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Whistler Ski Pass advice

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi all,

Haven't been on here in ages and have really enjoyed browsing all the posts! I figured my question might be one that comes by regularly but I could not find many posts relating to Whistler so have braved a new post! My husband and son (both proficient skiers) and I (eternal 'beginner') are hopefully traveling to Whistler in early January for a 9 night stay and lots of skiing. Super exciting upgrade after our holiday to Les Deux Alpes in 2019 was cancelled on the Saturday we arrived, skis rented, settled into hotel, mountain glistening enticingly ready for our first day skiing the next day! Fingers crossed this one goes ahead.

I am looking into ski passes and can see that as we arrive after New Year's Day, we will not be falling into any holiday season dates so it seems to me that an Epic Local pass might be the way to go. I am just not sure if my husband and son may like the extended version. They will want to explore much further than me but equally, none of us have ever been to Whistler so will they really be going as far out as some of the places mentioned, or will we not even exhaust Blackcomb in 9 days?? I would love any advice because whilst I am happy to pay more for an extended pass, it would be a shame to pay the extra and then not use the extended elements of the pass.

I can also see there is a 20% discount on ski passes currently until 5th December. Does anyone have any views on whether that is a good deal or will there be other deals nearer the time? I know that without a crystal ball some of these questions might be impossible to answer but I thought I'd try!

Thanks in advance for any advice!

M
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Quote:

will we not even exhaust Blackcomb in 9 days?

You will ski Whistler in addition to Blackcomb. All holiday skiers will ski both.

"Blackcomb only" pass (I don't even know if there's one such) is for advance skiers who focus on off piste (Blackcomb has a glacier)
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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?
Thanks abc - sorry yes Whistler and Blackcomb.
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abc wrote:
Quote:

will we not even exhaust Blackcomb in 9 days?

You will ski Whistler in addition to Blackcomb. All holiday skiers will ski both.

"Blackcomb only" pass (I don't even know if there's one such) is for advance skiers who focus on off piste (Blackcomb has a glacier)


No such thing anymore (not for a long time! snowHead ), and Blackcomb like Whistler has plenty of all sorts of runs.
Vail (who own WB) seem to operate on a model that encourages Epic pass purchases (season pass for all Vail resorts), and buying earlier - can be really expensive if you just show up and buy day tickets
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@Mirjam, an Epic Local Pass sounds right for you.

Whistler and Blackcomb have been one now for many years, but they are not the same. The runs at W were designed by skiers, while the runs at Blackcomb were designed by the computers at Aspen Skiing Corp. And you can tell: more meander and character at W; more directly in the fall line at B. I like 'em both.

@stuarth, apparently all those stormwater projects BC did on the road to Whistler in the run-up to the Olympics have paid off big time as that road is still in one piece. As for the Coq, have you heard anything about when it will be passable? Those bridges are not huge but they are numerous. What a mess, must've been something to see.
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To be fair, the EPIC Pass (which I have this season as a result of a cancelled Whistler visit) is also good for 7 days in the 3 Vallées, 5 days in Verbier/4 Valleys, and 7 days in Madonna di Campiglio/Skirama Dolomiti (sometimes requiring booking through an approved hotel). Keen European-based skiers (who are fans of those resorts) can make good use of that as I am for a couple (at least) trips this year.

(despite appearances, this is not an EPIC advertisement or a defence of Vail's business model, just turning lemons into slightly less bitter lemon juice. Smile )
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
For what it's worth, I have bought an Epic Local Pass for 11 days in South Lake Tahoe, as it works for my trip.

The Summit Local Pass (https://www.epicpass.com/passes/summit-value-pass.aspx) is currently $535 but has 'Holiday' restrictions including 15th Jan.

The Epic 7-day Pass is currently $565 with the same restriction or $668 without the restriction.

