I am lucky to have a view of Whistler Blackcomb from my house, which means I can watch the snowline creep its way down, a little lower every day, bit by bit. I can almost hear the swoosh of my skis on corduroy and feel that heart-pounding rush course through my veins as I push myself a bit farther, a bit faster.

Opening Day for Whistler Blackcomb has been set, so mark your calendar for November 25. The countdown to winter fun has begun, and Whistler’s ready to embrace it all. Don’t miss another winter, come join us in the mountains.

A skier tackles steep, powdery terrain on Whistler Blackcomb.
Get your winter stoke on because it’s comin’. PHOTO BLAKE JORGENSON

Lovers of snow-based sports are used to being patient and determined, as our winter wonderland is created on Mother Nature’s time schedule and no one else’s. These traits are going to come in handy this winter season, as travellers all over the world will need to plan in advance, do their research, and pack their patience. Here’s what to expect when you come to Whistler this winter season.

Be Prepared

Do Your Research

Canada’s borders are open! Now, more than ever, travellers need to do their research before heading to their destination, whether you’re an international traveller, from the US, or coming to Whistler from another Canadian province.

COVID-19 protocols are constantly evolving and vary from place to place. We want to help you with that preparation as much as we can, so take a look at our COVID-19 page to get the latest information on what you need to know when coming to Whistler.

COVID-19 Basics for British Columbia

  • Everyone in BC aged 5 and older is required to wear a mask in indoor, public settings, regardless of immunization status.
  • Effective September 13, people aged 12+ must show proof of vaccination to access certain events, services and businesses in BC, this includes restaurants and cafes. This mandatory requirement applies to all residents of BC, as well as travellers visiting from outside of BC. View the full list of where proof of vaccination is required.
    • Residents of BC must show their BC Vaccine Card and a valid piece of government photo ID.
    • Travellers from other Canadian provinces or territories must show their provincially / territorially officially recognized vaccine record and valid government photo ID.
    • International visitors must show proof of vaccination (ex. what you submitted to the ArriveCAN app) and your passport.
  • There is no quarantine requirement for domestic travellers upon arrival in British Columbia.
  • A full overview of British Columbia’s province-wide COVID-19 restrictions is available on the Government of British Columbia’s website.

Where you will need proof of vaccination infographic.

You should also take a look at what you need to plan for when returning home. Whistler.com has information for our international guests and will do their best to keep this information as up to date as possible, but all travellers are strongly encouraged to do their own research and to confirm their re-entry requirements via official government resources.

 

As we mentioned, things change, so our advice would be to keep checking our COVID-19 page before and during your vacation to stay informed.

Book Ahead

We would advise you to book accommodation, restaurants and activities ahead of time to avoid possible disappointment and to allow Whistler businesses time to plan and be ready for your arrival.

Make sure you pack your patience, Whistler’s businesses are open and can’t wait to serve you, but staffing is an issue across the hospitality sector as businesses work to recover from the pandemic. Please be kind to the people serving your food, checking you in and taking you out on a tour, they are working hard to deliver a great experience. Remember, we’re still in this together.

two people ziplining over snowy trees
Whistler’s activity providers have some epic adventures for you to try. PHOTO THE ADVENTURE GROUP

You can consult Whistler’s Doors Open Directory to see how businesses have modified their operations in response to COVID-19. When in resort, you can use the Whistler interactive map for up-to-date information on local businesses including hours of operation and periodic closures.

Locally based, Whistler.com travel consultants can help answer any questions you have about Whistler and help you book ski packages and activities, guaranteeing you the best price available. For some ideas of what you might want to do off the slopes, take a read of Know Before You Go: Outdoor Activities Off the Slopes.

A couple eat dinner at the Raven Room in Whistler.
Make reservations for your favourite Whistler restaurants. PHOTO JUSTA JESKOVA

Responsible Travel

The Whistler community cares deeply for the environment and strives to preserve the area’s natural beauty by taking meaningful steps towards the resort’s vision of sustainability. Take a read of Whistler’s environmental initiatives and how you can play your part while you’re here on our Responsible Travel in Whistler page. Thanks in advance for being a responsible traveller.

Support Local

If you need some new winter gear or want to give what you have some TLC, buying locally  from shops and utilizing local services enhances the Whistler community, connects us all socially, creates jobs and boosts the economy.

