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Planning a Ski-moon in Canada - help!

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Quote:
I'm still largely confused about the piste grading - looks like there's plenty of green and blue in whistler, and even black

I’m not suggesting Whistler lacks intermediate terrain.

I’m questioning whether their intermediate terrain is what makes it “top flight”.


Last edited by Poster: A snowHead on Fri 9-02-18 18:20; edited 1 time in total
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
philwig wrote:
ElzP wrote:
Just spotted eagle watching at Squamish - anyone ever done that? Sounds like twitching fun?
and there's a waterfall there somewhere, although in winter I'm not sure what happens with that.


Shannon Falls - Its still there! wink
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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?
Quote:

Likewise - look slightly to the left of my post to the location (ie where I live!)

@stuarth, the read-before-post comment wasn't directed at you. My apologies.

But quite a few of the posts on this thread were completely unsuitable for the OP! Sad
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 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
stuarth wrote:
Shannon Falls - Its still there! wink

...And despite having visited there with Shannon I forgot what it was called wink

Scandanave Spa
That's most excellent if you're into that sort of thing.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
If you do hang around Vancouver and the timing works out, going to watch a hockey game is a very Canadian thing to do and definitely an experience.
There used to be bus trips from Whistler also if the timing is less good and you happen to be in Whistler and still want to go to Vancouver to watch a game

Good (or bad!) thing is Vancouver Canucks are not exactly at the pinnacle of the NHL right now, so tickets are much cheaper and easier to get!
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 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
ElzP wrote:
abc wrote:
Quote:

Problem is now - we fly into Vancouver for sure

But why? I would have thought that's because you want to ski at Whistler. If that's NOT the intent, why Vancouver?


Because we have booked the flight; we haven't booked the return leg yet.

The original point of my post was to get advice on doing both whistler and banff - replies make me think stick to one, and since we fly to Vancouver whistler seems like the easiest option. I'm still largely confused about the piste grading - looks like there's plenty of green and blue in whistler, and even black that we could work towards with more lessons - but maybe I'm wrong?

Don't get me wrong, Banff sounds spectacular, but advice on here seems to be stick to one and find other fun things to do as well as skiing? Puzzled


Oh right, if you've already booked the flight to Vancouver, you will need to stick with that. I've not skied Whistler, but it does look like an amazing resort with everything on the doorstep. Concentrate on that. I'm sure there'll be some typically Canadian experiences you can do nearby to break up the skiing and create some unforgettable memories. A couple of days in Vancouver at the start or the end would make a great Honeymoon. Your Jan dates would be more conducive to Whistler than Banff in terms of weather as it can be -30c in Banff in midwinter/Jan. Do Vancouver & Whistler this time and maybe go to Banff the following year a bit later in late Feb/early Mar.

You could try and do both, but you would waste another day travelling in the middle and I think it would be a big rush in 14nights/13days and you would not end up doing anything justice. Maybe cut this trip shorter to 10 or 11 nights which would be ideal to do Whistler & Vancouver, so you can definitely afford to go back the following year for another 10/11 night break in the Rockies.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Quote:

even black that we could work towards with more lessons

@ElzP, that changes everything!

With lesson, you'll find the mountain, any mountain, ski a lot bigger. In fact, if you were to ski a week, then take a week of lessons, you may find a completely different mountain worth skiing another 2 weeks!

Not suggesting you to do that. Just to point out you will find plenty to do at Whistler. And if you do find the skiing limited, take a few lessons "to make the mountain bigger"!
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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!
abc wrote:
Quote:

even black that we could work towards with more lessons

@ElzP, that changes everything!

With lesson, you'll find the mountain, any mountain, ski a lot bigger. In fact, if you were to ski a week, then take a week of lessons, you may find a completely different mountain worth skiing another 2 weeks!

Not suggesting you to do that. Just to point out you will find plenty to do at Whistler. And if you do find the skiing limited, take a few lessons "to make the mountain bigger"!


