Spring officially arrives March 20th and stays with us until June 21st, during which time Whistler undergoes a spectacular transformation.
Alpine snow lingers under the spring sunshine, providing opportunities for slushy skiing and even some last powder turns. Meanwhile the valley below thaws and comes into bloom, offering a first taste of summer scenery and activities.
It truly is the best of both worlds. If you’re lucky enough to be in Whistler this springtime, here’s some of the fun you might experience.
World Ski and Snowboard Festival (WSSF)
North America’s largest festival of snow sports, music, arts and mountain culture returns from April 10th-14th, 2019, bringing fan-favourite events such as the WSSF Outdoor Concert Series, 72 Filmmaker Showdown, Boarderstyle World Championships, Saudan Couloir Race Extreme, Ski and Snowboard Big Air, Slush Cup, and many more.
For details and to purchase tickets, visit the WSSF website: www.wssf.com
GO Fest – Whistler’s Great Outdoors Festival
May 17-20 2019
Another mountain sports and culture festival arrives in Whistler just in time for the final days of the ski/snowboard season. Now in its sixth year, GO Fest celebrates the huge selection of recreation, arts and culture Whistler has to offer.
At the time of writing this post, the schedule and concert lineup have not yet been announced. Check out www.greatoutdoorsfest.com for details.
Hit the Slopes
“Spring skiing” has a different meaning in March (powder) than it does in May (slush), but it’s all awesome. Whistler’s laidback and sometimes rambunctious après culture literally shines in the spring sunshine as the layers come off and the sunscreen comes out.
Seriously, don’t forget sunscreen!
Celebrate Gaper Day(s)
According to Urban Dictionary, “A gaper is a skier or snowboarder who is completely clueless. Usually distinguished by their bright colored clothes and a gaper gap, the gap between goggles and a helmet/hat.”
Gaper Day is a beloved ski resort tradition in which riders flock to the hill on the final day of the season to party in their best gaper outfits. Because Whistler and Blackcomb have different closing dates, we enjoy two Gaper Days – one in April and another in May.
Lounge by the Lake
There aren’t many places in the world where you can ski on a mountain and swim in a lake in the same day. Luckily, Whistler isn’t many places.
With warm weather comes the opening of Whistler’s scenic parks and lakes. What better way to spend the afternoon?
Explore the Valley Trail
The Valley Trail is a paved trail network connecting all of Whistler’s neighbourhoods, lakes and parks – ideal for getting from A to B or simply enjoying a leisurely walk or cruise.
Ride the Bike Park
The Whistler Mountain Bike Park is widely considered to be the best on earth and it opens for 2019 on May 17th. Beyond the park, Whistler offers an expansive network of trails in all difficulty levels. Come and get your pedal on!
Go for a Float
The water may still be chilly but that doesn’t matter when you’re floating on the surface. Springtime in Whistler is a great time to bring out your flotation device of choice and go for a leisurely (or not-so-leisurely) float on the river or lake.
Whistler’s après scene is lively even on the coldest days of winter so it’s no surprise that it really comes to life in the mild spring weather. Every day of the week, Whistler’s dozens of patio bars can be found packed to the brim with happy people enjoying beverages to celebrate their day on the hill. Heck, some people skip the hill entirely and go straight to après.
In the mountains, it’s a safe bet that if you climb high enough, you’ll find snow. In the springtime as the snow line rises, many of Whistler’s popular hikes transform into multi-climate adventures.
Check out this directory of the best Whistler hikes by month, grab some snowshoes (free snowshoe rentals available for guests of the Summit Lodge Whistler), and get out there!
As the snow melts, Whistler’s bears start coming out of hibernation. Because of this, it’s important to brush up on your bear safety tips before embarking on any outdoor adventures.
For a controlled bear viewing experience, check out Whistler Bear Viewing Tours which run from late spring until the Autumn.
Golf (and frisbee golf)
With breathtaking scenery and four championship courses, Whistler is one of Canada’s top golf destinations. Depending on conditions, courses can be expected to open in May. Visit Golf Whistler to learn more.
Visit Golf Whistler to learn more.
Eat for Cheap
Every spring, Whistler restaurants announce unique menu options and discounts. “It’s a spring thing” dining specials are the perfect opportunity to treat yourself and try something new.
Whistler’s numerous lakes offer excellent fishing for trout, salmon, and many other species. Before you plan any fishing trip, make sure you’re familiar with the provincial fishing regulations. For the best possible experience, we recommend booking a trip with a local guide such as Whistler Year Round Fishing.
Do All the Things
There’s a reason spring is known as “Whistler’s unlimited season”. There’s so much to do! For even more activities not included on this list, visit the Tourism Whistler website.