10 Things You Didn't Know About Whistler (But Should)

Whistler is the number one ski resort in North America, and since the Olympics in 2010, it has grown both in popularity and in the things it holds records for. Longest gondola, over two million visits a year, largest ski resort, by far, dwarfing Vail by acres. The longest run is the 11 kilometer long Peak to Creek. It's massive, it's incredible and it is full of biggest and bests.

Whistler ,_BC,_mountains

But there are a few things about Whistler that we thought you may not know. Here's a collection, then, of a few things to help you through your next cocktail party, or maybe to win a bet with friends. Have fun, and enjoy your stay in Whistler!

Ten Things You Didn't Know About Whistler...

1. What we now know as Whistler Resort began in 1914, when a couple from Maine, the Phillips (Myrtle and Alex) bought 10 acres and started the Rainbow Lodge. The trek from Vancouver took 3 days, but, undaunted, they forged ahead. Soon, the railway opened up the area and tourism boomed. Mostly as a summer resort at the time, fishing, hiking and boating were the most popular activities.

2. Whistler became the first resort municipality in British Columbia in 1975.

3. Whistler is called this because of the whistling sound made by the hoary marmot. You can see the little animals in the summer months around Rainbow Lake and in and around the valley. If you listen closely, you're sure to hear them.

4. At the beginning of every ski season, Whistler holds a ceremony to Ullr, the Norse god of snow (at least that is how Whistlerites see him. Certainly it's a bit more complicated than that). The ceremony has grown larger and larger each year, but at its most basic level, it's a large bonfire of old skis and ski paraphernalia. Lots of beverages may be a part of this festival. 

5. Whistler Blackcomb literally was Whistler and Blackcomb until 1997, when Intrawest, the company that owned Blackcomb, bought Whistler Mountain. They have lived happily together ever since...

6. There were 3 bids to hold the Olympics in Whistler: 1968, 1976 and 2010. 

7. Whistler is located in the Cheakamus-Green divide which was the main trading route of the Squamish and Lil'wat First Nations people long before the arrival of Europeans.

Whistler broke records in December 2008 with the opening of the brand new PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola. Linking the summits of Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains, it boasts the longest unsupported lift span in the world at 3.024 kilometres (1.88 miles) and is the highest lift of its kind at 415 metres / 1,361 feet. It takes just 11 minutes to cross and opens up a whole new world of skiing and snowboarding possibilities. (from Whistler.ca/stats)

9. There are 17 restaurants on Whistler Blackcomb mountains. Seventeen.

10. The total hourly capacity of the lifts on Whistler and Blackcomb is over 65,000 people. Sixty-five thousand. People. Per hour. That is a lot.

Hope you learned something new today and that it might come in handy at your next cocktail party.

Posted: Wednesday, February 12, 2014

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