Best Overall Resort: Whistler Blackcomb, British Columbia

Like the Olympics it’s about to host, Whistler Blackcomb is big, hyped, and full of underage Asian women on drugs.
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Resort Awards, Best Overall: Whistler Blackcomb BC

Like the Olympics it’s about to host, Whistler Blackcomb is big, hyped, and full of underage Asian women on drugs. This is a good thing. Let’s start with “big”: It’s bigger than any other hill on the continent. As for “hyped,” the cause can be found in that last point, “big.” That it’s “full of underage Asian women on drugs” depends on who’s up from Vancouver that weekend. Most of the time it’s full of pros, aspiring pros, and the typical shitshow of has-beens and never-weres. Why does it draw such ski talent? Whistler Blackcomb is so stacked with steep granite, cedar forest, and regular maritime shellackings that it remains the place more of you readers want to ski than anywhere else. So never mind the whiners out there (“Whistler’s too big! It’s too corporate! It’s too expensive!”). If this were a poll of the editors, we’d probably come to the same conclusion. There’s simply more to do here during the day and night than anywhere else.

When You Go…

No need to rent a car. Buses leave the Vancouver International Airport for Whistler every day. Once you’re there, you can easily walk. [$50 each way;]

Start early. Powder days can get frantic.

Skiing Whistler? Go to Harmony Chair as fast as you can. If you’re riding Blackcomb, go for Glacier Chair.

Buy the book. Go to Amazon and buy this: Ski and Snowboard Guide to Whistler Blackcomb: Expert Edition. It breaks down every worthy line in the area, both in- and out-of-bounds.

Best of the Rest

2. Jackson Hole, WY

3. Vail, CO

4. Alta/Snowbird, UT

5. Revelstoke, BC

6. Aspen/Aspen Highlands, CO

7. Telluride, CO

8. Big Sky, MT

9. Steamboat, CO

10. Deer Valley, UT


You'll be hard pressed to find "Climax" on the official Whistler Blackcomb trail map. Sources from the resort haven't heard of it, and think that it might be a local's nickname for the Sylvan chute. Either way, it is being kept under wraps for a reason: it's scary.  The red-headed step-child of the Chainsaw ridge just below Blackcomb peak, Climax is the most difficult run at the expansive resort. The chute drops for an initial 300 feet at 50 degrees then gets to a 45 degree angle for a short few turns before bottoming out into the bowl.   Rumored to have been named from several "themes" in the 1985 porn, "The Wizard of Aahh's" (precursor to Greg Stump's "Blizzard of Aahhh's") many of Blackcomb's steeper runs have dirty names. Perhaps this chute is the ultimate conquest.

Guide to Blackcomb

With the 2010 Winter Olympics around the corner, all eyes are on Whistler Blackcomb. The masses will descend on Whistler Mountain, where the official events will take place. Which means Blackcomb will be the place to ski.