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Whistler DIY

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Not sure what sort of post this is, possibly a disappointed one. Maybe a ranty one, maybe even a tight fisted one but I've just quickly priced two weeks self catering in Whistler, mid to late Feb for two adults under our own steam and its coming out around £5100 without factoring in food or apres ski.

Is this about right or have I made a massive cock up? Shocked
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Including flights?
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Yep.
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Business class?
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
#brexitbritain Wink

Seriously though, I have family in Whistler so I can stay for free. It still winds me up how expensive it is
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It's only expensive if one choose to (ok, to some degree).

I went 2 years ago. It was pretty pricy because I stayed in Whistler village proper, a few steps from the lifts.

I'm heading that way in 2020. I know it could be less this time, as I don't need to stay in the village any more. Been there, done that. Most likely will be staying on the Blackcomb side.
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abc wrote:
Business class?
Haha, no chance.

This was economy flights Manchester to Vancouver stopping at Heathrow, whistler transfer bus and Marketplace lodge by Whistler Retreats plus 12 out of 15 day lift passes.
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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!
It seems that package tour prices are around that for 2 people. (if you add in lift passes)

There are cheaper ways though, however your need to be more flexible. (presumably need more time too)

The first thing to look at is a Round the World flight which includes a stop in Vancouver. This will be in the region of £1,000-£1,500 per person depending on your stops and flexibility. The cheapest option will be about £1,000pp

Then hire a car for 2 weeks from Vancouver. Cheapest deals on hire cars are NOT from the airport. Usually, out of town hire shops will give the best deals.

Take a tent, sleeping bags, thermal inflatable roll mats.

Find a campsite near Whistler. Camp. Keep food out of the tent in the car. Bears may be hibernating, but hungry bears smell food in tents and left around camp site.

Only ski in Whistler for a couple of days. Move on to another camp site or youth hostel and ski there.

You will be better off carrying your own skis/snowboards/boots, however you could hire for a couple of weeks from Vancouver or buy a new pair and save on one way air fare transport costs. Then sell them after your visit.

Next stop on the RTW flight? Fiji?
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You've already missed the cheapest epic pass prices. Somewhere you've went wrong though, even TO packages are cheaper than that.

I really like whistler, but if budget is the main concern there are plenty of cheaper options in Canada with fantastic skiing.
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homers double wrote:
Not sure what sort of post this is, possibly a disappointed one. Maybe a ranty one, maybe even a tight fisted one but I've just quickly priced two weeks self catering in Whistler, mid to late Feb for two adults under our own steam and its coming out around £5100 without factoring in food or apres ski.

Is this about right or have I made a massive cock up? Shocked


So how does that breakdown by car parking, flight, resort transfer/car hire, accommodation, ski passes?
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Bigtipper wrote:
... Find a campsite near Whistler. Camp. ...
You can't tent-camp in the Whistler RV Park and Campground after September 30th.
I'm not sure about Riverside, but I've stayed in both in winter and I've never seen anyone in a tent.
The camp sites are not walking distance from anywhere useful, village parking is mostly charged for.

I can't really see why tourists visiting Whistler would not want to stay in the village,
and I can't see why they'd want the hassle and costs of a car, if staying in the village.

If cost is the main driver then package prices will be impossible to beat, I'd guess.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@philwig, Riverside is $26 per night for a rustic tent between oct-dec 2018 and jan -apr 2019. If you want electricity in your tent (for example an electric blanket and a heater), it goes up to $56.50 per night. Seems quite expensive for camping. Must have some super facilities.

It does not mention a price per person, so I suppose you could have 6 people in a tent and it would be the same cost for the pitch.
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@Bigtipper, camping in the snow isn't for everyone. Yes, it could very possibly snow even in Whistler village! (and for that matter, camping in cold rain isn't for the faint of heart either)

I've tent camp in late autumn. When temperature falls to below freezing, your breath condensation turns into ice inside the tent and makes everything wet! Pretty miserable. At least in autumn, the day time temperature rise high enough to dry off everything. Not so in the winter.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Half term for the kids is 17-21st Feb 2020 in UK. Push it so you don’t land on that week. Allura direct usually good for finding places and we all know about skyscanner. Spicy sports usually best if hiring. Epic pass probably best way to ski 2 weeks.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@philwig, I was doing a bit of comparative pricing when looking to go to Canada this year (I've now booked a week each in Nelson and Rossland). Tour Operator prices were pretty similar to DIY.

@homers double, we found the cheapest TO was Canadian Affair, they have some affiliation with Air Transat so they get great flight prices and they were a good deal cheaper that the 'High Street" Tour Operators.