If you're not planning to ski on 15th Jan, I'd go for the local pass.
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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!
@Scooter in Seattle,

Yes indeed. We were talking about that - a lot of work (and money) paid off there.
Not clear when the Coq will be up and running, looks pretty bad and about the worst time to start construction on a highway. Im a bit more hopeful for highway 1. CN think theyll get the railway up and running again this week, which is good. Unfortunately more storms predicted fof this week Sad
Im hoping something grts sorted - currently at the passport office trying to renew my kids passports so we can go through the US to get to the interior.
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As said above the full pass can be worthwhile if you plan to visit some of the European resorts on it too. For WB alone the full pass is overkill as all the resorts on it are hundreds of miles away, so you can't combine them with your trip. Local pass is fine and there is plenty of skiing to keep you busy at WB for months, let alone 9 days wink

I'd buy the pass asap. You won't get a better deal and they used to stop selling them at some point during the season (not sure if that's still a case postcovid). If you miss out on the epic pass you are going to be paying a small fortune turning up and buying passes.

Quote:

a defence of Vail's business model


Season pass for wb is cheaper now than it was pre Vail and you get all those extra resorts on your epic pass. A 1 week lift pass for 3 valleys is $370, season pass is $1262. The epic pass is offering unbelievable value. Making skiing more affordable and giving way more options, but it's cool to hate on Vail.

Quote:

the runs at Blackcomb were designed by the computers at Aspen Skiing Corp.


Interesting, I didn't know that. I do actually prefer blackcomb, but Whistler is great too.
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OK.....

As far as I can tell, a 9 day day pass at WB is currently coming in at $631 CAD for adults (provided you are avoiding Jan 15th)

Epic Local comes out at $679 USD

So the 9 day pass is enormously cheaper - £371 vs £506 at today's rates

You might get enough benefit from other Epic benefits to make it worthwhile but you'd have to spend a lot on lessons, food etc. Deadline for Epic Pass purchases is Dec 5th
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Quote:

As far as I can tell, a 9 day day pass at WB is currently coming in at $631 CAD for adults (provided you are avoiding Jan 15th)


Where did you find this? I went on the Whistler site* and a 7 day pass (maximum length available) starting on 5th January is £623. I'd be surprised if you can beat epic pass, that's their model - cheap season passes, eyewatering day costs.

*https://www.whistlerblackcomb.com/plan-your-trip/lift-access/tickets.aspx?startDate=01%2F05%2F2022&numberOfDays=7&ageGroup=Adult
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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.
https://www.whistlerblackcomb.com/plan-your-trip/lift-access/passes/whistler-blackcomb-day-pass.aspx

You can buy up to 10 days in advance:

What is the difference between Whistler Blackcomb Day Pass and a lift ticket?
The Whistler Blackcomb Day Pass is a pass product that provides expanded value and flexibility over lift tickets. With savings of up to 62% as compared to lift tickets for guests purchasing in advance of the season, the Whistler Blackcomb Day Pass also offers flexibility to choose when you ski or ride throughout the season and doesn’t need to be used consecutively, whereas lift tickets must be used on specific dates.
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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
Just thought of something - how old is your son and is he vaccinated? Unvaccinated 12-17 year olds are allowed to enter Canada but must quarantine for 14 days, under 12s don't have to quarantine but have other 14 day restrictions
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Saintsman wrote:
https://www.whistlerblackcomb.com/plan-your-trip/lift-access/passes/whistler-blackcomb-day-pass.aspx

You can buy up to 10 days in advance:

What is the difference between Whistler Blackcomb Day Pass and a lift ticket?
The Whistler Blackcomb Day Pass is a pass product that provides expanded value and flexibility over lift tickets. With savings of up to 62% as compared to lift tickets for guests purchasing in advance of the season, the Whistler Blackcomb Day Pass also offers flexibility to choose when you ski or ride throughout the season and doesn’t need to be used consecutively, whereas lift tickets must be used on specific dates.


Seems you are right. It makes no sense though. If anything you'd think the flexibility of the day pass would make it more expensive, there seems to be zero reason to consider the lift pass option. I was expecting some kind of catch somewhere but doesn't seem to be one (only thing I can maybe think is that you are not guaranteed the day pass being accepted if the resort is at capacity whereas the lift pass is dated and guarantees the day - although I'm just speculating). They should really rename them too as most people use lift ticket and day pass interchangeably, so its pretty confusing as to what the difference is just from the names.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Yeah, agree it's both confusing and illogical
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
boarder2020 wrote:

Season pass for wb is cheaper now than it was pre Vail and you get all those extra resorts on your epic pass. A 1 week lift pass for 3 valleys is $370, season pass is $1262. The epic pass is offering unbelievable value. Making skiing more affordable and giving way more options, but it's cool to hate on Vail.


