The Next Best Thing

by Fraser

So some family and friends went to Whistler recently. I didn’t go. Tres jealous. What did happen though, is they brought us back some mugs. Surely that’s the next best thing? Seriously though, I love stuff like that. Ciara and I bought a couple of large mugs in Fernie and they’re without doubt the best choice of souvenir for me.

Two mugs and a piste map; a perfect combination, giving you something to ponder over while drinking some tea.

Actually, we all got together last weekend for dinner and a post-Canada chat. Very interesting. Fernie was my first (and only, so far) visit to Canada and to my mind, there were significant differences between it and the European resorts I’d been used to. Whistler again, is a different cup of tea to Fernie (ok, I’m overusing that); so I was keen to hear what they had to say. Some photos and video always help too.

Mountain layout/piste design. Trees. Bowls. Out of bounds. Size. Service. Friendliness. Travel. Cost. We talked about all of these things.

And snow. They had lots of it. In fact, similar to my own experience in Fernie, a large amount of snow can leave you with a somewhat unsettling experience. Canada is a long way to go when European resorts are almost on your doorstep (relatively). When your first visit is packed with a whole load of powder, the thought of returning to a potentially dry two-weeks is worrying.

The big question I wanted them to answer: was it so good that you’re going back next year? To me, Whistler has always been touted as one of the places to go; were they totally bowled over by it?

I didn’t get a straight forward answer to that. It wasn’t a resounding “yes”. And for good reasons too. Sure, they gave the place very high praise, but there are many factors to consider when planning a snowboarding trip! Although Whistler remains high on the list, Smaller-Canadian-Resorts, Mammoth, Breckenridge and Colorado as a whole were mentioned as potential North American alternatives…

So what about you? Anyone shredded in Canada, the USA and Europe, and have strong opinions as to which they prefer? Is it the case that if the snow is good, that’s all that matters? Or do you think that if you’re riding with good company, it’s what you make of it that counts?

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