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  1. #1
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    Been to Whistler?

    Rocket Gurl is going to be in Seattle in early January, and I thought I would join her. At the end of her commitments up there we plan on driving up to whistler for some board on snow action. Looks to be about a 220 Miles...

    -I'll probably try and rent a 4wd/awd vehicle, but is there anything we should be critically aware of regarding this trek?

    -We both will be flying Virgin America to Seattle...With Snowboards. Does Virgin Charge for Snow Boards? We both have soft-bags for our boards... is this sufficient (with lots of clothing/etc. packed around it)

    -Tell me about boarding in Whistler? Where should we eat? Stay? Play?

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  2. #2
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    Make sure you have a clean record (i.e. DUIs) when crossing into Canaduh.
    licker is ubber $$ in Canada to so bring your own from Seattle.
    Get coffee at a java jugs.

    Thats it.

  3. #3
    Good news everyone!
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    One day I'm going to bring my big hit bike up there and shred that place until my arms break off from the stutter bumps (or big table tops on A-Line) but I haven't done it because it's so expensive and there's lots of logistics.


    Sorry, I'm bringing absolutely nothing to the table here since I'm not a 'boarder and this Florida boy doesn't get to shred the pow very much.

  4. #4
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    Another question... how is the drive from Seattle to Whistler? Planning on leaving on a Wednesday at around 1pm... Is AWD anywhere near necessary?

    How does it work driving a rental car out of the country?
    "Late to bed, early to rise, work like hell and advertise." -Von Braun

  5. #5
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    Ahhhh..Whistler. The 1st stop I intend to make if I ever hit the lotto. I get up there a couple of times a year. Heaven on earth is an understatement. You'll need a passport which I assume you're well aware off. Unless you want the tourist experience of going under the Peace Arch, take the last exit on I-5 and go through the truck border crossing. This route will take you around the city of Vancouver and save tons of time. Once you get through the city, the drive up is pretty easy. They did tons of improvements to the Sea to Sky highway for the Olympics. Stop in Squamish at a Shell station to get either reduced priced or sometimes 2 for 1 lift tickets. Not sure where you're planning to stay but there are 2 distinct areas up there. Creekside is the southern area. It's much more quiet than the village proper with way less to see/do. I'd recommend staying in the village for the full Whistler experience. The opening of the Peak to Peak gondola has changed everything up on the mountain. Used to be that it was hard to get runs on both Whistler and Blackcomb on the same day because you had to go to the bottom of one mountain to go back up the other. Not the case anymore. Now you can go from the top of one to the top of the other in a mere 15 min or so. PM me if you have any other questions. I'd be happy to answer.

  6. #6
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    Whistler/Blackcomb is a stellar ski area when the snow is plentiful and good. SMCnees advice to cross at the truck crossing instead of the Peace Arch is a good one--there can be very long delays to cross.

    Alcohol prices are high (guvmint controlled likker distro), but the food prices are generally good. Save your receipts and get a sales tax rebate when you return!

    I have not skied much since the place ballooned into the mega-resort that it is now, but when there is snow top to bottom, it is the longest serviced drop in North America, and the trails range from eye-poppingly scary to gentle cruising.

    The road up there is pretty excellent--and much improved since the old days--Olympics will do that for an area.

    Great cross-country skiing and a local helicopter service if you want to go crazy.

    It is coastal though--so you can get rain, inversions (bring your amber gogs), snow droughts and wet snow that you would swear was partially composed of cement. But when is good, it ranks up there with the best anywhere.
    "When the spirits are low, when the day appears dark, when work becomes monotonous, when hope hardly seems worth having, just mount a bicycle and go out for a spin down the road, without thought on anything but the ride you are taking."

    (Sir) Arthur Conan Doyle. Scientific American, January 18, 1896

  7. #7
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    There's no real need for AWD to drive to Whistler. The road is at relatively low elevation and almost always clear. There are a zillion places to stay, from condos to full-service hotels. The Whistler side has a better village feel, the Blackcomb side has generally better skiing - but there is great stuff on the Whistler side too. The main border crossing at Blaine can get backed up. A smaller, quieter border crossing at Aldergrove (US Hwy 539) doesn't have the backups, and is hardly out of the way. Everett, north of Seattle, can have horid traffic at commute times... On the Blackcomb side I like the wide open feel on the back side of the mountain, and the excitement of Couloir Extreme, if the conditions are reasonable/feasible.

