How To Ski Whistler On A Budget
How to Ski or Snowboard Whistler on a Budget? It is 100% achievable! With a combination of credit card points and my Epic Season Pass, Whistler has become my cheapest destination.
Tired of short runs and long lift lines? Whistler has some of the longest runs I’ve ever done and since these mountains are combined (Whistler & Blackcomb) with the Peak 2 Peak Gondola you won’t really find that long of lift lines especially during the weekdays.
Not only that, there’s an ice cave that you can check out on the glacier side and if you’re not into skiing or snowboarding there’s bobsledding available and tons of restaurants and bars to check out in the village.
If you have a US sim card it will most likely work in Canada. I have Verizon and it worked just fine at no extra charge. I was however capped at 500mb of data/day and after that it slowed down.
You don’t really need that much cash since most places take credit cards. In all, I think I only paid $5 CAD in cash for the 5 days that I was there.
Checking in ski bag as a regular suitcase: I flew from Park City (was there during Sundance Film Festival) on Delta and I was charged $30 USD. On the way back I flew on Air Canada and I was charged $30 CAD ($22.67 USD)
Travel Cost Breakdown
SLC (Salt Lake City, UT) –> YVR (Vancouver): 11,624 points in Ultimate Rewards Portal or $174.37
YVR (Vancouver) –> LAS (Las Vegas, NV): 9,881 points in Ultimate Rewards Portal or $148.22
I chose to stay at a hostel that is 9km (25 – 30 minutes via public transportation) called HI Whistler. This hostel is actually nice and even though you have to take the bus to the village you can’t beat the price of $32 USD/night. The bus literally drops you off right around the block from the hostel. There is a philippino grocery market across the street but that’s about it. After snowboarding I would hang around the village for Apres and dinner and then head home for the night.
HI Whistler ** I stayed here $32 USD/night ** I met some really cool girls from Australia
Pangea Pod Hotel (Whistler Village) $82 USD/night
Fireside Lodge (3.4 km from Whistler Village – 15 minute bus ride) $24 USD/night
Hotels in or near the village range from $200 – $300/night during peak season
Shuttle from YVR Airport to Whistler
There are a couple options. The one I chose is a Skylynx direct bus from YVR airport (just exit the airport and walk to the left). The other transportation services pick you up in the city which you have to take a skytrain to get to. Carrying a snowboard bag and a suitcase is already hard enough so I wanted the easiest route.
Skylynx Roundtrip: $78.50 USD ($104 CAD) Direct pick up from YVR Airport. If you are staying at Hi Whistler be sure to get dropped off at “Creekside Village” and then you can take a public bus from there. There is a toilet on board in case you need it.
Epic Rides Roundtrip: $26 USD ($35 CAD) You have to take an $8 skytrain from the airport to “Burrard” station. Then the shuttle picks up from here and drops you off at Whistler Gateway Loop. Cheapest Option
Whistler Rides Roundtrip: $30 USD ($40 CAD) from the airport. You have to take a $8 skytrain to “Burrard” station. Then the shuttle picks up from here and it can drop you off at Village Gondola, Creekside Village, or directly in front of Hi Hostel. My bunkmate used this service and said that they never showed up and now she’s disputing with the company trying to get her money back. There are also lots of negative reviews so choose at your own risk.
If you’re staying in the village area you most likely will not need to buy tickets for public transportation. At HI Whistler you will need to purchase bus tickets or pay $2.50 CAD cash. The bus does NOT give any change. You can buy a pack of 10 at a time. I bought mine at the Village center and they accepted credit cards.
Lift Ticket Prices
If you have the Epic Pass then you have access to the mountain and how many days will depend on which season pass you have.
If you book 7 days in advance then you can save money on lift tickets. And if you need rentals you usually get 20% off when purchased online.
1 day lift ticket: $124 USD ($164 CAD) for Adult
If you have the buddy pass for your friends it’s $80 USD ($105 CAD)
If you would like to familiarize yourself and do a free tour or a free avalanche awareness tour you can peep the schedule here.
Who doesn’t love fresh powder? You can be one of the first ones on the mountain if you get the “Fresh Tracks” pass which allows you to ride the gondola up between 7:15 am – 8:00 am (they open to the public at 8:30 am). The pass costs $19 USD or $23.95 CAD.
Located on the Blackcomb side. You must take the Showcase T-Bar up and hike up a little. Then ride down 2/3 of the way and it will be on the right hand side. This area is out of bounds so please be safe.
The first things you see when you come down the mountain is Longhorn Saloon with their music blasting. It’s definitely a popping location with its prime real estate but you won’t find any special deals here. There are many places to eat and drink (in the list below are my favorites).
Happy Hour between 3pm – 5pm. Specials usually on beer and a few hot drinks depending on the day.
Beacon Pub & Eatery
Great specials for after the mountain. Their truffle fries with aioli is bomb.
Happy Hour from 3pm – 5pm. Drinks starting at $4 CAD and hot appetizers starting at $5 CAD.
El Furniture Warehouse – These are the specials that I know of from coming here. **Subject to change**
All food is $5.95 CAD all day everyday
Power Hour – 3pm – 4pm $2 CAD for 8oz beers
Tuesdays – $.33 wings
The BAR at Pangea Pod Hotel
$4 CAD Happy hour shots!
Stuffed pies start at $6 CAD and you can add mashed potatoes, mushy green peas AND gravy for an additional $3.50 CAD.
Pizzeria Antico How To Ski Whistler On A Budget
Tuesdays – Any pizza and a pint of beer for $20 CAD.
Tacos La Cantina
$3.50 CAD for a taco – not too bad
Summit Sports – For rentals and tuneups
Need a tune? I got a full hand wax and tune up for $50 CAD at Summit Sports. Also the wire on my snow boot broke and they fixed it for $20 CAD. How To Ski Whistler On A Budget
Other Epic Pass Destinations
If you enjoyed my How To Ski Whistler On A Budget blog, then you’ll want to check out some other destinations – Lake Tahoe (California-Nevada) and Les 3 Vallêes (France.)
An awesome guide, thank you!