6 Ways to Experience Whistler’s Shoulder Season

6 Ways to Experience WhistlerMen­tion Whistler, and most peo­ple will think of win­ter: pow-filled days explor­ing the var­ied ter­rain on Whistler and Black­comb Moun­tains. Some peo­ple might think of Whistler’s epic sum­mers: the sun, the lakes, the down­hill moun­tain bik­ing, and the back-to-back sport­ing com­pe­ti­tions, fes­ti­vals and con­certs that take place through­out the season.

But rarely will you hear any­one gush­ing about autumn in Whistler. With moun­tain bik­ing sea­son over and the ski sea­son yet to start, what is there to do in the sleepy shoul­der season?

As it turns out, there are quite a few ways to keep busy while wait­ing for the moun­tain to open. Here are six ways to expe­ri­ence Whistler in its downtime.

Savor the Local Fare
As an inter­na­tion­al tourist des­ti­na­tion, Whistler boasts some mighty fine din­ing estab­lish­ments. They’ve got all the stars, dia­monds, awards and acco­lades that a restau­rant could hope for. Sam­pling food from these din­ing rooms is typ­i­cal­ly reserved for spe­cial occa­sions or for the very wealthy. Not so dur­ing shoul­der season.

To fill their oth­er­wise emp­ty tables, the top restau­rants in town offer some very appe­tiz­ing pro­mo­tions. Most restau­rants, includ­ing big play­ers like Araxi, the Bear­foot Bistro and the Rim Rock Café, offer fixed price mul­ti-course options. So go ahead—eat like a king with­out break­ing the bank.

Seek Inspi­ra­tion from the Sil­ver Screen
In a town full of snow-enthu­si­asts like Whistler, the excite­ment for the upcom­ing ski sea­son is pal­pa­ble. Share the stoke with your fel­low shred­ders by hit­ting up the lat­est ski film releases.

Some events are full-blown affairs, like the world pre­miere of the local Sher­pas Cinema’s high­ly antic­i­pat­ed All.I.Can fol­low-up film, Into the Mind. The Sher­pas are known for inno­va­tion, and this pre­miere will bring out all the big names in the ski and snow­board industry.

This Octo­ber, for the first time in its his­to­ry, The Inter­na­tion­al Frees­ki Fes­ti­val (iF3) will be tak­ing place in Whistler, offer­ing mul­ti­ple screen­ings of the season’s lat­est snow flicks.

If you pre­fer watch­ing ski movies with a pint of beer in one hand and some chick­en wings in the oth­er, hit up the local water­ing holes. TV screens are plas­tered with ski films, and you won’t be able to look away.

Do a Lit­tle Shop­ping
Your snow kit has been in hid­ing for months now. It’s time to pull it all out and take inven­to­ry: what upgrades are you mak­ing for the upcom­ing season?

Whistler Black­comb hosts its Turkey Sale over the Cana­di­an Thanks­giv­ing week­end, Octo­ber 12 to 14. Just about every brand and equip­ment type under the sun is avail­able at this blowout sale. Expect end­less line ups and coats fly­ing through the air, all in the name of out­ra­geous sav­ings on last year’s mod­els. This sale is NOT overrated.

Cel­e­brate Good Food and Wine
Cor­nu­copia is Whistler’s cel­e­bra­tion of wine and food, bring­ing out the glee­ful glut­ton in us all. This fes­ti­val is so pop­u­lar that it has been expand­ed to a ten day for­mat this year, tak­ing place Novem­ber 7 to 17.

Enjoy tast­ings, com­pe­ti­tions, meals, sem­i­nars and par­ties through­out the ten days. Events include “Feng Shui: the Art of the Kitchen”; “All You Need is Cheese”, and “Real Men Drink Rosés”.  Atten­dees will be so engrossed in the events that they won’t even notice that it’s pour­ing out­side (but snow­ing on top of the mountains!).

Become a Film Crit­ic
Sure, it’s not quite as big as Sun­dance, but the Whistler Film Fes­ti­val is get­ting big­ger and bet­ter with every pass­ing year. Now in its 13th iter­a­tion, the Film Fes­ti­val show­cas­es top films from Cana­da and around the world over the first week­end in December.

Last year’s event drew more than 10,000 atten­dees and a slew of celebri­ties who par­took in the annu­al Celebri­ty Chal­lenge ski race (when in Rome, as they say). The fes­ti­val includes 90 film screen­ings (with more than half the con­tent being Cana­di­an), with eight awards of dis­tinc­tion being offered to the best of the best.

whistler-featuredLive the Adven­tures
Under­stand­ably, win­ter vis­i­tors are so pre­oc­cu­pied by the glo­ri­ous snow on the moun­tains that they often gloss over some of the oth­er activ­i­ties avail­able in Whistler.

Whistler tru­ly is an adven­ture des­ti­na­tion. Did you know that the world’s longest zip line is found in Whistler? Or that the Whistler Slid­ing Cen­tre is one of only 16 tracks world­wide for skele­ton, bob­sled and luge (and yes, you can try your hand at a slid­ing sport).

From trekking to bungee jump­ing, Whistler offers an incred­i­ble assort­ment of activities—and best of all, there are often off-sea­son pric­ing spe­cials, guar­an­tee­ing the most bang for your buck.