Explore the mountains by dogsled, zipline and more
By CHLOË LAI
When it comes to winter, Whistler isn’t just a wonderland—it’s a veritable outdoor playground. Ever dream of carving your name into the side of a mountain? With ski and snowboard runs up to 11 km (7 mi) long, there’s plenty of room to leave your mark. If perfectly groomed trails just won’t cut it, venture off the beaten path by way of private catski or helicopter to find spectacular glacier runs stacked with pristine powder. Looking for other ways to test the theory of gravity? Take a deep breath and bungee jump off a bridge over the glacial Cheakamus River, or hurtle gleefully down the hill at the Coca-Cola Tube Park. Motorheads also love revving up a snowmobile—miniature versions are available for pint-sized adrenaline junkies—to roar through frozen backcountry trails. There’s no age limit for squeal-at-the-top-of-your-lungs fun.
Need to chill out? Sit back and let someone else take the reins. Snuggle up behind a pair of trusty steeds for a scenic horse-drawn sleigh ride on Blackcomb Mountain. (Spoiler alert: it ends at a cozy mountain hut where guests warm up with a cup of hot chocolate by the fireplace.) Tuck yourself into a dogsled and let a team of powerful pups take you on an unforgettable journey through the old-growth forest of the Callaghan Valley. When it’s time to slow down and really dwell on the awe-inspiring scenery, there are plenty of ways to tap into the quieter side of the mountain. Soak up the serenity of cross-country ski trails at Whistler Olympic Park, and discover fragrant red cedar trees and overgrown logging roads while snowshoeing through the Whistler Interpretive Forest. Pull on a toque and some warm flannel layers for an afternoon of ice fishing on one of the area’s spectacular lakes. Would-be hockey players and figure skaters head over to the Olympic Plaza in Whistler Village, lace up a pair of skates and glide across the skating rink—gracefully or otherwise.
With so many once-in-a-lifetime experiences lined up in one place, this is also the perfect time to cross off a bucket-list item or three. Soar through the clouds on the Peak 2 Peak Gondola, holder of two Guinness World Records for being the world’s longest unsupported lift of its kind, as well as the highest. With 360-degree views, everyone gets a front-row seat. For a little more speed with your scenery, climb into a harness and zoom down one of the longest ziplines in Canada. Don’t want to go it alone? Dual cables let thrill-seekers fly through the trees side-by-side. And Whistler isn’t just a pretty face—it’s awesome from the inside out. For a rare glimpse of the beauty that lies beneath the surface, go on an expedition through the ice caves, where brilliant blue ice forms natural sculptures and columns that few humans have ever seen or touched. It’s so surreal you may feel the need to pinch yourself, but it’s not a dream—it’s Whistler.