Summer Resorts 2002: Whistler/Blackcomb, B.C.

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Whistler/Blackcomb, B.C.

For American skiers, a Whistler summer today is what a Whistler winter was a decade ago: virtually unknown. Whereas Whistler became a must-ski destination for U.S. skiers in the Nineties, summers at this world-class resort remain one of Canada?s best kept secrets. Your loss.

Upon arriving in Whistler for your first summer visit, you?ll find a week isn?t enough and that moving to British Columbia is a tough sell to the spouse. So get busy. Start where you left off last winter: on the slopes. Skiers merrily rip lift-served Horstman Glacier into August. OK, now accept the end of winter and get on your mountain bike. Ever the innovator, Whistler has constructed what may be the top mountain bike center in North America. Ride the Whistler Village Gondola to the summit and hear your legs cry "uncle" during a 4,000-foot descent. Next gondola ride, unload at mid-station at the massive mountain bike terrain park and acknowledge that the pros make it look easier than it is. Return to your tribe on four championship golf courses, designed by legends such as Palmer, Nicklaus and Robert Trent Jones Jr. Take a break in Whistler?s pedestrian-only village, where 100 bars and restaurants and more than double that number of shops will make the most exacting urbanite feel at home. The biggest summer guilt trip? You?ll find the hotels and service are grand, if also a bit unappreciated. You won?t be spending a lot of time indoors. ?Greg Ditrinco

DON?T MISS Visit active bear dens, daybeds and feeding sites during the Bear Viewing Tour. Adults: $115; kids/seniors: $110. 800-766-0449.

BEST DEAL Whitewater Rafting Package: one night?s lodging, a rafting tour for two on the Green River and breakfast for two in the Dubh Linn Gate, starting at $184. 888-905-9995; www.panpacific.com.