Last edited by Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name: on Thu 18-07-19 18:08; edited 1 time in total
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 Poster: A snowHead
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A quick scan shows apartments for 2 people from 125-160 cad a night for a studio and 250 a night for 1 bed.

https://www.alluradirect.com/search/?minNights=14&perPage=10&resultsPage=1&resortID=1&sortBy=priceUp&arrival=Feb+23+2020&departure=Mar+08+2020&size=&baths=&beds=&maxRate=0&areaID=&developmentID=

250 cad currently 154 gbp
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Large variations in whistler but it does not need to cost that much.
1st of ditch 12 of 15 day lift pass and buy a epic season pass, save a few hundred rite away. Have a look at the crystal lodge web page for rooms, excellent location and good value.
I am usually against tour operators but american ski classics and ski safari are surprisingly good value (never used either).
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Copy of the email text sent to MrsHD


Going to Whistler in Feb for 14 nights, flight are £1032 from Manchester to Vancouver (stopping at heathrow)

16 nights lodging in a delux studio with kitchen, £1989. There is a hot tub but it’s indoors.

Transfers approx. £200

Lift passes – 12 days out of 15 meaning we could have a day off if you wanted, 930 each

Rough total holiday price = £5100
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Epic pass is around £750, saving £180 each and gets you unlimited days rather than just 12.
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Thanks for all the little tips, if we do decide to go then they'll all help Cool
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Tbh 16 nights is almost the same as 3x sat to sat Europe trips (18 days skiing).

A epic season pass pass approx £700 each and american ski classics is showing the BA Manchester-lhr- vancouver at £680. Saving approx £1k?

Is your price not approx £6k?
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Whistler is expensive. Can you trade for inland bc?
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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!
Fernie would be cheaper on accommodation but longer transfers so may be not enough?
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Oitbc wrote:
Fernie would be cheaper on accommodation but longer transfers so may be not enough?

Fernie may be cheaper but isn't a fair substitute of Whistler.

Terrain isn't on par with Whistler. Apres is non-existent. Food and drink options on and off mountain are nowhere near as good as Whistler. Frankly, I don't feel Fernie is worth crossing the pond for.

Granted, there're many other mountain one can take in if doing inland AB/BC. But that would involve travelling around. Totally different kind of experience.
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Agree fernie is not compatible to whistler.

The most comparable is probably Banff which isn't exactly cheap for accommodation either. The big negative on Banff though will always be the long commute to the ski resorts.

I just noticed you have transfers at £200?! You can get them for about $40cad return.
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boarder2020 wrote:

I just noticed you have transfers at £200?! You can get them for about $40cad return.

Private transfer?

Ooops, just read it's "bus transfer". boarder2020, I don't think your price is correct either. I vaguely recall it's in the order of $100CAN, but I forgot whether that's return or one way.
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Just checked and epic rides do it for $35 return (unlimited luggage). Of course not as convenient as a private transfer, but if you are looking to age money it's a good saving
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Flights 14 night but 16 nights luxury accom?
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Cheers guys, I just did a quick search and a coach was about 160cad per person return which worked out around £100 each so £200 for the two of us.

I was only testing the water but I'd most definitely dig deeper if it was a goer.

As for other options, I'd heard Banff was a distance away from the mountain as my parents have skied there. I also looked at Crystal for resort options.

As for road tripping, I'd quite fancy it as I've been a Powder subscriber for years so all the little USA one day resorts sound familiar to me. MrsHD does like her hot tub in the evening though snowHead and since we stayed at Winter Park she'll almost refuse to go if there isn't a huge roof top tub.
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@homers double,

We pay a little bit more than that, but rent a really nice 1-bedroom apartment for 14 days, rather than a studio, and use the BA "premium economy" flights as we like to be comfortable on a 9.5h flight. So £5,100 is in the ballpark.

Whistler's not cheap, but who wants a cheap holiday? Enjoy yourself in style!

@boarder2020, @abc,
Last year the airport shuttle (Ridebookers) were CAD69 per person plus tax, one way. This came out at about CAD290 for transfers.
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 Poster: A snowHead
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@Acacia, thank you for that. The more I've looked I think I'm there or there abouts... Its about balancing the books really, we're off to Vegas in November as well so that's put quite a dent in the piggy bank.
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I'm hoping you are in a FF programme and using your miles well?
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Quote:

Whistler's not cheap, but who wants a cheap holiday? Enjoy yourself in style!