  8. #8
    It's not TOO Cold!
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    You don't need AWD, do check with rental car agency about taking car to Canada. Whistler is lots of glitz and glam, think Vail. It ain't cheap, especialy in January. There is alway skiing, because Whistler and Blackcomb both have over 1 mile vertical drop.

    Another option is check on a shuttle from Seattle to Whistler/return. Once you get to the Village you do not need a car, it is actually a PITA
    “Some truths are eternal, you can’t go high on a prop!” - BBC Commentator, France @ England 6 Nations Rugby. 02/26/2011

  9. #9
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    Gaaarrrhh!!!!

    ALl the Google Directions are in Kilometers!!!!

    //Anyone ever stay in the Hostel? It looks damn nice... Unfortunately its not in the village.. but we could split our stay...
    Last edited by BentChainring; 12-23-2010 at 09:09 AM.
    "Late to bed, early to rise, work like hell and advertise." -Von Braun

  10. #10
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    stop by poroski, poroski in pikes market before the drive up.
    you shouldnt need awd/4wd for the drive up.
    Get some chinese food when passing thru Vancouver and maybe get a hong kong styled haircut while you're at it.

    Plan on riding each mountain (blackcomb and whistler) atleast 2 days each.
    I think it was on the whistler side, head for the tbars to ride the backside.
    Best way of describing it is an open 8 lane freeway to yourself. Just drop in and ride down the gully.

  11. #11
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    here are few pics i have for my screensaver

    enjoy!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Been to Whistler?-381786442605_0_bg.jpg   Been to Whistler?-547452442605_0_bg.jpg   Been to Whistler?-653766442605_0_bg.jpg  

  12. #12
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    Since we are giving more suggestions, rent a place for a year and bring a bike!
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  13. #13
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    Just remember 100 equals 60 (roughly). So if the posted speed is 100, do 60 American & you're good.

    I haven't stayed in the hostel for 30 years, so I'm no help there...

    Should be no problem taking a US rental car across--we used to do it regularly when would fly to Seattle and drive up to save money when we visited my family.

    Also, if you are feeling adventurous, take a side trip to Mt. Baker (US side)--a bit rustic, but OMFG--some stellar runs--and an awesome drive up (TMB and I were reminiscing at some point about youthful training rides up that damn mountain....)
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    "When the spirits are low, when the day appears dark, when work becomes monotonous, when hope hardly seems worth having, just mount a bicycle and go out for a spin down the road, without thought on anything but the ride you are taking."

    (Sir) Arthur Conan Doyle. Scientific American, January 18, 1896

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by paredown
    Just remember 100 equals 60 (roughly). So if the posted speed is 100, do 60 American & you're good.

    I haven't stayed in the hostel for 30 years, so I'm no help there...

    Should be no problem taking a US rental car across--we used to do it regularly when would fly to Seattle and drive up to save money when we visited my family.

    Also, if you are feeling adventurous, take a side trip to Mt. Baker (US side)--a bit rustic, but OMFG--some stellar runs--and an awesome drive up (TMB and I were reminiscing at some point about youthful training rides up that damn mountain....)
    By adventurous, do you mean... OMFG HAIRBALL SNOWBOARDING? or querky locals and strange food?
    "Late to bed, early to rise, work like hell and advertise." -Von Braun

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by paredown
    Theres a place in Canada called Chilliwack?
    "Late to bed, early to rise, work like hell and advertise." -Von Braun

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by BentChainring
    By adventurous, do you mean... OMFG HAIRBALL SNOWBOARDING? or querky locals and strange food?
    I'm not a boarder, so you'd experience Baker differently...but there are some great chutes & bowls that I think would be awesome. Runs are shorter than at Whistler, & the whole thing feels more like an old time ski area--it is (was?) still run by the state Park Service. 4WD would be a plus if there is a threat of snow

    Whistler for me was my local back in the day--complete with a lot of stoners, drop-outs and other n'er-do-wells, shared cabins & cheap wine. And some unbelievably good skiers, many of whom were the stoners and dropouts. Last trip back, it really did feel like Vail--complete with masses of Japanese tourists in very expensive outfits that couldn't ski to save their lives. Whistler/Blackcomb together are still incredibly great--there is so much area to spread out, the views are awe-inspiring and the skiing can be fantastic, but it is a little slick for me now.