This is a good point that often gets overlooked for the exact reason you cite!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Hi all, thanks so much for so many replies and thoughts! It does look like a 9 day WB Day pass would be best value at CAD689 each so ~£1215. (I don't see a CAD631?). We won't be skiing on the 15th so no issue there. I really appreciate the guidance! And good call re my son - luckily he is already vaccinated and about to have his second vaccination so we will all be double vaccinated when we go.
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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?
Scooter in Seattle wrote:
boarder2020 wrote:

Season pass for wb is cheaper now than it was pre Vail and you get all those extra resorts on your epic pass. A 1 week lift pass for 3 valleys is $370, season pass is $1262. The epic pass is offering unbelievable value. Making skiing more affordable and giving way more options, but it's cool to hate on Vail.


This is a good point that often gets overlooked for the exact reason you cite!


If you think that's good value, you should see how much it costs for my WB student season pass (I'm a full time student again doing a phD so qualify for that) NehNeh
This year however I do have a full Epic pass as need to be in Whistler over Christmas/New year, and hopefully (if I can find some way to get there) going to Kicking Horse in January, so covers that too. Even without that, I should hopefully be at around $20 per day for this year if I do the days I plan snowHead


Last edited by Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see? on Wed 24-11-21 16:27; edited 1 time in total
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Mirjam wrote:
Hi all, thanks so much for so many replies and thoughts! It does look like a 9 day WB Day pass would be best value at CAD689 each so ~£1215. (I don't see a CAD631?). We won't be skiing on the 15th so no issue there. I really appreciate the guidance! And good call re my son - luckily he is already vaccinated and about to have his second vaccination so we will all be double vaccinated when we go.


Still don't need vaccines to get in the gondolas unfortunately Sad WB are about the only major holdout in Western Canada I think! I can see that changing rapidly with gondola loading, and if/when WB find that checking everyone's vaccine passport and ID outside the roundhouse when it's -20 and a howling gale likely wont go that smoothly!
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
DaddyLouLou wrote:
For what it's worth, I have bought an Epic Local Pass for 11 days in South Lake Tahoe, as it works for my trip.

The Summit Local Pass (https://www.epicpass.com/passes/summit-value-pass.aspx) is currently $535 but has 'Holiday' restrictions including 15th Jan.

The Epic 7-day Pass is currently $565 with the same restriction or $668 without the restriction.

If you're not planning to ski on 15th Jan, I'd go for the local pass.


That MLK day 15th Jan blackout is a weird one. Good reason to have a holiday day (even if not universally observed in the US I believe), but it isn't one in Canada.
First year Vail did that, they caught a whole load of people out from the Lower Mainland who had no idea that their pass was blacked out for seemingly no reason.
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Whistler was my most disappointing ski trip ever. Super far away, super expensive, boring skiing and crap mountain food options.

Would rather save the transatlantic flight and jet lag and have a week in 3 valleys or esace killy or similar.
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@stuarth, the thing about the MLK day blackout is that many Washingtonians head for BC for a long weekend, so from a demand perspective it kind of is a de facto Canadian holiday. I've paid much more for lodging up your way on that weekend for the same reason. I imagine it chaps ya as it does me, but I'd probably raise my prices too Very Happy . As for your student pass, and why you qualify, good on ya.

(MLK's birthday became a national holiday in the early 80's but was not observed by all states until 2000, for obvious, embarrassing reasons. Proof positive that all this mess over the last 6 years or so is not new, just more out in the open.)
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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!
kat.ryb wrote:
Whistler was my most disappointing ski trip ever. Super far away, super expensive, boring skiing and crap mountain food options.

Would rather save the transatlantic flight and jet lag and have a week in 3 valleys or esace killy or similar.


Yes it's further than mainland Europe, and you are not getting the same dining options you would in Europe. To say the skiing is boring is just silly though - WB ticks the boxes for pretty much every type of skiing/terrain you could want. Maybe you just don't like skiing so much, guess that's why you'd rather waste the afternoon sitting in a restaurant, or perhaps spankies, air Jordan etc were too easy for you Laughing
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