Snow, ice, frost, sub-zero temperatures and blizzards.
Welcome to winter in Whistler. And while these sorts of frigid weather conditions generally make for a lot of good times on and off the ski hill you have to be dressed for them. Very few people in the history of civilization have ever said, “My feet are soaking wet and freezing cold, this rules!”
Surviving (and thriving) in times of cold and snowy awesomeness is instinctual for most Canadians but for those coming to Whistler from warmer climates battling the elements may not be as intuitive. So to celebrate the first big valley snowfall of the year, The Insider asked a handful of Whistler locals and return visitors for a few tips on what to pack for a Whistler winter holiday.
“A cute parka with a hood is integral,” says born-and-raised Whistler girl Mila Rusimovich. “The hood protects your hair from the snow – carrying an umbrella looks dorky.” Mila, an event coordinator with Lululemon Athelica, is now living in Vancouver and was actually packing for a weekend back in Whistler when we called. She offered this other advice in real-time.
“Whistler is upping its style game quite a bit lately,” Mila explains. “Bring boots with a block heel so your feet are warm and dry – you won’t slip around but will still look nice. Gloves, scarf and a toque are essential, so is waterproof mascara you can wear on the hill and face moisturizer to protect your skin. Layers are important, pack a tank top, a tee shirt, a long sleeve, and a puff vest so you can take off your soggy parka and still be warm. Something traditionally ski resort-ish is good too— I’m thinking a faux-fur collar, a toque with a pom-pom, a cashmere headband or big winter boots like Sorels. Aritzia, in the Village has great options if you don’t have anything.”
As Mila mentions, there is plenty of excellent winter-gear shopping to be had in Whistler and you can also rent ski clothing (jackets/pants/gloves/goggles/etc) if you’re really looking to travel light. For everyone else here is a fair and balanced cross section of Whistler winter packing advice.
You can always find all the information you need on whistler weather, transportation, accommodation and more at Whistler.com