2 Weeks in Canada - return to Whistler or cram in BW?

Discussion in 'Canada' started by Kimandkids, May 16, 2017.

  1. Kimandkids

    Kimandkids Active Member

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    I just can't decide what to do! Scored some cheap flights for exactly 2 weeks in late Jan for the family of 4. 2 kids aged 8 & 10. We did whistler for the first time 2 years ago and just loved it. We were lucky enough to be there on discover whistler days that January and saved a tonne on the kids ski camps and our lessons.

    I noticed that the first week of the dates we would be there this year are the dates for their 2018 Gay Pride week - so I doubt we will see any discover whistler 'cheaper' days around then, which got me thinking about Big White as its much more affordable (extra flights aside). As much as I love Whistler Village North the walk to the lifts gets tiring some days and ski in ski out DOES have an appeal.

    So....questions! Is flying in from Sydney and cramming 7 days in whistler then back to YVR and over to do 7 days in big white worth it/manageable to be able to do both? Sure 2 weeks in BW may be ideal but I honestly think I'd cry if I didn't see my beloved whistler! Which makes me think JUST STAY THERE.

    Other thoughts were a week in Village North and a week in Creekside as they run 3 day kids programs there which are cheaper than the 5 day at least. (Kids LOVE the camp).

    Finally, are there any places in WB or BW that have the 'lodge' feel of on snow lodges at Perisher of a night? While I love the condo, making new friends at the bar while the kids all play together has made for some great NSW ski holidays too.

    Sorry about the long post, but would welcome any suggestions or thoughts based on these 2 resorts (only) and our limited time please.
     
  2. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Part of the Furniture
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    Are you wedded to Big White? In most recent seasons there has been a shuttle direct from Whistler to Sun Peaks a couple of days a week. Sun Peaks has similar ski in/out accommodation to Big White. I prefer the Sun Peaks village and terrain to that of Big White, but that is subjective.
     
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  3. Beerman

    Beerman Dedicated Member
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    Many moons ago i did WB and BW, my suggestion would be to do BW first, then WB. If you do it the other way around you may be a bit bored after 4-5 days, as WB has so much terrain.
    You could also forget about WB this trip, and do Silver Star or Sun Peaks, both are closer to BW and are good family resorts from what i've seen.
     
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  4. Astro66

    Astro66 Still looking for a park in Thredbo
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    This ^^

    My first 2 years to Canada were Whistler and Big White. I switched to Sun Peaks because you can get days of White Outs at Big White. Hence it's naming.

    Sun Peaks also has some really great kids programs that are very reasonably priced. Having skied at many Nth American resorts. My kids always ask to go back to Sun Peaks.
     
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  5. Kimandkids

    Kimandkids Active Member

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    Great suggestions, thank you! Starting to lean towards just doing the whole 2 weeks at Whistler as there is so much we didn't have to explore last time. Maybe if we rock a solid 2 weeks there we can finally consider it 'done' and then plan for a BW & SP / SS combo next trip. Although by then the kids will be aged 10 & 12 so not as young, and may not care so much about the camps. Ha, not to mention I'll be 45 by next trip. I just hope my knees keep holding up for all the ski holidays I still want to do! ;)
     
  6. Kimandkids

    Kimandkids Active Member

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    ooooh had not even considered Sun Peaks. I best look into that one too just to really confuse myself!
     
  7. SnowflakesRule

    SnowflakesRule New Member

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    Can't comment on Whistler, or lodge style accommodation, but we do love Big White. It has a wonderful ski school and a nice friendly feel to it. Any staff we've dealt with have been great too. We've been there 4 times, 3 with little ones. We'd be happy to go back. That being said, as previously mentioned there are days where you can't see much and it's sometimes better just to have a day off. This doesn't tend to bother us as we usually go for four weeks.

    We went last year and there was multiple free things to do with kids. Note: these may not be available this coming season but track record would suggest that they will be. There's free smores and hot chocolate a few nights a week. The Kids Centre runs an arts and craft night once a week for a hour late afternoon where you drop and go. Bonus parent alone time! There's also the Carnival night on Fridays (maybe saturday too). The Kids Centre also runs other things after skiing is done though there's usually a fee involved.

