While Whistler Blackcomb was voted the number one resort in North America by Skiing Magazine for 13 years in a row, and is very keen to tell you so, the resort generally holds an air of mystique and wonderment to all those within gravity sports. No matter where you hail from, and no matter if you’re a freeskier, a park rat, a downhill racer, or a wannabe A-Line hero, everybody considering a season in Whistler has seen the place on film, whatever their chosen sport or discipline, and they all want to go there.
Making the move to Whistler
I moved to Whistler off the back of a few years skiing and riding in the Alps where I had seen the tall tees, the fat skis, and the Troy Lee-clad pinners. Each resort had a hierarchy of local fast and gnarly guys and gals, and there was often a lot of hushed talk and bravado amongst seasonaires about this exact subject. (Tip: this is Whistler … many of the folks here are pro!)
Unsurprisingly, it naturally follows that the most famous ski/bike resort in the world has the highest concentration of die-hard resort-bums in the world. People flock to Whistler from around the world, and as such, competition for jobs and housing is extremely fierce, and can come as a shock to those used to the all-inclusive benefits of working for a British tour operator in the Alps.
Finding your feet
As is detailed in the accommodation pages of this website, $500 for a shared room is standard, as is taking out a mortgage to buy a season pass (kidding, but only just). A single bag of groceries can easily cost $40, and a single pint of lager will leave you disappointingly little change from a $10 bill. Thus it follows that working a 5 x 8 hour week is not unusual; it pretty much needs to be, given the above costs. In spite of this, employers and landlords are so inundated with resumes and enquiries that a lack of any reply is a familiar situation for those new in town. Fresh and enthusiastic though they may be. Thus the onus is on you to be judicious in your timing and approach. After all, this is Whistler, you are here for a reason, and are prepared to do what it takes to ride here.
The above isn’t meant to be a doom-laden warning, more a pointed note of what to expect. More often than not it is the small things which go the furthest; always smiling, being chatty but on-topic, saying hello to all the staff/housemates you see, and generally having an air of easy-going confidence are the things which people remember.