Smile Always lessons (we tend to have 3 x private lessons out of 6 days skiing on a normal ski hol) - it's amazing what we can do with an instructor that we wouldn't consider without, I like following someone expereinced about! Someone above mentioned that some blacks are ungroomed and I'd love to learn to ski 'pretend off piste'...

Thanks again for the info in all the posts - OH and I have agreed that we'll do Whistler, and potentially go to Cypress Mountain or Grouse Mountain if we take 3 or 4 days in Vancouver (I'd quite fancy tryng XC, he's not so keen, we'll see how fit we're feeling... maybe snow shoes instead...) And that we have at least two Canada holidays to do in years to come - Banff, and summer trip for the Rocky Mountaineer! Cool

We're thinking Pan Pancific Village for accom - any thoughts or tips welcome!
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
I recently went to Banff over New year for 11 nights with my wife and had a great time. We stayed at the high country inn- a bit of a mid range hotel but had a nice pool and jacuzzi. We used the ski bus most of the time (even though we had a hire car). Its a great way to start the day with your feet nice and warm. It's true they run only once an hour from the resorts back to Banff but with cafe's etc at the bases its easy enough to have something to do if you miss one. They also provide extra buses should one get full.

Both Sunshine and Lake Louise would be suitable for you both. Navigation is fairly easy and runs vary. I would highly recommend it. With the benefit of a good exchange rate, it isn't overly expensive when you're there. Lake Louise did a meal deal of a beef sandwich with chips and gravy and a soft drink for 7 dollars (under a fiver).

Here is a trip review I wrote - hope it helps. http://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?p=3164295&highlight=banff#3164295
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Beef sandwich for a fiver??! Wink
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Quote:

Someone above mentioned that some blacks are ungroomed and I'd love to learn to ski 'pretend off piste'...

Actually, it's not "some" blacks are ungroomed. It's ALL blacks are ungroomed except "only a few" are groomed once a week (or two).

Even a few occasional blues are left ungroomed for days.

There's no pretending to ski off piste. It is "off piste" in all sense except the avi danger is taken care of.

Since you're planning to take private instruction, let the instructor know you NEED to get up to speed in ungroomed terrain. It's not the norm in N. America. Majority skier on the left side of the pond start skiing ungroomed piste as soon as they get beyond the learner's slope. You need to get comfortable on that to move freely around the mountain.
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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.
Vancouver is a lovely city we have been in winter a couple of times 2 days 3 nights stays then off to Whistler, Sun Peaks, Silver Star, which ever one was the next stop.
2 days in winter in Vancouver we managed: Granville island , market and brewery, caught a water taxi. Art gallery in city centre , sky train to a massive shopping mall, walk around and admire the buildings , gas town (in day light), Canada place. That's what we managed in 2 days
Whistler big and busy lots of restaurants and bars. loads of places to stay, hotels, condos, ski in/out or bus in. Depends on what you want, and how much you want to pay. Lots of hotel rooms have kitchens, so you can at least make breakfast and a brew.
I would not drive to Calgary, we have done it and are mid journey from Calgary to Vancouver. We drove through snow after landing at Calgary (400+ accidents in Calgary that day) it was -22 and our 1hr 30 min trip took 2hrs 20mins, of white knuckle driving. 2 days in Banff area and -16 some roads fairly clear, others packed frozen snow slippery in parts and some bits spread with canadian grit (dirt with stones in it) we have a rental car with several chips in the wind screen. Stopped a couple of times for avalanche control, and once for lunch. still took 8hrs to get to Sun Peaks. We saw 2 cars leave the road and several being pulled back on. We will not do this drive again in Winter, we have been visiting BC for over 10yrs.
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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
@ElzP, Whistler some blacks are groomed. They give a list on the website each day. Not all Blues are either so worth checking the website each morning.
Bad news is it snows a lot in Whistler and hence creates moguls on all runs where people slow down on the steeper bits, so even if it has been groomed it could be very bumpy later on.

Tricky grading as they have a concept that from any lift you have at least 3 options to get down. The green is easiest, blue is middle and black is harder. Hence some greens are not always easy as others. If you are comfortable on Reds in Europe you will be fine on the blues.