    Things to think about:
    • Going to two resorts means two lift tickets. Staying in one for two weeks would probably mean that early bird season passes could be the way to go. Break even is usually around 9 or 10 days. Big White's early season pass purchase usually gives you the option of buying some early bird group lessons at 50% off so there's a big saving if you're planning on sending the kids, or yourselves, to ski school.
    • Hire car vs airfares if you do go to both. Not sure of the rates but could be worth a look if you feel okay about driving over there.
    • Accommodation - we go owner direct rentals because of the length of time we stay (self catered). You may find some good deals with an owner in one place for two weeks. Tour operators might also be able to get a good deal on accommodation combined with lift tickets for either combination. Travelplan have some snow shows coming up soon, http://www.travelplan.com.au/skiexpo.html that might be a good place to check out. Not been but heard some reports of really good deals coming out of them.
    It depends how much you want to try something new. We love Big White but a combination of factors have us heading to Silver Star for a month next season. If we don't like it then Big White will still be there next time. If we do, we've stretched our wings just a little and found another wonderful place to ski. How much you love Whistler vs how much you want to try something else will probably factor into what you do.

    Have a wonderful time whatever you decide.
     
  8. bomber

    bomber Dedicated Member
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    I avoid LGTB week as it is the second busiest week of the year
     
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  9. blowfin

    blowfin Well-Known Member

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    Concur with the sentiment of just spending the two weeks in one place. Whistler can keep you busy for as long as you want to ski there really. However as @Legs Akimbo hinted, Sun Peaks -> Whistler is pretty sound logistically, they are basically off the same highway. Whistler will be full of people during pride week, but that crowd doesn't necessarily intersect all that much with the ski/snowboard crowd. Particularly not if they're there mostly for the party. Booking dinner and etc. in the village that week would be a different story altogether though, and there is probably already some pressure on the accommodation for that period.
     
  10. Harper11

    Harper11 Part of the Furniture
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    At the bars anyway
     
  11. gareth_oau

    gareth_oau Old And Crusty
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    Sun Peaks is user-friendly enough that your kids could just about run off and look after themselves.

    Also consider renting an AWD. The drive up from Vancouver is very pleasant, gives you more flexibility and may not cost any more than paying all those transfers for 4 people
     
    #11 gareth_oau, May 16, 2017
    Last edited: May 17, 2017
  12. Chowder11

    Chowder11 Addicted Member
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    Another option is to fly to Calgary and base yourself in Banff.
    Not on mountain, but plenty to do and only short morning drives/shuttles to Sunshine or Mt Norquary (Nice hill for kids) Or about a 40min trip to Lake Louise.
    Banff then has more off hill activities, such as the hot springs, gondola, Johnson Canyon etc....
     
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  13. Crystal

    Crystal Sand skier extraordinaire
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    On the lodge style accom...I don't think you'll find anything like that in Canada unless you go to the smaller locals or club hills.
     
  14. silva

    silva Active Member

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    If you decide to do 2 resorts in 2 weeks my main consideration would be ease of Transfers. The Whistler - Sunpeaks direct transfer bus would make Sunpeaks very attractive in this case:
    https://www.sunpeaksresort.com/explore/getting-here/inter-resort-shuttles
    There is probably cheaper ways to get between the resorts but for convenience this wins hands down.

    I am pretty sure that Whistler removed the January "Discover Whistler" dates this year so would be surprised if there was discount options next Jan. You may be better investigating booking through a Australian Travel Agent (sorry for swearing) or the official Whistler website who will often have accom, lift, lesson, kids free packages which you would not have access to otherwise.

    Another thing to consider if you do decide on 2 weeks in Whistler - A Australian Epic pass = $849 and gives you 10 days lift pass at Whistler. A prepurchase 10 day lift pass at Whistler = $860A. $430C for Jan. So if you can get a kids ski free deal the Epic pass is not worth it but if you book accom direct then the Epic pass might be worth it.
     
  15. Kimandkids

    Kimandkids Active Member

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    Alas you are correct! I was tossing up cheap airfares this time last year and noticed no discover days in January so decided to hold off another year. We got so lucky to score them 2 years back - saved hundreds! And yes, I have found a good kids ski free lift option so resisted the urge to get the epic pass. If we lived closer than 7hrs drive to Perisher it may have been a different story.

    Thanks again all - have not written off Sun Peaks either which was a great suggestion! Might head to the snow travel expo this weekend to ask about...
     
  16. gareth_oau

    gareth_oau Old And Crusty
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    You'll find a large collection of Aussies will be holidaying at SP, many of which are on this forum.
    Incredibly friendly bunch who would be happy to show you round
     
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  17. silva

    silva Active Member

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    This may be a consideration for you Kimandkids. There is no lodge style accommodation at most US and Canadian resorts (except backpacker style places) but Sun Peaks certainly has a active community on here an a large influx of Aussie families in January. If you are looking for riding friends for the kids, to make friends with like minded families etc there always seems to be lots happening in SunPeaks from trips to the hockey, grocery runs, daily riding meeting spots and organised dinners with families on this forum.
     
