Spring Break 2019 | Why You Need to Ski Whistler Blackcomb
Spring break – the highlight of the year for most college students. While many might head to the beach, we reckon a ski trip is the best spring break idea for college students. A spring break ski trip means days playing in the snow and nights dancing on tables as the sun goes down.
And it’s hard to beat Whistler as a destination for your spring break ski trip. With a reputation for world-class skiing and world-class parties, it’s not surprising that Whistler has become popular with college students over the last few years.
If you’re thinking of planning a spring break ski trip to Whistler, read on to find out everything you need to know to make it a trip you’ll never forget.
Why Visit Whistler on Your Spring Break Ski Trip?
There are 4 simple reasons why Whistler is a favourite college ski trip destination:
It’s the biggest ski resort in North America, and across Whistler Blackcomb’s 8000 acres of terrain, there’s something for everyone. From cruisey green runs with spectacular scenery to steep and deep chutes, to world-class terrain parks, Whistler is sure to make your snow-filled dreams come true.
It’s not a secret that Whistler is a town that knows how to party. With countless apres bars, plenty of underground nightclubs, and seemingly a festival every other week, you won’t run out of after-dark entertainment quickly here. And college students are actually welcome in the bars and clubs – Canada’s drinking age is only 19.
Ski town food doesn’t always have the best reputation, but that’s not the case in Whistler. There’s over 200 restaurants here, offering everything from bargain bucket deals ($0.99c wings anyone?!) to some of the finest restaurants in Canada. You won’t go hungry on your spring break ski trip, with everything from pad thai, to burritos, to sushi available at student-friendly prices.
You won’t get close to discovering everything Whistler has to offer in a week, let alone a weekend. You can ski different slopes, drink in different bars, eat in different restaurants, and try different activities every day for months here.
Resources on Getting Here, Staying Here, and Eating here
Planning an unforgettable spring break ski trip to Whistler takes a bit of work. So, we’ve pulled together a ton of resources to make your life easier.
Get started with our top tips for visiting Whistler. Then take a look at our guide to visiting Whistler with a group. Our Backpackers Guide to Whistler also has some great ideas for college students who are hoping to visit Whistler on the cheap. If you’ve got more specific questions, here’s a few great resources for you, broken down by topic.
- Getting to Whistler
Whistler is located 120km north of Vancouver – about a 2 hour drive. It’s best reached by car or coach, and there’s lots of budget-friendly options. Read more about how to get to Whistler, or check out our complete Whistler travel guide
- Staying in Whistler
While there’s a lot of luxury options in Whistler, there are plenty of affordable options too. Check out our in depth guides to Whistler’s hostels (the HI Hostel is fantastic) and hotels (we love the Pangea Pod). Remember to book far in advance, especially if you’re with a big group, and always ask for a group discount!
- Skiing in Whistler
There’s a whole lot to explore on the slopes in Whistler, and it can come at a price. To save some cash, find out more about how to get the cheapest lift ticket deals and the best ski and snowboard rentals in Whistler. And then the fun bit – find out more about the incredible terrain and start planning your first lifts and runs.
- Eating in Whistler
You can eat like a king in Whistler, and on a pretty small budget. Check out how to find the best restaurant deals in Whistler (hello WhistlerBites.ca !) and explore some of our favourite breakfast options for curing the inevitable Whistler hangover.
If you still want to know more about Whistler, you might find the answer here, in our attempt to answer all your questions about Whistler.
What Snow Conditions to Expect for Your Whistler Spring Break Ski Trip
Whistler is known for its long ski season (six whole months!) and consistent snow. That said, you’ll expect different conditions depending on when your spring break ski trip falls:
In February, you’ll find Whistler in the depths of winter. Expect plenty of fresh snow, chilly temperatures, and some sunny, cold days too. There should have been plenty of snow by February, so you can explore the whole resort. Just don’t expect to be sunning yourself on the patios just yet.