There is a free "show you round service" which is well worth the time as locals are doing it.

Lessons are expensive as a day private, but they also do half days. There are Max4 classes which as it suggests are 4 people (max) with an instructor and are very good value. Worth doing that, though they separate people by capability so you would have to both be very similar.

The train does not run in the winter - neither does the seaplane you asked about. The lakes are frozen so no where for them to land Shocked The sea planes do run to Victoria and that maybe worth adding to your list of things to do. I think there are enough things for 5 days in Vancouver if you wanted to.

Pain to get from Whistler to Banff - if you wanted a second resort for skiing from Whistler I would consider Big White and Sun Peaks in stead. These are hard enough to get to. However more than enough to do in Whistler for 10 days and then do Banff next time.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@ElzP, your head probably spinning with suggestions!, @Jake43, makes a good point about the show round, also have a look ate Ski Club of Great Britain, they have a ski leader based there and they have different days for different levels, if your not a member you can try it for a day free, you will find the daily schedule on their site, both are good way to get a feel for the resort and get some additional tips Two groups I know are doing both Banff and Whistler but flying into Calgary and out of Vancouver and flight in-between which makes it more manageable
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
I know I went at the end of March, but I was highlighting that I only did a 2 centre holiday rather than 3. Weather was mostly damp in Vancouver although we had one sunny day. I found plenty to do in Vancouver and I dont mind a bit of drizzle (maybe because I grew up in Wales), so happy to get out regardless. We did a day in North Vancouver, Lynn canyon (Yes in the rain), lonsdale quay food market, grouse mountain for olympic vibes. Went to canada quay, cycled the seawall, aquarium. Granville island, coal harbour, science museum, gas town. Went up a building to a viewing point but fogotten the name, on the one sunny afternoon we had. Capilano suspension bridge, went to a canuck game, plus mooched from cafe to craft beer place, there's a great food and beer scene. Maybe 5 days might be too much for most, but Id recommend at least 3 days.
I've not skied whistler, and at Easter I didn't want to risk the weather. I found it easy enough to hop on a local flight to Calgary and get the transfer to Banff, but whistler is definitely easier to get to.I loved the dramatic scenery of the Rockies.
Wherever you go I think you'll have a great time skiing.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
radar wrote:
@ElzP, your head probably spinning with suggestions!


Absolutely! But all the great suggestions, and thank you again - massive thanks for the various explanations of the piste grading, we'll certainly check out all the show-arounds and we'll absolutely have lessons to concentrate on learning to ski off piste! It might even improve our skiing, getting out of the nicely groomed bubble. rolling eyes

@carettam Brilliant list of non-skiing things, I think you're right, loads to do in Vancouver for at least three days (we'll maybe do a couple of days pre-Whistler and a couple of days after. Now have a hockey game firmly on the list, used to watch the Sheff Steelers back in the day and love it, think this might be a bit different...

Our return flight is now booked from Vancouver, taking into account all the advice we'll definitely go to Banff another time but stick to Whistler for this trip (what a shame, a future ski holiday to plan...). Madeye-Smiley Have to say I now appreciate my other half's obsession with collecting avios over the last year, first class return flights for 500 quid each! That in itself is a honeymoon treat!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Westin is ski in ish, Fairmount very nice. Look at allura and owner direct they have some nice property. Book lift pass as soon as you can to get the best deal. Accommodation may not be available to book yet as some will not be available until after Easter.
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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?
@ElzP, make sure you ask for a slice of "niniamo" cake in the first class lounge in vancouver , it is amazing Toofy Grin

the pan pacific village has a great location , but is more of a serviced condo hotel with no restaurant or bar for dinner , although you can use the facilities of the sister hotel at the mountain side ,

the four seasons in blackcomb is simply the best hotel in whistler , not ski in ski out , but has a ski valet at the bottom of the slopes with complimentary hot chocolate .

also some great places on airbnb , can highly recommend mikes place
https://www.airbnb.co.uk/rooms/15973304
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