by the time I went Ė but still had to rent for a couple of days, as like @joneski, my skis were misplaced by BA for a couple of days.

As I have touring boots I had limited rental options Ė first couple of shops my accommodation reception sent me to were useless. Didnít even know what my boots where, or what kind of bindings might work. Eventually I was pointed in the direction of Excess Backcountry who sorted me out, and were absolutely lovely.

(Though as it was my first time skiing after hurting my knee the week before on the Offpiste bash, I was not thrilled to be on big heavy skis (the smallest they had) and frame bindings Ė I was very relieved when my own skis finally showed up! And my knee brace, which was also in the misplaced bag Sad )
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Touring boots would certainly cause most of the bread & butter shops problems.

Slight thread drift but have you seen the info on the Spearhead Range huts they are working on ready in a few years. Seems like they are taking the touring people seriously now as numbers are getting higher each year. https://www.piquenewsmagazine.com/whistler/construction-begins-on-long-awaited-spearhead-huts-safety-concerns-linger-for-head-of-wsar/Content?oid=3925370

Not my cup of tea personally but it you like this sort of thing maybe you need another trip back in the planning.
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Going to Whistler for the first time from the UK at end of Feb for 10 days and am horrified at the ski hire prices compared to what we usually pay in Europe (at least double on a like for like basis). It looks like most rental places seem to be owned by the same people and offering similar high prices with few discounts available.

There do seem to be a few independent places but very difficult to assess whether the equipment is of good quality and what the service is like.

Appreciate any personal experiences and recommendations or whether I need to bite the bullet and go with the expensive W/B option.

TIA

Wallport
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
The good thing about Whistler ski hire is they will service every night if you want, store the skis for you if your accom is a walk away, and even change gear midway through the day up the mountain if needs be. I've booked it for Mrs endo ( via Ski Safari who you are going with) as we can combine it with lessons and pass for 3 days so it's not too bad. The rest of us are taking our own and our accom is proper ski in / ski out and has it's own ski room etc.

Where are you staying?

I don't think the independants are a lot cheaper and I think the Whistler stuff is brand new each season.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@wallport, Yep it is a vary [vary vary] expensive place and a virtual monopoly. The mountain (now Vail) own most of the shops even though they still retain old individual branding. Some Hotels run their own too but I have never looked at the independents as we get it in the TO package most years.
As @endoman, says you do get more for your buck from them though.
We use Summit and store the skis there over night as it is only meters away from the lifts in the Village. The do offer discounts for early orders but you have missed them all now. End of August for 40% off and mid Nov for final discounts. Think ordering online is cheaper than just turning up. Also do use the "change skis as often as you want" service there are loads to try and conditions do change. Also we carry our Ski boots up and leave our walking boots in the shop so no walking in Ski Boots.
There maybe still small discounts to have from TO's and Allura so not sure how you have booked your accommodation.
Good news is the CAD$ has strengthened a lot recently.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Hi, we are booked to stay at Delta. Will follow up with Allura and TO to see if they can offer anything.

Have found that Spicy Sports offer better rates - anyone used them?
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
So, being able to leave your skis at base will be good as it's a bit of a walk to The Delta, nothing daft, 5 mins or a bit more. There's a nice pub near for craft beers, Brickworks, I loved the pizza we had at Antico which was next to where my lad was living at the time, we shall return in Jan. The base places, GLC, Merlins, are standard American Fayre, not bad value and decent ish apres. I'm looking forward to trying the little pub in the upper village which was being refurbed last time I was there. ( Fitzsimmons)

It just needs to start snowing again!
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Had a chat session with whistler.com which I assume is associated with the Tourism Office but seem to act as an agent. They tell me Spicy Sports are fine and well positioned for where we are staying. Have also sent me a quote which seems to be a slight discount on Spicy site if I understand it correctly.

Will give it a day or so but am inclined to go ahead with this and use the savings towards an activity while we are there.

Anyone used Spicy Sports?
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@wallport, We stay at the Delta which is why I like the Skis held at the mountain as part of the rental. Allura can't help you unless you rented a flat from them. TO (Tour Operator) generally has cheaper rental than direct - so have you done DIY or a package.

Not used Spicy Sports sorry
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Ah TO=Tour Operator not Tourism Office - got that wrong but it does seem to have led me down an alley which seems to have delivered.

I have done a package and TO did offer on WB Ski rental but even at a discounted rate they are so expensive!
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@wallport, I can see why you are looking at Spicy as they look like half the cost of Summit for the week we are going. But the same as I booked back in August - as it is discounted.
Also Spicy looks quite handy for you from the Delta as it is half way up the Village Stroll (pedestrianised walk way) to the lifts. If you want to store the kid by the mountain instead of carrying them, you can pay to store them under the Carleton Lodge. Huge building opposite the lifts, storage is underneath the shops/bars.

Other thing to note is that because the pick up for flights is not until at least 12, you can ski on the last day too. But I guess you will have your lift ticket sorted now. So on a 10 day trip you can ski 9.5 days, though you may have had enough by then. Delta will do a late check out if you ask them.
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We used Spicy in Whistler village last year and they were great, low price and I was able to go back in on a powder day and swap out for a wider ski with no issues.

Only thing I'd flag is I felt like the very friendly staff assumed I had a decent level of ski knowledge. The width of ski I wanted was pretty much up to me, (I went for some current year Nordica's at 90mm, swapped out for 108mm on the powder day) so if you've got inexperienced people in the group, make sure they flag this to the staff to ensure they get the right ski.
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