“I’ve had a deep love affair with skiing for many years.” – John Denver
There are a lot of people out there that are captivated by the soul moving effect of winter sports. For skiers and snowboarders, being one with the terrain and conquering massive slopes is a powerful experience like nothing else. Each year Whistler, British Columbia, calls those fanatics home with an incredible festival where mountain culture is married to the love of winter sports. The World Ski and Snowboard Festival invites you to get a taste of the mountain air and find an exhilarating way of life on the slopes.
The WSSF in iconic Whistler is surrounded by the breathtaking views of the Coast Mountains. Whistler is known for its world class skiing accommodations and hosting the 2010 Winter Olympics. The Festival invites people from around the world to watch elite athletes and experience winter sports in a venue like no other. It is a 10 day affair featuring a variety of events for spectators as well as those eager to shred some powder. There are exhibits and activities all day long encompassing the love and passion so many have for winter sports.
What does WSSF have to offer?
Hit the Slopes
There is so much to do it will be difficult to decide. The whole idea behind WSSF is to be immersed in the culture of the sports and experience a taste of mountain life. Get involved and check out the wide array of sports and events.
- Try the Halfpipe Fam Jam and spend your days skiing and snowboarding in Whistler’s great outdoors.
- Watch local Roller Derby teams go head to head.
- Hold your breath as elite athletes jump through rings of fire and perform incredible tricks with a fireworks display to end the show.
- See the dog parade as hundreds of canines kick off the doggie exhibits and competitions.
- Hit up the Demo Park to try out the newest gear for free!
Don’t know how to ski or snowboard? Whistler Blackcomb Ski School offers a ski or board lesson package for every age and every ability! While my son Whistler has been attending this awesome ski school since he was two years old, this year I decided to give it a go along with my father who has only been on skis once in his life.
At 40 and 60 years old, we were both a little nervous about our first days, but amazingly we both did extremely well (no falls!) and each went up a level for day two of classes. We both enjoyed our instructors, who were well versed in technique and passionate about skiing. They definitely made it easier for us to get the hang of it and I would highly recommend lessons to everyone! Remember, the worst thing you can do is try to teach yourself or develop poor habits. They are the hardest to correct and I promise your bum will thank you for learning it right the first time!
Checkout the Art
The WSSF has amazing art shows and performances to entertain audiences. Featuring ideas and pieces from exceptionally talented artists, you won’t be disappointed by the art work inspired by skiers and snowboarders alike. Some of the highlights include:
- Olympus 72 Hour Filmmakers Showdown – Those looking for a chance to show off film making skills can enter the competition. Those who enter have 72 hours to shoot a 3-5 minute video from a location within a 100km from Whistler.
- World Wide Olympus Pro Photographer Showdown – View the amazing action photos of world renowned photographers as they capture athletes taking on extreme terrains.
- Multiplicity – This has been one of the most well received events at WSSF, and an inspiring experience visitors can’t seem to get enough of. Gathering adventurers from around the world, the WSSF gives them a stage to share their stories and experiences discussing how they tackled their goals and live every day to the fullest. It is an audio visual experience that will leave you wanting to become a full time adventure seeker.
Dance the Night Away
One of the best parts of WSSF is the nightlife! There are nightclubs with a great line up of fresh new beats and lots of room on the dance floor. Every night guests can also check out the outdoor concert series with an amazing line up of bands from a variety of genres sure to keep you entertained until the sun comes up. There is also a Silent Disco! Guests are supplied a pair of headphones, and they can choose from multiple channels each with a different DJ offering a great mix.
The WSSF is a cultural event that combines the love of winter sports and the amazing features of Whistler, BC. Whether you are passionate about winter sports or have never seen a mountain, it is a festival meant to inspire people to seek out their own adventures. Be sure to visit WSSF site or find them on Facebook and Twitter to see if it is the kind of adventure you seek.
Where to Stay
We’ve visited Whistler year after year after year to go skiing each spring. We’ve stayed in various condos and hotels, but by far our most favorite was this year’s stay at Cascade Lodge, a Wyndham Vacation Rentals property. Centrally located just across from the village, about mid way through, it’s just 2 bus stops from the slopes or a quick 7 minute walk.
We loved the convenient location, but appreciated being away from the craziness and noise that usually accompanies staying directly in Whistler Village. With all the comforts of home like separate bedrooms, living room, dining room and kitchen, Cascade Lodge is ideal for keeping family traditions like gathering for dinner around a home cooked meal. We also took advantage of the washer and dryer to wash our dirty clothes the night before leaving which was an absolute blessing when I opened my suitcase to unpack, because, let’s be honest – unpacking AND having to do a mountain of dirty laundry is what I dread most about coming home from a trip!
A huge thank you to Wyndham Vacation Rentals for providing the lovely accommodations and Whistler Blackcomb for kicking me and my family’s shredding abilities up a notch with Ski School.