Don’t get us wrong, we love Whistler Blackcomb. But doing a multi-resort BC ski trip is a better plan than setting up shop at Whistler for 10 days. Here’s why.


The best snow in BC is in the Rockies. If you spend more of your trip on the “Powder Highway”, especially mountains like Revelstoke and Kicking Horse, you’ll be treated to multiple “champagne powder” days. The colder temperatures and arid climate keeps the snow in the Rockies lighter and dryer than Whistler’s. There’s less annual snowfall in the Rockies, but it’s the best snow in BC.

Whistler is king in terms of snow volumes, with an average of 1180 centimeters falling annually. The nearby coastal climate means lots of precipitation, but the temperature hovers around freezing for most of the year. This combination leads to thicker, heavier snow. It’s still a blast, it’s a bit more tiring to ski in than the pure powder in the Rockies.

Different Ski Cultures

Whistler, as the most visited ski resort in the world, has a very international feel. Many Vancouverites joke that Whistler is the “second capital of Australia”, due to the massive influx of Australian workers that travel there to run the resort every winter. It doesn’t stop there, you’re guaranteed to meet British tourists, French-speaking Canadians (Quebecois), and Americans looking to make the most of their Epic Pass.

Once you venture into BC’s interior, between Kelowna and Calgary, you’ll be far from that. The interior’s ski culture is defined by locals who have been living and breathing their home mountain for decades. As an example, 40% of Nelson residents buy an unlimited ski pass at their local mountain, Whitewater. When there’s a powder day at Fernie Alpine, the entire town effectively shuts down in the morning, and everyone goes to ski the fresh powder.

In our opinion, it’s a good call to experience both cultures, and a multi-resort BC trip allows for that. Party with the Whistler Aussies for a few days. Then go strike up chat on the gondola with a local that’s been skiing Kicking Horse since it opened in 2000.

BC has numerous beautiful mountain ranges

British Columbia is home to numerous stunning mountain ranges and you can see multiple ranges in one multi-resort BC ski trip, all with their own distinct features.

Whistler straddles the boundaries two mountain ranges. The first is the Coast Mountains, a range stretching up to all the way to southern Alaska, defined by tons of smaller, glaciated peaks. On the southern end of Whistler are the Cascades, a string of domed volcanoes that goes down to Northern California. On the drive up to Whistler, you’ll see Garibaldi to the north and Mt Baker to the south, the last of the Cascade Peaks.

Once you start driving east, the Cascades quickly give way to a beautiful range called the Columbia Mountains. There’s several subranges in this region, some names you may here include the Purcell and Selkirk Mountains. This is where you’ll find favourites like Revelstoke.

Finally, the Canadian Rockies await you. The Rockies are arguably the most stunning mountains in Canada, and you won’t want to miss them. The area around Kicking Horse has stunning views of Yoho and Banff National Park. To the South, the Kootenay Rockies host resorts like Fernie.

Needless to say, there’s tons of beautiful BC mountains. It’s worth seeing as many as you can while you’re here!

Lift Lines

Whistler is notorious for having some of the longest lift lines in the world, especially on weekends and holidays

Our recommendation is to plan to be at Whistler from Tuesday-Thursday. If it’s not a holiday week like Christmas, you’ll be able to ski into the lifts all day long. The tourists and locals on the mountain will spread out enough in the 8,000+ acres.

On weekend and holiday Whistler powder days, Vancouverites descend on the mountain. Be prepared to wait for over an hour to catch a gondola up the mountain, and up to 30 minutes for runs on popular chairs.

Lift lines are mostly nonexistent in the interior. You’re much farther from major urban areas than at Whistler, so you’ll escape the crowds.

Your wallet

As a Vail-owned resort, Whistler is the most expensive BC ski spot. Hotels in the village are often going for $500 a night or more, ski rentals are north of $100, and food on the slopes can be $25 a plate. Lift tickets are cheaper if you buy an epic pass in advance, but if you didn’t plan ahead, be prepared to spend $240 a day on lift tickets.

Planning a couple days at resorts Sun Peaks or Revelstoke, which are only a few hours from Whistler, helps manage the cost.  Lift tickets drop by about $100 per day, and hotels can be half the price. In addition to seeing a wide variety of BC’s mountains and ski resorts, planning a multi-resort BC trip is a good move for your wallet.