    Baker definitely has quirky locals--and not so much strange as cowboy//rural America food. Accommodations are of the roadside motel variety, and there is a complete lack of glitz that I find completely charming.
    "When the spirits are low, when the day appears dark, when work becomes monotonous, when hope hardly seems worth having, just mount a bicycle and go out for a spin down the road, without thought on anything but the ride you are taking."

    (Sir) Arthur Conan Doyle. Scientific American, January 18, 1896

  17. #17
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    D@mn Indians!

    As an added bonus for the detour to Baker, crossing the border at Sumas would mean almost a 0% chance of a wait at the border crossing.

    Just checked--and was sad to see the local Baker mtn bar/restaurant--the Chandelier--(where we tipped a few) burned down in 2000.
    Last edited by paredown; 12-23-2010 at 10:05 AM.
    "When the spirits are low, when the day appears dark, when work becomes monotonous, when hope hardly seems worth having, just mount a bicycle and go out for a spin down the road, without thought on anything but the ride you are taking."

    (Sir) Arthur Conan Doyle. Scientific American, January 18, 1896

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by BentChainring
    Another question... how is the drive from Seattle to Whistler? Planning on leaving on a Wednesday at around 1pm... Is AWD anywhere near necessary?

    How does it work driving a rental car out of the country?
    As far as things to look at, the route from Seattle to Vancouver is boooooaaaarrring. The scenery along Sea to Sky Hwy between Vancouver and Whistler is absolutely beautiful though, allow time to stop and snap some pictures!

    I can't comment on need for AWD, I was there in early October and I'm sure it's a different animal in the winter time.

  19. #19
    ARP
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    Yes it was awesome

    Unfortunately I was only able to spend a day up trekking around at Blackcomb. A few pics.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Been to Whistler?-vancov2010-055.jpg   Been to Whistler?-vancov2010-075.jpg   Been to Whistler?-vancov2010-095.jpg   Been to Whistler?-vancov2010-103.jpg   Been to Whistler?-vancov2010-109.jpg  

    Been to Whistler?-vancov2010-127.jpg   Been to Whistler?-vancov2010-139.jpg   Been to Whistler?-vancov2010-183.jpg  

  20. #20
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    I was up there a few years ago for a company retreat, and they put us up at the Fairmont, which was nice enough. As for AWD, it would be no more/less necessary than any other skiing destination. Vehicle traffic is reasonably heavy on that route, so it's not as though you'll be travelling an un-maintained goat path. With that said, AWD is good anywhere if you end up facing a sudden dump of snow.

    I'll also add a plus eleventy on crossing at Sumas. In addition to the (probable) reduced wait time, you are on Hwy 1 almost immediately after crossing, and Hwy 1 (Trans-Canada) will get you through the Greater Vancouver area more quickly than trying to travel through the lesser arteries in the Metro area. If you do end up crossing at Peace Arch, take Hwy. 15 north to Hwy 1, rather than trying to snake through the city, unless you feel like exploring.

  21. #21
    Cowboy up
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Art853
    Not a bad idea.. except were tied into an early flight sunday. I was able to find rentals <$100, and with hotels >$100 a night... I am ok with the rental.

    Anyways... I need to make my homage to the Red Hook Brewery!
    "Late to bed, early to rise, work like hell and advertise." -Von Braun

  23. #23
    Cowboy up
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    Photos from the road between Seattle and hockey land.

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Been to Whistler?-liao_jungle.jpg  

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Art853
    Photos from the road between Seattle and hockey land.

    WANT!!!

    I think I may never come back. (wheres that at?)
    "Late to bed, early to rise, work like hell and advertise." -Von Braun

  25. #25
    Cowboy up
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    Quote Originally Posted by BentChainring
    WANT!!!

    I think I may never come back. (wheres that at?)
    Bolivia. Yungas Road.
    Last edited by Art853; 12-24-2010 at 04:23 AM.

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