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The Whistler Challenge

It’s no secret that Whistler is a mecca for outdoor activities, but what many don’t know is that this town is the prime place to do two or three sports in a day. And the best season to do them all? Spring.

Sure, spring brings an end to those epic blower pow days, but it also brings bluebird days and that rush of excitement over all the things you can do now that the skies are lighter longer and the weather isn’t hammering you with frostbite every other day.

If you’re new to Whistler, we’ll let you in on a little secret: we love being outside. We love it so much that we’ll wake up, go for a quick jaunt up the ski hill, come back and go to work for a few hours and then hit the local crag or zip to the lake for an evening paddle. On our days off we’re either cranking it out hard at the bike park or on an intense cross country trail, or going for a legendary hike and then a wind down paddle on the lake.

Heck, we might even combine that evening paddle with some yoga, just to make those well-used muscles ticky happy.

One thing we’re not is boring, so sometimes we flip the whole routing on its head and start the morning out on the lake with a few kilometer swim, or a yoga paddle board session, then warm up the body with a run, and end the day at Nordic with a great cragging session.

The point is, it’s never dull around here in the spring and we invite you to dive into all the outdoor activities you can find – in one day. We’re showing you the most popular 2- or 3-pack days but feel free to make this your own – then take the Whistler Challenge and do all 6 sports in a weekend.

Your lungs, heart, mind, body, and soul will kiss you for it.

1. The Two-Pack Quickie
Sometimes you’ve got to work to pay for rent so when 8 hours of your day are spent doing the thing you don’t particularly love doing, keep your soul alive with a morning paddle on either a SUP, kayak or canoe around Alta or Green Lake, and a run along the Valley Trail when you’re off shift later on.

2. The Classic

Nothing beats the feeling of getting up and knowing you’re going to be at the top of the world in a few hours. The Classic Whistler spring day gets you on your two planks or board for first chair, then down when the lifts close, and on your bike for the rest of the day. Choose from the bike park, Lost Lake trails, or some good old fashioned road riding.

3. The Pre-Ironman
Swim, bike and run is the Ironman formula for pushing your body as far as it can go, but you don’t have to bike to Pemberton and back to say you’ve done a 3-sport day. Make the swim as fun as you want and the rest will just fall into place.

Bye bye summer

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4. The Zen Master
The world of low-impact but high output is akin to meditating while keeping your muscles perfectly poised. As many zen masters have discovered, climbing and yoga go hand-in-hand – almost literally – as one benefits the other. Get your climb on with a great little crag session in Nordic or Cal-Chek, or for a fun après work jaunt hit up Star Chek. Then bust out a few yoga poses right at the crag or start the day with a yoga session on the dock of your favourite lake.

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5. Sea to Summit
Sometimes you’ve got to get to the top to see it all. Hike one of Whistler’s many trails and the cool down with a swim, or kick off the hike with a swim. Better yet, take a dip in one of the alpine lakes – just do it quickly because temperatures don’t get better just because the weather does.

Cover photo: Mike Crane

The Art of the Après

There are about a thousand reasons to come to Whistler but only one reason to stay once the lifts close: après ski.

Unofficially starting at 3:30 p.m. but officially starting whenever your legs turn to rubber, your hands are so cold you can’t hold onto your poles or crank your bindings, or your stomach is growling so loud that the person next to you on the lift wonders if you’ve got an angry cat stowed in your jacket, après ski (known more commonly to the cool kids as just “après”) is the backbone of mountain culture. It is the essence of every ski town, the raison d’être for not crawling into your bed, hot tub, or couch at 3:50 p.m. with quivering legs because you shredded Peak to Creek one last time (and death before download), and ignoring the world.

Après is where the world comes to you – or rather, the world is around you and you get to choose how you want to see it.

Whistler is no exception to the grand scale of the après life, offering a veritable Choose Your Own Adventure of options, from rowdy boot-stomping, beer-sloshing bar-top dancing venues to wide-open patios that give you unparalleled views of mountains and the hundreds of people walking by, to darker quiet places by firesides that allow you to refuel and gather your zen for your next day of epic pow.

But before you drag your weary body into the first place who’ll seat you and your dozen friends and gnosh on the first item on the menu, there’s a few things you should know.

1.We likes our poutine. And beer. We’ve got many varieties of both.

2. Nachos here are like cowboys: they’re bigger, badder, and more legendary than the ones next door. Everyone will judge you if you don’t share your order. Or your beer.

Nachos anyone? #apres #whistlerblackcomb #nachos

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3. Butt rub mayo. Get some and order extra. Trust us.

Feed your cravings! Burgers + Butt Rub | #SkiEatDrink #Lunch #Creekside #AprerSki

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4. We love our local bands and musicians. Like, really love them.

5. This is the only time you get to dance in ski or snowboard boots. Bonus marks if you can clamber onto a bar top with either still done up.

6. If you leave Whistler without doing a shot ski, you’ll regret it for the rest of your life. Bragging rights if you get it with a fireball.

7. Patio, people, patio. That’s the best place to soak up the sun, gawk at everyone else walking by, pick tomorrow’s lines, and keep an eye on your gear.

Nothing is better than Apres ski. #longhornsaloon

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8. You can order a peppermint patty once. After that, you will be judged.

9. Don’t forget to tip. We all have to pay rent.

10. Après doesn’t end when the mountains close. You can après after that epic spring hike, that blistering summer bike ride, or that grueling fall run. Whistler is open year round, and so are your choices for après.

Cover photo: Mike Crane