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  18. Sbooker

    Sbooker Active Member

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    Sun Peaks sounds like it would be interesting to us. We normally do a road trip of a number of resorts over a 3 week period as we are very busy people during the year and like the 'on the move' thing to keep our holiday fresh. (I would be bored after 5 minutes of 'relaxing' around a pool in Bali).
    Sun Peaks sounds like it might offer enough to keep us interested for a 7 day period or thereabouts. My 10 and 12 year old kids (one boy and one girl) would love to ski with other kids of the same age and whilst we like our own company on holiday it would be cool to have dinner occasionally with other families. We're committed to Jackson, Salt Lake and Tahoe/Mammoth this winter but will have to seriously consider Sun Peaks as part of a Canada road trip the next January. We'd definitely want to incorporate some of the more low key hills like Apex, Red and Whitewater etc. Fernie looks good too.
     
  19. BoofHead

    BoofHead Dedicated Member
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    I haven't read through all the posts but if you are thinking of a BW/SS combo at some stage consider a visit to Apex as well.
     
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  20. Kimandkids

    Kimandkids Active Member

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    That sounds SO good!! Argh!! I must say we caught a Canucks game in Vancouver after our last trip to whistler and gee that was fun! Except for the part when I went to get beers for the intense '4th quarter' only to realise its a game of 3 thirds and I missed the end and had to down the beers as the crowd were leaving hahaha!
     
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  21. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Part of the Furniture
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    I think almost every Aussie has been caught by that 3 thirds thing at their first game.
     
  22. Kimandkids

    Kimandkids Active Member

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    So much snow, so little time and money right? I so hear you. I have at least 10 years of ski holidays in my bucket list between Canada the US and Japan alone!
     
  23. Kimandkids

    Kimandkids Active Member

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    Good to know hahaha. I was in that nice tipsy 3rd quarter of an AFL game vibe and was very confused that people were filing out as I was trying to head back in for the nail biting end!
     
  24. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Part of the Furniture
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    It's enormous fun

    These are the Kamloops Blazers, the local Sun Peaks team

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG] [
     
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  25. Ralph_Plough

    Ralph_Plough Dedicated Member

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  26. gareth_oau

    gareth_oau Old And Crusty
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    haha I was just about to post that link.

    Kimandkids, that forum is a huge resource, moslty of people from this forum that is SP specific, and a great tool for seeing who's around, what events, including hockey, is being planned.

    Last couple of years we have even got the crowd together to play a game of rugby union in 3ft deep snow
     
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  27. Crystal

    Crystal Sand skier extraordinaire
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    Yup we are doing Sunpeaks this year with our 2 (9 and 13).
     
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  28. sly_karma

    sly_karma Part of the Furniture
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    There's not many lodge-type format places in the Canadian scene. Saddleback at Apex had that kind of feel, but alas it burnt down a few years back. One thing BW has going for it is the day lodge setup at Happy Valley. It's a big open space with pub and restaurant attached, games area, skating rink outside and all accessed by free gondola back to village and accoms. Lots of families go there for off snow fun, lots of opportunities for the kids to meet and mingle.
     
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  29. Kimandkids

    Kimandkids Active Member

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    Thanks again everyone!!! In the end the Sun peaks option at Kookaburra plus whistler worked out to be a little more than just doing Whistler alone for 2 weeks. Have decided to just do whistler to death and make our next trip Sun peaks, broken up with a bit of Vancouver and self drive. Thanks so much for putting it on my radar though, even our local snow sports store here on the central coast NSW suggested we do it over BW! A shame though as you sound like a great fun bunch we would have loved to hang with, with the kids. I'll be keeping an eye on these forums for our future trips and meet ups. Happy sliding!
     
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  30. Kimandkids

    Kimandkids Active Member

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    Oh that sounds AMAZING!!!!! I'm even just excited to be in Canada for Australia Day this year. We flew out on Jan 26th on our last trip and found it funny to hear the Canadian locals asking each other "what are your plans for Australia Day" and missing it.
     
  31. Harper11

    Harper11 Part of the Furniture
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    Good choice
     
  32. Kimandkids

    Kimandkids Active Member

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    YES!!!!!
     
  33. Lady Penelope

    Lady Penelope Dedicated Member
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    We'll be there from 19/1 - 29/1 @Kimandkids, so may see you around! We are staying at Coast Blackcomb Suites. Thanks for the heads up re Gay Pride week - lift queues here we come!
     
  34. Marty_McSly

    Marty_McSly Addicted Member
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    Heh... I flew on Australia Day this year too. Walking up the Sun Peaks village after collecting my season pass, one of the pubs had "Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again" blaring on their outside PA.

    I'm told that Scots ski in kilts on New Year's Day in Canada, and Aussies ski in budgie smugglers on Australia Day.
     
  35. gareth_oau

    gareth_oau Old And Crusty
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    LOL do you really want to be there for Aus Day?

    [​IMG]
     
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