Snow sculpture at Whistler
In the related article, Top Intermediate ski runs at Blackcomb, I listed the top moderate runs at Blackcomb. Here’s the rest of the baker’s dozen–13 runs total, including these runs at Whistler. This list was compiled based on my experience skiing at Whistler Blackcomb for over 15 years, and an informal poll of long-time skiers here, some who have worked on the mountain for 20-30 years as mountain hosts, patrollers and instructors.
Whistler Intermediate Runs
- Franz’s: You can hardly avoid Franz’s as it’s a major thoroughfare in the middle of Whistler Mountain. Because of that the upper part can get scraped down to a slick skating rink, but lower Franz’s can be much nicer, providing a long intermediate run down to the bottom of Creekside, where you can have a burger and a beer at the end of the day at Dusty’s. Chair: Bottom of Franz’s Chair or half-way down from the top of Big Red Express.
- Peak to Creek: A stellar run that rivals the Blackcomb Glacier in terms of uniqueness within the realm of intermediate runs, it is one of the longest runs at 3.3 miles (5.5 km). It’s located at the far edge (skier’s left hand side) of Whistler, so like the Blackcomb Glacier on the other side it gives a taste of that backcountry feeling, but this run was cut through thick forest (the lower part). It twists and turns a bit and rolls down one pitch after another until your thighs are burning and you have to take a rest on one of the conveniently placed benches. Like Franz’s, it ends at Dusty’s where you can take a well-deserved break. Chair: From the Peak Chair take Upper Peak to Creek to Lower Peak to Creek
- Symphony Bowl to Adagio: Symphony Bowl is an intermediate playground. Adagio is one of the main runs that you should check out initially but don’t be afraid to consult the map and venture out to the really fun Staccato and Glissando Glades, a low incline romp through some widely spaced trees, or push the envelope a bit to hike up Flute Bowl. Generally hiking equals advanced or expert terrain, but Flute Bowl has some moderate ways down that aren’t too steep. Chair: Symphony Express
- Harmony Piste: A huge bowl littered with moderate angle runs it also has a ridge of cliffs that are visible from the long chair so the entertainment value is high as you watch hot doggers fling themselves off of gnarly crags. Hit Harmony early as the popular chair can develop epic lift lines–the highly anticipated 6-pack can’t arrive too soon (scheduled for summer 2013). When the crowds build up take off for Symphony Bowl. Chair: Harmony Express
- Green Acres: Green Acres is our go-to warm up run. It’s very mellow and a good way to assess the current snow conditions and work the kinks out. It’s easily accessible from Big Red Express, Whistler Gondola or Peak to Peak (the highest and longest unsupported cable car span in the world that connects Whistler to Blackcomb) so it’s a natural first run of the day. Chair: Emerald Express
- Tokum: Check the grooming report to see if Tokum has been groomed. If so it’s a blast to scream down this run from Orange Peel to the mid-station of the Whistler Gondola. It’s often a mandatory second run for us after we’ve warmed up on Green Acres. Chair: Take Pony Trail to Orange Peel from Big Red Express or Whistler Village Gondola
- Ptarmigan: A fun run that connects Lower Whiskey Jack to the mid-station of the Whistler Gondola, you can fly down Ptarmigan if it has been groomed or practice your bumps if it hasn’t. Chair: Take Upper Whiskey Jack to Lower Whiskey Jack from Whistler Village Gondola or Lower Whiskey Jack from Garbanzo Express.
Peak to Creek sign at Whistler
See related articles
Free Mountain Tours are a great way to explore the mountain for intermediate and advanced skiers and boarders. They are led by experienced volunteers every day at 11:30 am on both mountains.
Skiers and boarders who find themselves challenged can get some pointers from the specialized instruction offered through the Extremely Canadian Freeskiing Clinics at Whistler Blackcomb.
Use common sense, wear a helmet, ski or board safely and have a good time in the gigantic winter playground that is Whistler Blackcomb.
- Whistler Blackcomb: see site for current lift ticket prices
- Canadian Ski Council: Check out the Canadian Ski Council packages for significant discounts (some restrictions apply) on packages of 20 tickets. Tickets may be shared among family members and friends but may not be re-sold.
- Whistler Blackcomb is part of the Epic Pass network.
Ski and Snowboard Guide to Whistler Blackcomb, Intermediate Edition by Brian Finestone and Kevin Hodder, with detailed maps and descriptions of the runs I’ve recommended, plus many more.