Things start warming up in March, with temperatures often rising above zero in the village. The season isn’t over yet though, and March often gets more snowfall than any other month. If you’re lucky, you’ll experience March madness – the frenzy of fresh powder days that locals pray for every year.
Spring arrives in full force in April to Whistler. While typically there’s less fresh snow, the base in still deep and the sun will be out at last. This is a great time to ski the incredible terrain parks, or take a few chilled laps in your t-shirt like the locals. And down in the valley, patio season is in full swing!
What to Expect for Nightlife in Whistler Village
We’re pretty proud of Whistler’s reputation among college students as the place to party. Inspired by European-style apres, the party starts around 2pm most days and goes on late into the night (if you make it that far).
Here’s a taster of what to expect:
You can’t go wrong with any of the apres options in Whistler. Longhorns at the base of Whistler mountain is the classic apres experience – DJ sets on the patio, jugs of cheap beer, and plenty of dancing on tables in ski boots. Merlin’s (in the Upper village) and Dusty’s (in Creekside) are other fun options steeped in Whistler history, with cheap drinks, live bands and friendly locals. The patio at craft beer spot Handlebar is a popular newcomer to the apres scene, with great beers and an independent vibe.
After the sun sets and the ski boots are off, there’s plenty of places the night could take you. Whistler has five underground nightclubs, and countless pubs and bars. Garfinkel’s, Moe Joes and Maxx Fish all throw huge parties every night of the week. Moe Joe’s Sunday night Glow party is always a lot of fun, and we love the Saturday Night Shaker at Maxx Fish too.
If you’re here with a big group, get yourselves on the guest list and you’ll be treated to queue jump and VIP treatment – no one wants to wait in line in February in Whistler! And if going underground isn’t your thing, mingling with the locals at late night sports bar Brandy’s is a great bet for a good time.
World Ski and Snowboard Festival
Whistler hosts the World Ski and Snowboard Festival in April every year. If you’re lucky enough that your spring break ski trip falls at the same time, you’re in for a treat. There’s a ton of ski and snowboard events – from serious (like the Big Air competition) to not so serious (like the Slush Cup). And there’s also live music every night at the foot of the mountain, as well as late-night parties and all the early afternoon apres you could wish for.
Read: The insider scoop on the best party spots in Whistler.
What to Expect Off the Slopes
There’s more to Whistler than ski slopes and nightclubs. In fact, there’s something for everyone – even those of you who’d rather steer clear of snow sports altogether. Here’s a few extras you can expect:
Like we said, with over 200 restaurants to chose from, you won’t be going hungry. For cheap eats try El Furniture Warehouse for $5.95 main courses, Hunter Gather for tasty homegrown fare, or La Cantina for tasty Mexican dishes. If you can afford to spend a little more, check out any of the sushi restaurants – all are great – or locals pubs like Brickworks and the Brewhouse.
While in Whistler, it’s worth taking at least half a day off from skiing/drinking to get an adrenaline buzz. How about a 160ft bungee jump over a frozen river? Or a backcountry snowmobile tour through the snow-covered wilderness? You can fly over the valley at 100km/h on a winter zipline tour. But perhaps our favourite is the bobsleigh, where you’ll find yourself hurtling down the Olympic bobsleigh track at terrifying but exhilarating speeds.
Whistler isn’t all about adventure. If you fancy a more relaxed spring break ski trip, be sure to make time to visit one of Whistler’s world-class spas for some pampering. It’s also worth taking a wander around the village and checking out some of the boutique shops and high-end outdoor gear stores. And even if you aren’t a skier, it’s worth heading up the mountain to ride the record-breaking Peak 2 Peak Gondola (and grabbing a hot chocolate while you’re at it).
Check out our 12 favourite activities for non-skiers in Whistler.
Whistler | The Perfect Spring Break Ski Trip destination
There’s plenty of spring break ideas for college students. But we reckon a ski trip to Whistler is one of the best. Whether you’re looking for deep powder skiing, all-night parties, or adrenaline-fuelled adventures, Whistler has all the ingredients for an unforgettable spring break ski trip – even if you aren’t an expert on the slopes.