Whistler trip report

Mar 3rd, 2004, 01:48 PM
  #1  
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Whistler trip report

Thanks to all on this board for their helpful advice for my trip to Whistler a few weeks ago. Here is my review/report:

Our trip to Whistler was fabulous. I would have to say that both the positives and negatives I read about Whistler on this board were accurate. The most notable negative being that the weather can be iffy, even in February. For our 4 days on the slopes, we had two spectacularly beautiful days and two rainy days (one with impenetrable fog, making the skiing nearly impossible). But the awe-inspiring beauty on the good days more than compensated. As a novice skier (by Whistler standards, not by Eastern mountain standards!), I really appreciated the green runs that originated at the peaks of both Whistler and Blackcomb. One of my friends who had never been on skis before, however, had a tough time learning (even with a lesson)--even the green runs can be tricky for complete beginners. Based on his experience, I would have to say there are probably better mountains to learn to ski on.

The food, subject of debate on another Whistler thread, was definitely a mixed bag. We went to two high-end restaurants: Araxi and Aubergine Grill. Those were both fabulous, and I feel they can hold their own with most high-end New York City restaurants. The vibe at Araxi was welcome and inviting, and the caribou steak at Aubergine (yes, I splurged on what for me is something exotic!) was worth every penny.

The other restaurants in town that we visited, though, were on the mediocre side--places like Earls and the apres-ski joints like Longhorn, for example. And the mountainside cafeterias (like the Roundhouse) were definitely yucksville (think people fighting for congealed chili bowls--blech). But this is not a complaint--just an assessment from some admitted food snobs. Even when we didn't like the food, the plentiful beer selection eased our troubles!!

(Speaking of which, Dubh Linn Gate was hands-down our favorite pre-, intra-, and apres-ski pub. Highly recommended, and the food there was quite good.)

Beyond that, our experience was definitely a good one all-around. The nightlife was definitely a little tricky to navigate (most bars seemed to have either the under-21 crowd or the over-40 crowd, leaving us scratching our heads sometimes), but we certainly had a good time.

I would definitely go back to Whistler, and I'm only sorry it's such a long distance from where I live! Thanks once again for all the avice.

Matt
mattydale is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2004, 01:57 PM
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Er, that's advice.

And I forgot to mention... We stayed at the Crystal Lodge. We stayed in a "deluxe" room (2 queen beds, one fold-out sofa) and it was plenty big enough. The hotel was very basic (it's certainly not a "charming" hotel), but it was clean and the location can't be beat. I would recommend it.
mattydale is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2004, 03:01 PM
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Mattydale, thanks for posting a report. I have to agree with you about the Dubh linn Gate pub. It is our favorite too, and actually I'm suffering a bit today after shutting it down last night. Cheers, Al
WhistlerAl is offline  
Mar 4th, 2004, 04:06 PM
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Here's the third vote for Dubh Linn Gate! Our son in law is from the UK and loved it too (said it was a "proper pub"! We ate lunch there almost everyday and the menu is so extensive I don't think anyone ever had the same thing.

We also liked that crazy Mongolie Grill for a night of fun food for reasonable. The Chocolate Explosion dessert was out of this world.

The last night we discovered Hy's Steakhouse and wished we'd found it the first night! Excellent steaks and seafood in a wonderful atmosphere. Add it to your list of really nice places to dine.
ScubaMom is offline  
Mar 4th, 2004, 09:49 PM
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My favorite on-mountain food at Whistler is the all day waffle at the Crystal Hut, covered with fruit, chocolate and whipped cream.
abram is offline  
Mar 5th, 2004, 01:28 PM
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WhistlerAl--here's a question for you. Every time we ordered a burger up in Whistler, we were told that the burger could only be cooked well-done. I assumed that this was because of mad cow in neighboring Alberta, and I never bothered to ask about it. But now that I'm home, someone told me that the mad cow can't be cooked out of beef--so that can't be the explanation. Is that just the style up in BC? Or is there something else to it?

