Guidebook

North America’s Best: Whistler Blackcomb Freeride Guide

Check out these legendary and hidden gem runs at North America's largest ski resort.

Description

With 8,171 acres of skiable terrain and a vertical rise of 5,280 feet, Whistler Blackcomb is the largest ski resort in North America. Imagine being able to find every snow condition, difficulty level, and type of terrain possible in one place.

“If you can’t find your favorite terrain here, you can’t find it anywhere,” the editors at Ski Magazine wrote when they crowned it North America’s best in 2017 for the third year in a row.

Generally, Blackcomb is populated with more locals and expert riders than Whistler, but both peaks showcase a wide range of terrain and are actually laid out in similar ways. Between the two peaks, there are five terrain parks (three on Blackcomb, two on Whistler), and the Nintendo Highest Level Terrain Park has hosted the Association of Freeskiing Professionals World Championships in recent years.

If you’re on Blackcomb, keep an eye out for the legendary “Spanky’s Ladder,” off of which you can access “Garnet Bowl,” “Ruby Bowl,” “Diamond Bowl,” and “Sapphire Chutes.” “Crystal Zone” is another sweet spot to check out on Blackcomb. Meanwhile, some highlights on Whistler Mountain include “Whistler Bowl,” “Tiger’s Terrace,” and “Christmas Trees.”

Sources:
https://www.redbull.com/ca-en/skitouring-and-freeride-spot-whistler
https://www.skimag.com/ski-resort-life/how-ski-whistler-blackcombs-spankys-ladder
http://theliftiereport.rentskis.com/tlr/the-6-steepest-ski-runs-at-whistler-blackcomb/
https://www.vancouverisawesome.com/2013/03/07/unplugged-pillows-a-plenty-in-whistler-blackcombs-crystal-zone/
https://freeskier.com/resort-guide/whistler/whistler-blackcomb-trail-map
https://www.whistler.com/blog/post/2011/12/05/whistler-skiing-secrets-7-top-spots-and-stashes/
https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/destinations/2018/11/30/whistler-blackcomb-ski-resort-canada/2077748002/

Diamond Bowl

Diamond Bowl

Whistler
0.7 km
Steep and narrow chute up top between the rocks giving way to a wider bowl below
Private
Ruby Bowl

Ruby Bowl

Whistler
1.1 km
Wide-open line in Ruby Bowl below Garnet Bowl on skier's left, the friendliest of all the Gemstone Bowls
Private
Garnet Bowl

Garnet Bowl

Whistler
NW
0.1 km
The upper basin leading you into options in the Gemstone Bowl - Sapphire, Diamond and Ruby
Private
Sapphire Chutes

Sapphire Chutes

Whistler
E, NE
0.4 km
Three fun chutes in lower Sapphire bowl, dropping you off at Blackcomb Glacier Road
Private
The Grey Zone

The Grey Zone

Whistler
NW
0.5 km
A Large alpine zone offering both easy and challenging black routes down to Crystal.
Private
CBC

CBC

Whistler
NW, N
1.0 km
Great gladed skiing but prior knowledge is essential!
Private
Fraggle Rock

Fraggle Rock

Whistler
0.5 km
Naturally pruned gladed skiing
Private
Whistler Bowl Entrance

Whistler Bowl Entrance

Whistler
0.3 km
The easiest way into the bowl, also the widest
Private
Tiger's Terrace

Tiger's Terrace

Whistler
N
0.5 km
A short pitch, often forgotten about on a powder day
Private
Christmas Trees

Christmas Trees

Whistler
W
0.4 km
Fun gladed skiing, often with great snow
Private