Get the lowdown on important Whistler Season Dates
Below is an approximate outline of the lift calendar, winter and summer, along with the important dates for 2014. These dates change each year, and can sometimes be changed during the course of the season. Keep an eye on the Whistler Season website and Facebook page for news and updates.
Whistler Winter Season Dates
During the winter season, the lifts on Whistler normally open around mid-November, with Blackcomb following a week or two later. With this in mind, getting accommodation is the priority; many employers are only interested in hiring those who are resident in the town. The end of October is a good time to arrive and get your bearings, find accommodation and even get some bike riding done. While the Whistler Mountain Bike Park traditionally closes on Thanksgiving weekend, usually somewhere around Oct. 8-12, the cross country trails are still good-to-go for another few weeks!
The winter lift times change throughout the season, and lifts on Whistler close around a month ahead of the bike park opening day, usually the third weekend of May. Blackcomb stays open for another four weeks or so, meaning that if you have both a bike pass and a ski pass, you can ride freshly groomed pistes in the morning and world-famous bike park trails in the afternoon.
Whistler Summer Season Dates
The bike park has four lifts which all operate on different schedules throughout the year. The lower mountain is served by the Fitzsimmons Express and by the lower part of Whistler Village Gondola. The ‘Fitz Chair’ is the first to open for the season, and the last to shut. The upper mountain is served by the upper part of the gondola and by the Garbanzo Express. The ‘Garbo Chair’ opens around mid-June and closes at the end of August – operating on reduced weekend hours for a further few weeks into September. The Peak Express, from which you can ride the Top of the World trail, is open for a more limited time, normally around the start of July until mid-September. Due to the altitude of the trail, these dates are very much dependent on the weather and trail conditions. In a late snow season, opening day may be postponed. Those riders who buy the Earlybird season pass get a free ride on the Peak chair – a saving of approximately $15. If you want to make the most of it and ride dry trails, it’s advisable to wait until August to guarantee good conditions. However, you should note certain dates when the Top of the World trail is closed, such as during the Enduro race at Crankworx.
During the main part of the season, the bike park runs what is known as ‘Extended Play’, whereby the lifts are open extra hours each day, usually shutting at 8pm, three hours later than usual. This is a bonus for anyone working conventional office hours. In fact, as mentioned in the Insider Tips posts, riding deserted trails in the evening sunshine is pretty much mountain biking nirvana! New for 2014, Extended Play will be in effect on Mondays and Wednesdays right from opening week, starting on May 19, 2014.
Accommodation is usually more plentiful in the summer, and indeed most often cheaper. If you are new in town, it’s a good idea to get here with a few weeks to spare, so that you can familiarise yourself with the town, ride some XC trails, get somewhere to live and look for work. Many folk start arriving around the end of April; the trails in Squamish are rideable much of the year, so if there is a late dump of snow in Whistler, all is not lost!
Below is a summary of the dates for 2014:
|Area||Operation Dates||Opening Times|
|Whistler Mountain (Ski)||Nov. 21 – Apr. 21st||8:30AM – 4PM|
|Blackcomb Mountain (Ski)||Apr. 21 – May 26||10AM – 4PM|
|Whistler Bike Park||May 16 – June 13
June 14 – Sept. 1
Sept. 2 – Oct. 13
|10AM – 5PM (8PM Mon & Wed)
10AM – 8PM
10AM – 5PM
|Garbanzo Zone||June 21 – Sept. 1
Sept. 2 – 21 (Weekends only)
|11AM – 7PM
11AM – 4PM
|Peak Zone||June 28 – Sept. 21||11AM – 3:30PM|