Matt
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Mar 23rd, 2004, 06:54 AM
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Hi Mattydale. This was a good report to be reading as we shortly travel to Whilster on 4/4/04. Apart from the rain you mentioned was it very cold ie the temperature, during the day and evening. Not sure what to take to wear for the evenings - taking two children ages 11 & 13 yrs. Will it be much colder than skiing in Europe even though it is a bit later in the year? Did you ski every day? If not, what else is there to do? Good to hear it was a good trip.
BKFJ4404 is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2004, 07:04 AM
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mattydale - cooking chopped beef is required because of the possibility of bacterial contamination of the meat (for example E. coli and other coliforms). Heat kills bacteria, and prevents food poisoning.
By the way, everyone should keep this in mind when BBQing at home - make sure that the ground/chopped meat is cooked thoroughly before eating it.
Borealis is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2004, 11:15 AM
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BKFJ4404: There are lots of things to do in Whistler other than ski/board the slopes. Hopefully WhistlerAl sees your post as he is the expert, but let me add a few: cross-country skiing, guided or not, great runs, fun; after the slopes close at 4 pm, the Chateau Whistler at Blackcomb rents out inner tubes for tubing right in front of the hotel - parents can sit in front of a bonfire, sip a glass of wine and watch the kids; walk to Lost Lake, roughly a 2 km walk; visit Whistler's fabulous Recreation Centre with a wonderful pool (and a kid's area) and full sized ice rink; a sleigh ride; and if you're really feeling lazy, there is an 8-screen movie complex.
Our family (12 & 17 year old boys) were in Whistler Mar 6 - 8 and it was great spring skiing - everyone stripped off layers. However Whistler's weather can be very changeable, so although I would guess it won't be "cold" in April it could be rainy/windy/sunny/etc. Layering is the key. Have a great time. Cheers, Linda
BowenLinda is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2004, 11:52 PM
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BowenLinda. Thank you for your message. It sounds like we will have a great time. 'Layering' seems the best idea at this time of year. Although we are all novices, our children (girls) have not skied before, Whistler sounds like a great place to start. Thanks again.
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Mar 24th, 2004, 11:09 AM
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We just returned from a short 3 day trip with our two girls (13/11) and two toddler boys. My girls snowboard, but this was just a short get away, so they opted just to hang and relax...we only live 3 hrs away (Washington State). Our girls like to go in and out of the funky shops and relax when they aren't boarding. They read a lot, swam a lot, and we all had a great time. By the end of two weeks, your girls will be pretty darn good at whichever they try (snowboard or ski)!
kristinhall70 is offline  
Mar 25th, 2004, 02:14 PM
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BKF, this post is a little late but... if your girls haven't skiied/boarded before, I'd strongly suggest lessons to boost confidence and foster family peace. Both my boys have taken lessons at Whistler/Blackcomb in the past, and enjoyed them. You can even request a female instructor if the girls wanted. If you don't opt for lessons (a package will include slope tickets), you can save serious coin by buying Whistler/Blackcomb passes at any 7-11 (corner grocery store chain) in the Vancouver area. You can't redeem them (I think) so carefully estimate how many you think you will use. Have a great time. Linda
BowenLinda is offline  
Mar 30th, 2004, 06:25 AM
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To BowenLinda & Kristinhall70. Thank you both for your tips. Could you tell me where you stayed in Whistler and what you thought of your accomm.
BKFJ4404 is offline  
Mar 30th, 2004, 06:35 AM
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Kristinhall70 - only 3 hrs away from Whistler - what a great place to go for a 3 day break! We will be travelling almost 10 hrs to get to Whistler plus transfer times (UK)!Our girls haven't really experienced snow like there is in Canada, so they are really looking forward to it.
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Mar 30th, 2004, 03:03 PM
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Just revisited my own thread... Borealis, thanks for the burger cooking info. Is that a BC law or something? Certainly I've never had a problem getting a burger medium rare in the States.

BKFJ, I can't really speak to how cold it will be for you (others on this board certainly can), but I can tell you that when we were there it was quite warm. In fact there were signs on the trails to watch out for falling rocks because of Spring-like conditions. I came dressed for cooler temps, so I was definitely a little too hot under my ski jacket, even at the peaks. Layers is the way to go.

Finally, as an off-slope activity (during one of the rainy days), we went snowmobiling at nearby Cougar Mountain. They have lots of tour companies in town with info on activities.

Enjoy!
mattydale is offline  
Mar 30th, 2004, 11:15 PM
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Mattydale. Thanks for the tips, this 'travel talk' board has been great. We are really looking forward to this trip.
BKFJ4404 is offline  
Mar 31st, 2004, 08:41 PM
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mattydale - regarding your question <<<thanks for the burger cooking info. Is that a BC law or something? Certainly I've never had a problem getting a burger medium rare in the States>>>.

I think it has more to do with cautious business practices than the law; after all, why take the chance that one of your customers will sue you because they developed severe food poisoning that led to kidney failure after eating food that was prepared at your restaurant??
For more info on hamburger disease, check out the CDC (Center for Disease Control) website:

http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dbmd/disea...chiacoli_g.htm
Borealis is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2004, 08:46 AM
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Hi all, I'm back after having computer problems for a few weeks that wouldn't allow me to post.
yes, the well done burgers are in response to an outbreak of e coli a few years ago in Vancouver.
BKFJ, soory, since you are arriving tomorrow, it's a little late to offer advice, but I hope you have a great time, and hopefully you will post a trip report. Cheers, Al
WhistlerAl is offline  
Apr 5th, 2004, 11:00 AM
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Thank you to all who have added suggestions on activities around Whistler if you're not skiing. I won a trip to go up there off of a local radio station here in Portland, Oregon, and it includes 3 days of skiing. Well I had to get my big toenail removed last week, so it's gonna be iffy if I can ski or not. So recommendations for great taverns are welcome!!! lol
LT2598 is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2004, 09:39 AM
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Referring to WhistlerAl for a trip report. We all had a super time in Whilster, weather was very variable with temps reaching 25oC the first week and dipping to below freezing the second week with snow,freezing rain and fog. Although our girls (13&11 yrs) were beginners, by the end of the 2 weeks and 1 1/2 days private tuition they were excellent on the slopes attempting all the green runs along with my husband, plus a blue run. Having not skied for many years, I found the green runs quite challenging. I must add that the instructors were brilliant, especially ours, Meredith from Australia. The food was fine, we tried most places over the 2 weeks. We enjoyed the steaks at the Keg, champagne at the Bear Bistro and pasta at Umbertos - quite a varied selection to choose from. We enjoyed apres-ski at La Brassiere, watching the world go by. Couldn't try all the bars due to having 'minors' - but this wasn't a problem. We were very central staying at Blackcomb Lodge, although could be quite noisy we enjoyed the central location. I believe it is shut now for refurbishment. Thanks to all who replied to my posting, all the advice helped. We are already thinking of going again next year and incorporating a visit to Vancouver Island!
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