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Whistler Travel Guide, British Columbia

Whistler Resort is known world-wide. For several years in a row, Whistler Canada has been rated the best ski resort in North America by international ski publications. This resort - actually, two mountains - Whistler & Blackcomb - offers one mile of vertical (5,280') on over 100 marked runs, including bowl and glacier skiing.

The two previously separate ski areas of Whistler and Blackcomb have been systematically integrated into one mega-resort since 1997 when Intrawest finally completed the addition of neighboring Whistler Mountain to their Blackcomb ownership. Combined ticketing, pass, and access control systems for the two ski areas were finally integrated in 2003.

Together, Whistler and Blackcomb form the largest single ski area in North America at 8,171 acres (33.07 km²), over 50% larger than that of Vail, the runner-up, with 5,289 acres (21.41 km²). Their combined areas also boast the highest "vertical drop" in North America, with Blackcomb being the highest at 1564 m (5,133 ft), but often rounded to one mile for marketing purposes. Whistler is only slightly "shorter", at 1530 m (5,018 ft), making it the second highest vertical drop. The highest lift elevation, on Blackcomb, is 2240 m (7347 ft).

The mountains are accessed primarily by two gondolas, one for each mountain, meeting at the base of Whistler in Whistler Village.

Whistler accommodation is excellent, with choices of deluxe resort hotels or lodges, pensions, log chalets or condos. Whistler also offers virtually every other known form of winter activity, including para-gliding, snowshoeing, skating, snowmobiling, heli-skiing & cat skiing.

The well-developed village contains several large hotels, restaurants and bars, condominiums, and vacation homes. The village is 675 m (2,214 ft) above sea level, and is located approximately 126 km (78 miles) from Vancouver, and the Vancouver International Airport.

Whistler Blackcomb will host events for the 2010 Winter Olympics, including the men's and women's slalom, giant slalom, bobsleigh, luge, and skeleton events.

Whistler, as the main focus of the 2010 Olympics, will undergo massive changes in order to create the sport venues and house the athletes and staff. Millions of dollars have been put aside to cut the drive from Vancouver to Whistler on the Sea to Sky highway down to about an hour or less. Other money will go towards upkeep of stadiums and renovations on local mountains in and around Vancouver.

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