It’s friendly, it’s bright and it’s a whole lot of fun, it’s the 32nd Whistler Pride & Ski Festival. What started as a small, weekend gathering of gay ski enthusiasts in 1992, has become one of the biggest (and some might say best) gay and lesbian ski weeks in North America. With a packed events schedule of skiing, snowboarding and queer-focused, après and social events, it’s Whistler’s celebration of diversity. Take a read of what it’s like to go to the festival as a lone traveller in our latest event blog.

While Whistler’s ski and snowboard season is off to a slower start than usual, it’s good to remember that everything can change in one good storm cycle. Whistler Blackcomb is working hard to open as much terrain as possible and their incredible snowmaking infrastructure is pumping when the temps drop.

The mountains are a magical place filled with fun things for family and friends to do, regardless of snow depth, just take a read of Off the Slopes Activities in Whistler for some inspiration.

Here’s what’s happening in Whistler this January.

Outdoor Adventure

You’ll find us:

  • Getting in some cross-country ski laps at Callaghan Country and Whistler Olympic Park before the Cross Country BC Teck Coast Cup Series on January 20. Just south of Whistler in the stunning Callaghan Valley, you’ll find snowy trails for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, including some dog-friendly trails. There are rentals, lessons and clinics available, and you can even try the unique sport of biathlon, which combines cross-country skiing with rifle shooting.
  • Taking to the skies with Whistler Heli-Skiing. They have access to 432,000 acres of terrain, that’s a lot of places to find powder. It’s also good to know that Whistler Heli-Skiing flys carbon-neutral. Read more about the heli-ski experience in our 101 Guide.
  • Throwing it down at the BC Snowboard Regional Slopestyle, January 4 to 6. Happening in Blackcomb Park on Grey Line, this BC Snowboard Sanctioned Provincial Event includes two slopestyles and registration is open now.
  • Speeding like an Olympian down the sliding track! No experience is necessary to try either the public bobsleigh or public skeleton experiences at the Whistler Sliding Centre. Read more about it in our blog.
  • Learning how to safely explore Whistler’s backcountry with the passionate pros at Extremely Canadian. Writer, Jessie Boyd, went on a couple of adventures with them last year and gives us her field report notes in Exploring Whistler’s Backcountry with Extremely Canadian.

Adventure Lite

You’ll find us:

  • Racing in the Kokanee Valley Race Series on January 11. No race experience is necessary! There’s Slalom, Giant Slalom (GS) and Super G to choose from, and the vibe is fun and friendly.
  • Cycling through the rejuvenating heating and cooling program at the Scandinave Spa, Whistler’s outdoor, thermal therapy experience. Heat up in their saunas, steam rooms and hot pools, and then use the cool plunge pools and showers to invigorate your body and mind. If you need extra TLC book a massage.
  • Stretching out our bodies in one of the most beautiful indoor spaces in Whistler – the Audain Art Museum. Register for the yoga session on January 4 from 9:30 to 10:30 AM and then explore the galleries after with admission included with your $20 lesson fee.
  • Staring in awe at the ski and snowboard athletes who take part in Whistler Blackcomb’s Fire & Ice Show. Watch as they somersault through firey rings at the base of Whistler Mountain as the tunes pump. This free event happens weekly on Sundays during the winter at 7:30 PM. Read more about the athletes who make this happen in our blog on the Fire & Ice Show.

More ways to get outside.

Family Fun

You’ll find us:

  • Deep in the forest at a magical, multimedia light show. Vallea Lumina is an incredible après ski activity that will wow the whole family. Read more about this experience in Magic in the Mountains: Winter Vallea Lumina.
  • Bouncing away on the indoor castles at Wintersphere, on at the Whistler Conference Centre until January 6. There are also crafts and a holiday maze!
  • Seeing if we can get out of a pirate ship, underwater lair and gold mine at Escape! Whistler. You’ve got 45 minutes to solve riddles and puzzles to get out of your chosen room. This is a great activity for families and friends who love to work together to get things done!

More family-friendly activities.

Arts & Culture

You’ll find us:

  • Enjoying the indie folk strummings of guitarist, Tennyson King who captivates audiences with his reverberant sound intertwined with humorous tales of life on the road at the Maury Young Arts Centre on January 11 at 8 PM. While you’re there, take in the work of local artist Andrea Mueller as her exhibit, Inconsistent Memory is on display at The Gallery until January 27. You can also find her work at ArtPOP, located in Creekside.
  • Connecting with living history at the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre. This is a place of connection and learning, visit them and join a tour to get an understanding of the vibrant Indigenous people who have called this incredible land home since time immemorial.
  • Losing ourselves in the unique, story-telling quality of Karin Bubaš’s photography, one of the exhibits at the Audain Art Museum until January 29. The other visiting exhibit features over 90 works of legendary Canadian artist Gathie Falk, with ceramic and bronze sculpture, acrylic and oil on canvas painting, photography and video, as well as multi-media installations.

