get your winter on! | OUTVisions for LGBT Professionals

get your winter on!

more than just skiing

get your winter on!
valerie johnson

Winter is upon us and no one does the season better than us Canadians. So instead of hibernating this year, consider planning a trip to the nation’s premier winter wonderland – Whistler Blackcomb.

Located about 125 km north of Vancouver, B.C., Whistler Blackcomb is one of North America’s largest resorts. Whistler and Blackcomb are two side-by-side mountains amid the coastal mountains, which encompass 8,171 acres of terrain, 16 alpine bowls and three glaciers. While the resort operates year round, winter is when it truly shines, boasting snow-covered slopes, glistening pines, frozen waterways and crystal clean winter air.

With more than 200 runs, skiing, of course, is top of mind for most visitors, but there’s so much more to do on the mountains — there’s tubing and zip-lining, a fantastic Fire and Ice show each week, wine tasting and so much more. Whistler Village offers a variety of accommodations, as well as a myriad of shopping and dining options, all in a quaint, picturesque setting. It’s the perfect place for a winter getaway.

So grab your toque, plan your Whistler Blackcomb getaway, and consider including some of these great adventures:

Show your Pride

The Whistler area has a long history of being an LGBT-friendly destination, and this is due in part to its annual Gay Ski Week event, now called WinterPRIDE. The eight-day event will welcome more than 3,00 LGBT participants from around the world. This year marks the event’s 20th anniversary, and organizer Dean Nelson says there’s plenty planned.

“We are very excited to welcome Big Roger Events as the WinterPRIDE entertainment director,” he says. “WinterPRIDE’s power-house line-up kicks off with a local (Vancouver) party on Saturday January 25th at FiveSixty with DJ Paulo, followed by a week of outdoor living, cultural indulgences, our infamous Aprés Ski-parties and more night time parties. The celebrations wrap up with Spanish chart-topper Ivan Gomez and the much-beloved Phil B at Snowball, the massive closing party on Saturday, February 1.”

Other headliners include Nick Bertrossi, DJ Seth Cooper, and DJ Pornstar, and Nelson says more will be announced soon. For more information, visit

Taste the region

When you tire of the slopes, there’s nothing better than kicking back with a nice glass of wine, good friends and great food. All this comes together with the help of Whistler Tasting tours, a venture of two life-long friends, Skai Dalziel and Joe Facciolo. The duo offers tours that visit some of Whistler’s best restaurants and pair culinary delights with fabulous local wines. For more information, visit

Take it higher

Ready to take your skiing to the next level? Try heli-skiiing. Whistler Blackcomb offers several heli-skiing packages, taking you to breathtaking terrain only accessible by helicopter. Packages include lunch on the mountain, so you can take advantage of every minute on these pristine slopes.

Touch the sky

Move between the Whistler and Blackcomb mountains on the Peak 2 Peak Gondola. The gondola offers a unique and breathtaking view of the landscape, and holds records for the highest and longest unsupported cable car span in the world.

Zip it

Experience the mountains in a whole new way – by zipline! Presented by Ziptrek Ecotours, Whistler Blackcomb offers some of the highest and longest ziplines around. There are three different tours that include not only ziplines, but suspension bridges, boardwalks, ground trails and suspended stairways. Discover the valley between the mountains at tree-top level. 

Get along, little doggie

Discover the lush landscape in a truly exhilarating way – by dog sled. With acres of forest, there no end to the beauty, and travelling by dog sled is an experience you’re unlikely to forget. Long the preferred method of travelling the rugged terrain by natives, trappers, and traders, dog sledding offers a link to our past and a unique was to experience the winter landscape.

Slice some ice

Whether on one of Whistler’s tended rinks, or on the local lakes, outdoor ice skating is the perfect way to enjoy a crisp winter day. So lace up your skates and hit the ice.

Start a fire

Every Sunday, from December to March, visitors to Whistler Blackcomb can be dazzled by the spectacular Fire and Ice show. Watch as the area’s best skiers and riders show off their skills amid fireworks and fire spinners. Then join the Afterburn Party at the Garibaldi Lift Co. (GLC),and enjoy live music and giveaways.

Say I do

Same sex marriage has been legal in B.C. since 2003, and Whistler Blackcomb provides the perfect sparking backdrop to life’s most romantic moment. The area offers a wide variety of suitable venues to declare your love.

To learn all the Whistler Blackcomb has to offer this winter, visit or

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Authorvalerie johnson

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