So you’re going to Whistler for the first time and you’re not sure where to start?
It’s understandable. As the largest ski area in North America, Whistler Blackcomb offers enough terrain to keep you exploring for weeks.
The team at Skican have broken down seven of Whistler Blackcomb’s incredible runs that you have to tackle on your next trip. These runs cover the gamut from warm-up laps to the last run of the day, including options for skiers of all ages and ability levels.
As a resort, Whistler Blackcomb is well-known for its challenging runs, but it also provides a huge variety of beginner and intermediate terrain.
Have a favourite run that’s missing from our list? Drop a comment below to let us know why!
1. Blue Line
Blue Line has a reputation as one of the best warm-up runs on the mountain, which is well-deserved. The run is rated as a comfortable intermediate and part of its appeal is its incredible panoramic view of the valley below.
Located on Blackcomb, you can access Blue Line from the 7th Heaven Chair. From there, you descend across Horstman Glacier and down to the base of Glacier Express. Take the opportunity to cruise and find your legs for the day — or explore the many chutes and bowls to either side.
2. Burnt Stew Trail
There are few Green runs that offer the scenic beauty of Burnt Stew Trail. From the top of Harmony Express on Whistler, head skier’s right and use this trail to access off-the-beaten-track runs in the Symphony Amphitheatre.
If you’re skiing with a group of mixed levels, Burnt Stew offers access to enough bowls and glades to keep most skiers interested. Remember to grab a photo with the inukshuk at the top!
3. Cloud Nine
Beneath the aptly-named 7th Heaven Chair, Upper and Lower Cloud Nine are some of the best Blue runs on Blackcomb. These long, cruisey slopes are great to ski in the morning (when they’re pristine corduroy) or at the end of the day (when they catch the last rays of the day).
Take in the fantastic views of Whistler Mountain opposite and enjoy yourself. It’s the perfect place to simply let your skis carve.
4. Whistler Bowl
If you’re looking for more challenging areas to explore, one of the best places to start is Whistler Bowl. The Bowl descends directly under the Peak Express, so you’d better be ready to show off for an audience!
Choose from a number of lines down into the bowl. The bowl has everything from chutes and drops, opening into a wide powder bowl near the bottom.
5. Spanky’s Ladder
Spanky’s Ladder will be a familiar name to veteran skiers. This classic couloir is the point-of-entry into a set of challenging alpine bowls on the backside of Blackcomb Mountain. To access this terrain, you’ll need to hike 50-feet up from the top of Glacier Express — just follow the lines of boot prints in the snow.
From Spanky’s, you can choose from one of the four bowls that descend into Blackcomb Glacier. These alpine bowls offer enough expert-level terrain to ensure you’ll never run out of new lines to explore. Ruby and Garnet Bowl are easier to access and the best places to start. The entrances to Sapphire and Diamond Bowl are more intimidating, but the payoff is greater. Prove yourself here and you’ll be able to ski almost anywhere!
6. Couloir Extreme
Formerly known as Saudan’s Couloir, Couloir Extreme is a notorious run located on Blackcomb below Horstman’s Hut. From the rocky drop to the boulder-lined field below, this couloir is the type of run that’s reserved for only the most hardened skiers and riders.
Couloir Extreme is undoubtedly one of the most difficult runs on the mountain — and perhaps the continent. It is famous for playing host to the annual Saudan Couloir Race Extreme, often billed as the “steepest ski race in the world”. Descending 2,500 feet of vertical, this is a run that will test the strength of your thighs.
7. Peak to Creek
An excellent run to kick-off the day or wrap it up, the Peak to Creek descent is one of the longest ski runs in North America. The run travels from the absolute peak of Whistler Mountain to the bottom of the valley, finishing in Whistler Creekside at the gondola. You may want to pop into Dusty’s for a beer and nachos as a reward for finishing the day strong!
The run is almost 11 km long and covers 5,000 feet (1 mile) of vertical descent. This is an intermediate-rated run, but it will leave you with wobbly legs at the end. It offers breathtaking views throughout and really showcases the incredible variety that Whistle Blackcomb has available.
Want to try these runs for yourself? Book your trip to Whistler Blackcomb with Skican.