Two women carry shopping bags down the Village Stroll in Whistler.
Make sure you’ve got room in your suitcase for a few extras. PHOTO JUSTA JESKOVA

What’s New at Whistler Blackcomb

Before we start with what’s new, let’s just recap what’s not changed. Whistler Blackcomb is still North America’s largest ski resort, with 200+ runs over 8,100 acres of terrain. It has reliable snowfall and moderate temperatures, thanks to its West Coast locale and has been voted Best Ski Resort in North America multiple times. This is all status quo.

A skier turns in the powder on Whistler Blackcomb.
Carve out time for some powder turns this winter. PHOTO BEN GIRARDI

What happens here is big mountain skiing, the kind of skiing and snowboarding you see in the movies. You know, powder in the face, graceful, arcing turns on long, vertical descents and cliff drops with pillowy landings. Not quite there yet? Seventy-five per cent of Whistler Blackcomb’s terrain is green and blue (beginner and intermediate), so you can work your way up to those powder turns, or cruise the corduroy at your own pace and take in the incredible views of the Coast Mountains.

No Whistler Blackcomb Reservation System

Last winter, Whistler Blackcomb had a reservation system for skiing and riding, but this season it doesn’t and has said it will be loading lifts and gondolas at normal capacity.

Face Coverings

Face coverings will not be required to ski and ride this season, and they will also not be required in outdoor spaces such as lift lines, chairlifts and restaurant patios. Face coverings are only required on gondolas and indoors, including restrooms, restaurants (while not eating or drinking), lodging properties and retail and rental locations, in accordance with government mandates. Face coverings are also required on buses.

Dining

Like last season, guests will be required to book a reservation to eat at on-mountain restaurants using the Time to Dine reservation service. However, based on current regulations, Whistler Blackcomb is expecting significantly more seating and dining capacity than last season and intends to open reservations one day prior, versus the day-of bookings they had in place last season.

Like we mentioned above, guests will be required to show their BC Vaccine Card to dine at indoor restaurants, restaurant patios and bars, including those on Whistler Blackcomb. Proof of vaccination will be required for guests ages 12 and over at those locations, and for guests ages 18 and over, proof of photo ID will also be required. This also applies to those in the ski and ride school programs that include lunch.

Washrooms

Washrooms are exempt from any vaccination card requirements. Anyone who is on the mountain can access those facilities without proof of vaccination during the operating hours of those buildings.

A family chat at the top of a ski run on Whistler Blackcomb.
It’s time to reconnect with the family and explore together. PHOTO JUSTA JESKOVA

Cashless Transactions

All transactions at Whistler Blackcomb will be cashless again this season. We suggest you book in advance and online to make your experience as smooth as possible.

Whistler Blackcomb Snow School Daily Lessons & Camps

Whistler Blackcomb is resuming more of its lesson-based programs this season, including those for younger children. Face coverings will only be required during the indoor portion of the ski and ride school experience, including during drop-off and pick-up, accessing indoor facilities such as restrooms and restaurants (while not eating or drinking), and on gondolas. Face coverings will not be required during the outdoor portion of the ski and ride school experience.

Vaccination Requirements

Children aged 12 and older who are part of a full-day ski and snowboard school program will be required to show proof of vaccination as lessons include lunches at indoor restaurants. This proof of vaccination will be required at the time of drop-off. Adults participating in ski and ride school programs or private lessons may choose to opt out of dining at indoor restaurants.

Good to Know

Whistler Blackcomb requires all of their employees to have their COVID-19 vaccinations for their safety and protection, as well as the safety and protection of their guests and the wider community. Indoor face coverings, enhanced hygiene practices, daily employee health screenings, and other health and safety measures will also continue.

We will all have to adventure differently again this winter season, but hey, the mountains are open, there’s so much room to play, and we can’t wait to welcome you back to Whistler. For even more inspiration, take a look at our Why Whistler? video series.

Fall in Whistler offers great value on accommodation with rooms from $129 CAD, plus a free $100 CAD Dining Voucher when you book a stay of 3 nights or more. For winter, book by November 15, 2021 for the best deals and lowest prices of the winter season, and book with confidence with Whistler.com's flexible cancellation policies.

Author

You can often find Dee exploring all Whistler has to offer with her three-kid tribe in tow. Originally from the UK, Dee enjoys balancing out high-thrills adventures with down-time basking in the beauty of the wonderful place she now calls home.