Summer Resorts 2001- Far West, Whistler/Blackcomb, B.C.

Summer Resorts: Whistler a 0501

When planning a summer trip to this mega-resort 80 miles north of Vancouver, don't forget to pack your skis. The Horstman Glacier at Blackcomb, open from June to August, makes Whistler one of only two resorts in this elite Top 30 to offer summer skiing. The glacier draws a cutting-edge crowd, including national alpine and freestyle teams, terrain park tricksters and equipment product managers testing the latest and greatest. Once the snow melts elsewhere, Whistler's mountain environs also offer extensive hiking, mountain biking, fishing, rafting and mountaintop dining.

SKI's sister publication GOLF calls Whistler "one of the best golf resorts in the world." Four championship courses-designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr., Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Robert Cupp-have won numerous awards and helped define mountain golf.Whistler's pedestrian-only village is packed with street performers (the resort recruits, hires and pays them), 150 retail shops, more than 80 restaurants and a diversity of international tourists. The moderate climate (daytime temperatures average 71 degrees) and the strong U.S. dollar may be the clinchers for vacation planners. This B.C. giant has been ranked as SKI's No. 1 ski resort in North America for three of the last six years-but locals insist summer is the best season of all.

DON'T MISS Spotting a black bear, perhaps a sow with her young cubs, from the Solar Coaster lift en route to the glacier.

BEST DEAL The Whistler Surf & Turf Package includes two nights' lodging, a four-hour rafting trip on the Birkenhead River and a Mountain Top Salmon Bake for $235 per person in June. Call 888-284-9999, or visit