Whistler Blackcomb is scheduled to open on November 25, 2021, and there are a few changes for this season that you need to know about before you hit the slopes, but before we start with what’s new, let’s just recap what’s not. 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.

What happens here is big mountain skiingthe 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. While that’s simply amazing, it’s worth noting that seventy-five percent 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.

Note from the Editor: Things may change quickly this season as Whistler adjusts to new, public health advisories as they come out. We will aim to update this post as quickly as possible to keep it a relevant and useful planning tool for you this winter.

A skier in a red jacket powers down a groomer on Whistler Blackcomb.
Wahoo, the mountains are open! PHOTO SCOTT SERFAS

Day Passes for Whistler Blackcomb – December 5 Deadline

All Whistler Blackcomb pass sales end on December 5 including their Day Pass – these passes offer the lowest rates to ski / ride this season. They aren’t date-specific and don’t have to be used consecutively. After December 5, you will only be able to purchase date-specific lift tickets for the mountain.

This season, to prioritize the guest experience and Pass Holders, Whistler Blackcomb are limiting lift ticket sales during three popular periods: Dec 25 to Jan 2, Jan 14 to 17 and Feb 18 to 27. Lift tickets will not be limited on any other days this season.

Opening Day Terrain

Thanks to recent snowfall, and more on the way, Whistler Blackcomb is anticipating skiing to mid-mountain on Opening Day on both Whistler Mountain and Blackcomb Mountain. Upload will be possible from Whistler Village Gondola, Fitzsimmons, and Creekside Gondola to Whistler Mountain, and Blackcomb Gondola and Excalibur Gondola to the top of Blackcomb Mountain.

Roundhouse and Rendezvous restaurants will be open on opening day – and yes, this includes the Umbrella Bar! Glacier Creek will be open for washrooms only, and GLC and Dusty’s will be open daily from 11 AM – 7 PM and 11:30 AM – 7 PM respectively.

No Whistler Blackcomb Reservation System

Last winter, Whistler Blackcomb had a reservation system for skiing and riding, but not this season. They’ll be loading lifts and gondolas at normal capacity.

Vaccines

Vaccines are not required to ski or ride, but you do have to show proof of vaccination to dine indoors (more details below in the dining section).

Face Coverings for Whistler Blackcomb

Face coverings are required on gondolas and indoors, including restrooms, restaurants (while not eating or drinking), lodging properties, retail and rental locations, and on buses in accordance with government mandates. 

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 and chairlifts.

Dining on Whistler Blackcomb

Like last season, guests will be required to book a reservation to eat at on-mountain restaurants using the Time to Dine reservation service on the EpicMix App or online. This is for all dining on Whistler Blackcomb, including quick and full service, which means you can’t just rock up when your tummy starts to growl, so be prepared and make a booking. You can make a reservation one day prior from 7 AM.

Vaccine Card

Like we mentioned above, guests will be required to show their proof of vaccination 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 19 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.

COVID requirementsDining 101

Whistler Blackcomb are welcoming guests back to dining – prior to entering, a vaccine passport check will be conducted where guests will be required to show proof of vaccination and a government-issued ID.

They are offering a variety of hot and grab-and-go food items, as well as hot and cold beverages at their restaurants. Bar service like Seppo’s and Umbrella Bar are back for your enjoyment.

Please note that occupancy limits have expanded, and it is possible that you will be sat at a communal table with other guests. They are implementing a time limit of 45 minutes per reservation to ensure seating for all guests. There’s a 5- to 10-minute window if you’re running late for your booking; however, after that time, your table will be given to the next guests in line.

Whistler Blackcomb are asking all of their guests to be considerate of others and cancel reservations if your plans change. Please do not book several reservations at the same time in different lodges, do not hold tables, and leave when finished to make room for others.

Bringing Your Own Lunch

If you’re bringing your own food and drinks with you (no alcohol), you will be able to eat inside at one of the lodges by making a booking (starting at 7 AM PST the day prior) via Time to Dine on the EpicMix App or online. Whistler Blackcomb asks that you are considerate of others and use the table for eating only, and to head back out on the mountain when you’re done.

Water bottle filling stations will be available, and we suggest bringing your own water bottle / hydration pack for your time on the mountain.

Washrooms on Whistler Blackcomb

Washrooms are exempt from any vaccination card requirements, but you do need your face covering.

