Whistler Blackcomb is tops for summer vacation fun

Posted By: The Ski Channel on June 17, 2010 7:50 pm

Photo: Paul Morrison

Whistler Blackcomb may have dominated headlines this year for partially hosting the 2010 Winter Olympics, but a Whistler summer is nothing to slouch at. In fact, one could stand to make a real argument that summer actually edges out winter at the world famous resort town.

Summer in Whistler might be the best simply because it requires no sacrifices to enjoy a trip there. A Whistler summer vacationer doesn’t have to concede their chance to ski in order to count on beautiful, warm weather. Each year skiing goes well into July given the ability to hold snow on the Horstman glacier. At the same time, you can still bank on that tee time to hold up at the Nicklaus North golf course after you get off the hill from a day sessioning the public lane.

The premier North American resort simply has a little bit of everything for each and every guest to enjoy, and summer is no different. So sit back, relax, and follow The Ski Channel as we guide you to an endless summer of fun at Whistler Blackcomb.

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At Whistler Bungee you can jump from the bridge into the veil of darkness

Whistler Bungee is British Columbia’s highest bungee jumping site, and is found just 15 minutes south of Whistler Village off Highway 99. Experience bungee jumping among the beautiful scenery of the Whistler Resort Valley tucked away between aging forests and rocky cliffs.

Jumpers will plummet from a 160ft (53 metre) bridge than spans 300 ft over the glacial waters of the Cheakamus River.

Safety is key when choosing your bungee jumping outfit, and Whistler Bungee has an unblemished safety record led by jumpmasters and operators with over 17 years of experience.

Whistler Bungee offers multiple ways to jump. The traditional ankle jump with a waist harness provides the ultimate adrenaline rush as you fall head first towards the water below. The waist harness gives the jumper a secondary safety harness and allows for an upright retrieval. Also available is the option of jumping with a chest and waist harness which provides both incredible comfort and safety at the same time. Got a partner you want to jump with? Jump tandem at Whistler Bungee. Both participants are put in individual harnesses and are first hooked separately to the cord and then linked together.

If those options sound a little too tame for you, perhaps maybe you will be interested in one of the newest features available at Whistler Bungee, a night jump (pictured above). On select nights during the summer, customers can chose to fall into the darkness of night starting at 10pm.

The great thing about Whistler Bungee is that nearly anybody can do it, any day of the year.

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Peak 2 Peak in all its glory – Photo: Paul Morrison

Recently opened for the start of the 2008-2009 season, Peak 2 Peak Gondola is a flat out engineering marvel that breaks three different world records including the longest unsupported span of 3.024 kilometers, highest lift of its kind at 436 meters above the valley floor, and is the longest continuous lift system of its kind in the world.

While all those numbers are impressive by themselves, the real beauty of the P2P is the unparalleled access it opens for resort-goers. Obviously it’s a wonderful thing to be able to quickly transfer between Whistler and Blackcomb mountains during a day of skiing, but summertime activities also greatly benefit from its existence.

Peak 2 Peak is also the new gateway to Whistler Blackcomb’s plethora of hiking trails!

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Taking in the beauty of Whistler – Photo: Paul Morrison

Whistler Blackcomb offers 18 incredible hiking trails located at the top of Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains. Just a short step from the Peak 2 Peak Gondola, the trail options provide something for everyone as difficulty levels range from beginner to expert.  Choose a mellow route from one of the beginner trails, or pick up a picnic lunch from the selection of on-mountain eateries and enjoy one of the epic trails such as the Highnote Trail on Whistler or the Overlord Trail on Blackcomb. Who knows what kind of wildlife you might see?

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Bears. This is the first word that comes to mind when I think of the joyous summer vacation I took to Whistler. There is something magical about riding up the Wizard Express and being seeing a family of black bears frolicking in the grassy knolls below.

For those wanting to get a little closer to these beautiful creatures, Whistler also offers an amazing Bear Viewing experience several times a day where guests are driven around in a comfortable 4×4 mountain truck. The tour runs through a maze of ski area roads that wind the area’s forests, and steams. Short walks are also available to inspect bear feeding sites, daybeds, dens where bears have hibernated during the winter.

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The bears in Whistler aren’t the only ones who get to play around during the summer! The Blackcomb Base Adventure Zone offers a huge assortment of attractions for both kids and their families to enjoy.

The Blackcomb Base Adventure Zone features miniature golf, horseback trail rides, a challenging maze, a bouncy castle and slide. Additional activities include a 315 meter zip-line, luge track, bungee trampolines, a flying trapeze, a human gyroscope and the Great Wall Climbing Centre.

These activities are available a la carte at varying prices, but for those looking to get the most out of the area, consider buying an Adventure Zone Pass that allows you to choose and mix either 5, 10, or 15 attractions for a cost ranging from $44, $78, and $114 respectively.

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Whistler Golf Club Hole #15

For dads looking to get out for an afternoon at the links, consider a tee time at any one of the renowned golf courses that make Whistler their home.

Whether your round is at the Arnold Palmer-designed Whistler Golf Club course, or the Nicklaus North Golf Course that bears the legend’s name, you can be sure these state-of-the-art facilities will satisfy even the most discriminating of golfers.

For more information and to request tee times, please call 1.888.403.4727

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Getting tricky on Whistler Bike Park’s many wall rides – Photo: Sterling Lorence

If golf, hiking, and sight-seeing seems a little too tame for your adrenaline-seeking personality, then perhaps a visit to the Whistler Bike Park is just what the doctor ordered.

Whistler Bike Park offers nearly 5000 feet of lift-serviced downhill mountain bike trails, and even if you’re completely new to the sport of mountain biking there is something for all levels of riders. There are trails with nice, gentle, banking cruisers, others with sections of tight and twisty single track, along with those runs featuring steep rocky faces, wall rides and more.

The Whistler Mountain Bike Park also has 2 skill centers, a jump park, drop off park, and the Boneyard Slopestyle Park. Make sure to check out the Air Dome, Whistler’s year-round bike facility, that offers foam pits, halfpipes, quarterpipes, and other obstacles.

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The heavenly Whistler summer camp lanes – Photo: Dano Pendygrasse

At the end of the day, even with the sheer volume of diverse, exciting activities for Whistler Blackcomb visitors, the top-notch skiing is still a huge draw. As the old saying goes, “A leopard can’t change his spots.” The phrase seems particularly fitting when we look at Whistler even during the warm weather summer brings.

Whistler Blackcomb is arguably the summer skiing capital of the world, featuring skiing on the famous Horstman Glacier well into late July. Each year the Whistler Blackcomb crew brings various features such as a mini-pipe, jib yard, jumps, and regular skiing lanes to the public lane serviced by the Horstman and Showcase T-Bars.

Of course it wouldn’t be summer without summer camps, and Whistler certainly features no shortage of speciality ski and snowboard camps on the glacier. Camps such as Momentum Ski Camps and Camp of Champions have made Horstman Glacier their summer home for years, attracting the top talent in the world to come session and coach campers of all ability levels.

Some of the athletes coming to Whistler this summer include the likes of Canadian Olympic Ski Gold Medalist Alex Bilodeau, Winter X Games stars Sarah Burke, TJ Schiller, and countless others.

Make sure you find yourself in Whistler this year as Summer 2010 is sure to the best ever!

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