After a fantastic first season on last year’s new Crystal Ridge Express high-speed quad chair on Blackcomb Mountain, Whistler Blackcomb is continuing to perfect the updated zone with land contouring work on high traffic trails. Spurred by customer feedback from last season, Whistler Blackcomb has widened the narrower sections of the Crystal Glide trail which leads from the Glacier Creek Lodge area to the base of the new Crystal Ridge Express. Further trail work has been done on Rock n’ Roll, Backstage Pass, and Ridgerunner to make the Crystal Zone experience more enjoyable for skiers and riders.
This winter Whistler Blackcomb will join only a few resorts in North America in the newest trend in ski and snowboard instruction with the introduction of Terrain Based Learning to its Snow School program. Terrain Based Learning is a relatively new, and proven, way to increase ski and snowboard participation with first-timers. The concept involves building small terrain features so beginners can experience the true feelings of skiing and snowboarding in a safe environment, which makes the learning process easier and results in faster progression for participants.
This winter Whistler Blackcomb will have a new food and beverage option available to skiers, snowboarders and sightseers at Garbo’s Grill. Located in the Carleton Lodge at the base of Whistler Mountain, the new dining option specializes in customizable burgers. Garbo’s offers a protein choice of hormone and antibiotic free beef burger patties, grilled chicken breasts or quinoa and vegetable burgers. Diners then have a choice of over 20 garnishes, including a variety of cheeses, sauces, vegetables and organic greens. Gluten free buns are available upon request and guests can choose to enhance their burgers with options like locally sourced Fraser Valley bacon or guacamole. Garbo’s will also have a number of breakfast options available to early birds starting at 7am, including coffee and a selection of breakfast sandwiches.
Grooming an average of 1,300 acres every night during the winter season, Whistler Blackcomb is an industry leader when it comes to its grooming. To maintain this standard of excellence, Whistler Blackcomb has invested in two new state of the art machines that will join its grooming fleet, comprised of 25 machines this winter.
The first machine is a PistenBully 600 Polar Winch Cat which has 500hp and the ability to groom slopes of 100 per cent grade (45 degrees) winch assisted. This new machine will work alongside the seven other PistenBully 600 Polar Winch Cats already in the Whistler Blackcomb grooming fleet.
The second machine is a PistenBully 400 Park Pro, a 375hp specialized snow cat used to shape terrain park features. This machine is a heavily updated version of the Park Pro snow cats Whistler Blackcomb currently owns with major enhanced controls and features that will allow operators to further develop and enhance Whistler Blackcomb’s terrain parks. This is the first machine of its kind in use in Western Canada for this season. Whistler Blackcomb currently owns eight terrain park specific snow cats.
Whistler Blackcomb will be celebrating its new retail and marketing partnership with Icebreaker this winter season. Icebreaker is the New Zealand brand that established the merino wool category for the outdoor apparel industry. The multi-faceted agreement will put Whistler Blackcomb’s staff in premium Icebreaker merino wool base layers beginning this Fall 2014; and create brand and marketing touch points at retail in Whistler Village, on-mountain and via consumer promotions year-round.
This year visitors to Whistler will not have to worry about finding evening childcare over the busy holiday periods thanks to the introduction of Kid’s Night Out, the newest addition to Whistler Blackcomb’s line up of children’s programs. Kids Night Out are fun, non-ski based evening programs that will take place from Blackcomb Kids at the base of Blackcomb Mountain in the Upper Village. They will be available during holiday weeks including Christmas/New Years, Chinese New Year, President’s Week and Easter, and will offer a convenient solution for parents looking for some grown-up time during their vacations.
Whistler Blackcomb is committed to growing the ski and snowboard community by encouraging adults, children and families to try skiing and snowboarding. To continue this effort in the upcoming winter, Whistler Blackcomb will begin to offer private lessons to families, as well as lower the minimum age for private lessons. Kids can now participate in private ski lessons at 30 months (2.5 years).
This winter, Whistler Blackcomb will be installing its first ever covered Magic Carpet lift at the Children’s Learning Centre on Whistler Mountain. Replacing the handle tows currently in this location, the covered Magic Carpet will create a safe and comfortable learning environment for new skiers and snowboarders (children only) with an easy-to-access lift that offers protection from snow, rain, wind and cold.
Whistler Blackcomb is expanding its retail and rental program this winter with a new CAN-SKI location in the Westin Resort and Spa at the base of Whistler Mountain. This new location will provide guests with another one stop shop for world-class sporting equipment and après apparel. Set to open this fall, the new CAN-SKI location will offer the same services as other CAN-SKI stores, including custom boot fitting, personal shopping and the latest equipment advancements, trends and fashions in ski wear.
Guests looking to plan a trip to the consistently rated No. 1 Mountain Resort in North America can take advantage of Whistler Blackcomb’s Early Booking Offer which offers the guaranteed lowest rates of the season. Guests can save up to 42 per cent on their ski vacation with five night stay and ski packages available from $99 per person per night. The Early Booking Offer is valid through to November 15, 2014 with details available at whistlerblackcomb.com/deals_packages or by calling 1-888-403-4727.