Guided skiing with Extremely Canadian
A guide or instructor can help you make the most of the terrain. PHOTO MIKE CRANE

Whistler Blackcomb Ski and Snowboard School

Ski and snowboard school is available for adults and children aged three and up of all skill levels. Here are some key things to note:

  • Guests aged 12 and older who are enrolled in a full-day lesson will need to provide proof of vaccination in order to dine with the group.
  • Adult lesson participants (aged 15 and above) may choose to not provide proof of vaccination, but you will not be able to dine with the group. Face coverings will only be required indoors and are not required to be worn during lessons while outside.
  • We strongly recommend making a booking well in advance of your lesson date to ensure availability. Making advance bookings during peaks periods, like the festive season and school holidays, is a must to guarantee your preferred lesson type and time.

Guest Services

Guest Services is now open daily in all three locations (base of Whistler Mountain, Blackcomb Daylodge at the base of Blackcomb and Creekside) from 8 AM to 5 PM.

Whistler Blackcomb Fresh Tracks

Fresh Tracks returns December 20. Get an early gondola upload and the first turns of the day. Working in a COVID-safe environment, this program will now include a $10 food voucher to be used at any time throughout the day with light refreshments available at the top.

Terrain Park News

All early-season terrain park offerings will be on Blackcomb Mountain to the side of Choker, and Whistler Blackcomb will start building the Whistler Park as the snow continues to fall.

Take note, the popular Countdown Terrain Garden on Blackcomb Mountain will be moved to Whistler Mountain this year. Whistler Mountain will also have a small and medium line on Chipmunk. Blackcomb Mountain will have a medium and large line on Choker, a large line on Grey Line and an XL line in the Highest Level Park.

They have four new beginner box features to add to their fleet this season, as well as four new medium rail features from sponsors, Guru. They’re looking forward to having events at the parks, including the Showcase Showdown, King of the Rail, Park Rider Sessions and BC Snowboard Provincials.

Family Certified Zones on Whistler Blackcomb

The Family Certified Zones will return this winter including the Magic Castle, Tree Fort and Enchanted Woods.  Check the website for updates throughout the season.

Sightseeing on Whistler Blackcomb

You don’t need to be on skis or a snowboard to enjoy the incredible alpine views. The PEAK 2 PEAK 360 Experience will be open for sightseeing from 10 AM to 2:30 PM daily, beginning opening day, November 25.

There’s no need for skis to take in the incredible mountain views. PHOTO VINCE EMOND

Whistler Blackcomb Fire & Ice Show

The Fire & Ice Show, which usually happen every Sunday in Skier’s Plaza, has a tentative start date of January 9. If you are looking for something to do with the family in the evenings, we suggest Vallea Lumina as another option, read more in Magic in the Mountains: Winter Vallea Lumina.

Whistler Heli-Skiing

Whistler Heli-Skiing will be flying beginning December 6. Their exclusive tenure consists of 432,000 acres of classic, big mountain terrain. This includes 173 glaciers and 475 runs in an area 50 times the size of Whistler Blackcomb.

two people tubing on snow
Families that slide together, stick together. PHOTO JUSTA JESKOVA

bubly Tube Park

The family-favourite bubly tube park is due to open mid-December – more details coming soon.

EpicMix App Forecasts Lift Line Wait Times

Plan your ski and ride day with more accuracy this season with the EpicMix app’s latest enhancement to the Time section with predicted wait times in 15-minute increments for all lifts, all day long. It combines historic and actual wait time data with guest counts, wait times at other lifts, snowfall, day of the week and period of the season to create its predictive model. It also leverages machine learning, so its forecast will improve in accuracy throughout the season – making tech work for snow lovers!

Upcoming Events on Whistler Blackcomb

CIBC Never Ever Days

Have you always wanted to learn to ski, or do you have a friend who has always wanted to learn to snowboard? CIBC Never Ever Days return to Whistler Blackcomb on December 10 and 11, where you get a full day Level 1 beginner lesson package with a maximum of five participants, including lift ticket and rentals, for only $25. Registration will be available on the Whistler Blackcomb website in early December.

Winter Kickoff

The Winter Kickoff hosted by The North Face is back next month, featuring a free movie night, challenges, contests and more. Learn more and make sure to enter the competition for a chance to win the ultimate winter camping experience at the top of Whistler Mountain on December 11.

There’s still a lot of new for this season, so if you want help navigating this when coming to Whistler just connect with the locally-based team at Whistler.com or use the Ask Whistler live chat service for quick questions. We look forward to seeing you in the mountains this winter season!

Winter in Whistler offers great value when you Stay Longer, Save More with savings of up to 30%, including a $100 Whistler Shopping Voucher when you stay 3 nights or more. If you are a BC or Washington Resident, be sure to check out Whistler Rewards for the best seasonal deals.

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.