Cheap is a relative term. Personally, I don't go to whistler any more because accomodation is too expensive for me. £2500 for 2 weeks in whistler or for the same I can get 2 months in the interior. Obviously people's time, budgets,and requirements are all different. My holidays are extremely cheap (based on per day cost), but no less enjoyable.

There are lots of cheaper shuttles than ridebookers, as said epic rides is $35 return. Of course you need to take the SkyTrain from the airport, but it comes down to if the saving is worth the slight inconvenience.
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homers double wrote:
As for road tripping, I'd quite fancy it as I've been a Powder subscriber for years so all the little USA one day resorts sound familiar to me. MrsHD does like her hot tub in the evening though snowHead and since we stayed at Winter Park she'll almost refuse to go if there isn't a huge roof top tub.

You can have your hot tub and road trip too.

Stay in one place for 3-4 days. Move to a new base and do the same. So in 2 weeks, you can visit 3-4 places and still get to know each mountain well enough to say you've "properly done it". Do take care to limit your driving to less than 2 hrs (or 2 1/2 max), which you can do after the lifts close. There's still time to hit the hot tub in the hotel at your new destination. The non-transfer days, you and your wife can enjoy the hot tub in leisure.

I did that twice in the past 3 years.

First one 3 years ago. I did a season long road trip. I made a point of staying no less than 2 days in each place (and only if I've already been there before, otherwise I stay longer), though most stops are 3-5 days depending on how much I like the place. No fixed schedule, taking into accounts of the weather. In about 2-3 months, I hit something like 8-10 mountains.

Though 2 years ago, I did a 2 week road trip in exactly the region mentioned above. 1 day in Castle on the way to Fernie, 3 (or 4?) days in Fernie, 2 day in Kimberly, 5 in Kicking Horse and 2 days x-c skiing. I did go past Panorama, but I didn't have enough days to stop and still give it a 'proper' tour. Besides, my pass didn't include it. So I decide to "get to know" the ones I could ski for free instead of paying $100-200 to only scratch the surface of Pano. The weather was such that Castle, which came highly recommended, wasn't too enjoyable (re-frozen globs of snow). But Kimberly, which many said I should skip, had 2-3" of fluffy powder which was perfect for its relatively mellow terrain. So I stayed 2 days instead of the originally planned 1. According to others who were at Fernie, that same 2-3" snow were quickly pushed to the edge by the crowd at the steeper slope of Fernie, plus the strong wind had closed some of Fernie's top lifts. I only moved on to Fernie after another 3-4" the next day. Even then, it was still not enough to cover up the slick surface underneath on the steeper runs. Though the combined 7-8" worked out well enough off-piste, as well as on the less steep runs (AGAIN). Kicking Horse was the only mountain that worked out more or less "as planned".

But it's a very different holiday than fly in, stay put, ski & après for 2 weeks, fly out. Only Whistler is big enough for that kind of holiday.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
It is a pain that Air Transat don't fly direct in the winter. But they do fly Man-Van via Toronto and the timings are much better than messing about in Heathrow.
Also look at Iceland Air !
Having said that we have always found the package people do it cheaper (not to mention no hassle) because they get cheap deals on flights and hotels. We use a hotel but in a suite with a kitchen so like a condo really.

If you are doing something do it before end of August for the cheapest deals, next cut off is start of season.
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@boarder2020,

Much as I'd love to spend 2 months in the interior, I somehow don't think I'll be allowed 2 months off work! Crying or Very sad
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Hmm doesn't help that you're pricing at the (current) trough of Brexit sterling crapness. Despite this having bagged an Ikon pass early I just lumped in this week on fly drive to Denver at the tail end of the BA sale not because it was particularly bargainalicious but because car rental rates and airfare to DEN only tend to move one way.
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@Dave of the Marmottes, That's the crux really and I'll probably end up doing a couple of seperate weeks in Europeland instead.

As there's only two of us and we're no longer bound by term times I recon we can bag a bargain on the last minute (if I can hold my nerve).
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@homers double, go to Whistler mate it's pretty awesome. We went in February this year with American ski classic though we bought flights separate as we stayed 2 nights in van city. That came to £650 staying at the Victorian hotel and with air Canada. The package was transfer pass and room only at the delta suites in a 2 bed condo. That was £1600 each. Pass was for 10 days which was half the price of 2 week pass. There's cheaper accommodation but DIY is probably more hassle than it's worth just for 2 weeks. Just my view.
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I didn't see anyone mention the weather at Whistler, which is often dicey due to low elevation and proximity to the Pacific. Its common to get rain below treeline and snow/fog above. You have two weeks, so cover your downside risk with a trip into the interior of BC. Better snow, better weather, and you might like the smaller resort vibe, too.
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