Eating, Drinking & Shopping

You’ll find us:

  • Munching on a beaver tail. What?! You read that right. BeaverTails are a Canadian pastry that are, as the name suggests, shaped like a beaver’s tail. The tails are chewy, yet crispy, kind of like a flat donut and come with a range of decadent topping options. Get yours in Mountain Square, close to Lululemon.
  • Checking out the new menu at Raven’s Nest on Whistler Mountain (bottom of Red Chair, top of Creekside Gondola). Working with the chefs at the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre, Whistler Blackcomb’s culinary team will be serving up some of their Indigenous-inspired food items, like venison chilli and salmon chowder, yum!
  • Getting our caffeine kicks with a side of rock ‘n’ roll at Rockit Coffee Co. in Creekside. Although it serves amazing coffee (hand-picked beans by award-winning roasters), it’s also the funky decor, friendly ambiance and delicious food options that will have us coming back time and again. There’s incredible attention to detail, from the 70s and 80s-inspired furniture, lights and accents to the fact that they use New Zealand butter in their croissants, and have a specific time that their espresso blend perculates for (28 seconds), they’ve even weaved their rock theme into their menu item names. This isn’t just grabbing your morning coffee, it’s an experience that will set you up for the day.
  • Testing out some winter cocktails to find our new favourite tipple in Whistler’s Must-Try Winter Cocktails. We visited Fairmont Chateau Whistler, Four Seasons, Wild Blue, Nita Lake Lodge and The Raven Room to taste-test the best!

More on Village shoppingdining and arts and culture.

Save the Date

Arc’teryx Music Series and Film Nights | February 24 & 25

World Ski and Snowboard Festival | April 8 – 14

Be a Responsible Traveller: Don’t Love It to Death

  • Help keep Whistler green by choosing tap water over bottled water, avoiding single-use plastics, leaving the car at home, choosing active transportation and sorting garbage properly to reduce your waste.
  • Be AdventureSmart and always practice Leave No Trace principles.
  • Consider our Responsible Travel pillars, Respect Nature, Think Environment, Don’t Love It to Death and Support Local.
  • Whistler Alert is the official emergency notification system used by the RMOW to communicate with residents and visitors during emergencies via text message, phone and email. We encourage you to sign up for it while you’re here (just in case). When you register, you will be asked to provide your contact number and the date you plan to leave Whistler so that you don’t receive alerts when you’re back home.

Travel Updates

All travel restrictions have been removed for US and international visitors entering Canada. Visit whistler.com/covid for the latest COVID-19 information and resources for travellers.

If You’re Driving . . .

  • Take a read of Go Car Free: 8 Reasons to Ditch the Car on Your Whistler Trip in case we can convince you that you don’t need your car!
  • Winter tires or chains are required on the Sea to Sky Highway from now until March 31. Make sure to check you have these, especially if you’re using a rental car. Read more on our Road Conditions page.
  • Help reduce congestion on the highway by travelling during non-peak times. Peak travel times on the Sea to Sky Highway to Whistler include Friday afternoons and evenings, weekends and holidays. To avoid this busy time, plan to visit Whistler midweek when the highway and the resort are typically quieter. Extend your weekend – plan to arrive on Thursday night and leave on Monday morning to avoid the weekend traffic. If you’re visiting Whistler only for the day, plan on staying for dinner to avoid the rush of day traffic leaving the resort after the mountain closes.
  • Always check DriveBC for current road conditions before getting on the road. Follow @DriveBC on Twitter and listen to MountainFM for the latest updates.
  • Paid parking is in effect in all the Day Lots although there is complimentary parking from 5 PM to 8 AM. Overnight parking is now allowed in the Day Lots, but no overnight camping or sleeping in vehicles. Please check the RMOW website for more information on parking including an interactive map.
  • Marketplace parking has new tariffs; $1 first 30 minutes and $2 first hour (15-minute, storefront parking remains free). For shopping at Fresh St. Market, register your license plate in the machine prior to shopping and they will reimburse you for 1 hour with a minimum $25 purchase.

Book your winter trip now to secure up to 25% off lodging and 33% off rentals. Thinking about spring skiing? Receive a $75 après voucher for every third night booked.

Come experience Whistler Blackcomb’s extensive terrain and adventure at every turn to see why we're known as one of the best resorts on the planet. Secure your mountain getaway with Whistler.com for personalized service and the local knowledge of our Whistler-based team. Want to win a winter trip for two to Whistler? Check out our Drop In to Winter contest.

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.