When it comes to packing for a winter trip to Whistler, there are so many questions to consider: How cold does it get in Whistler? Should I bring waterproof clothing? Is there something that I’m forgetting?
We thought we would take the headache out of planning and offer some insight into the top 5 things that we’d be packing for a winter trip to Whistler.
Layers & Layers
Surprisingly enough, Whistler doesn’t get quite as cold as the interior regions of Canada. Our winter averages are actually quite balmy when you compare them with the -30°C experienced by ski areas such as Mont Tremblant or Banff Lake Louise.
But that doesn’t mean it’s tropical out. Layers will be your best friend, and we’d recommend considering long underwear, mid-layers, and outer layers. Merino wool is ideal for its moisture-wicking properties, however, I survive just fine in my polyester blend, too!
Remember to consider your head and your feet – these are the two areas of the body that lose heat fastest. A good pair of socks and a cozy hat can do wonders in keeping you warm.
Whistler is famed for its volume of snow, and while it may be dumping up on the mountain, Whistler Village itself may fall short of the freezing level. This could result in damper conditions. Be prepared for the wet by arming yourself with GORE-TEX® (or equivalent garment technologies). This will also prove beneficial when facing deep snow. Waterproof shoes are also a great idea when facing rain and/or snowmelt.
Top tip: Carry ziplock bags to keep your gear dry! Phones and wallets are things that we all carry with us on the mountain and a sealed, plastic bag can go a long way toward keeping it dry. Also, consider wearing latex gloves under your own gloves. These will act as an additional barrier to keeping moisture away from your digits and dryer fingers mean warmer fingers.
Lip Balm and Sunscreen
When in a cold place, we often overlook the needs of our skin, which can become dry and damaged by harsh environmental factors. Lip balm and sunscreen will be your best friend on a ski trip, especially if you’re skiing/snowboarding.
The snow acts as a giant reflector and bounces UV rays back at your face, which means that you could be tanning much quicker than you usually would. We would recommend an organic sunscreen such as COOLA, which is vegan, non-greasy and easy to apply. It’s great for an active lifestyle and is both water- and sweat-resistant. We get ours from The Spa At Nita Lake Lodge.
Another one of our favorite products has to be X-Treme Organics Winter Balm, which you’ll find in a number of Whistler’s shops. It’s great for the lips and also acts as a barrier on dry skin. Top tip: Apply it to the outside of your nostrils to help prevent the dry skin caused by nose-blowing.
A Bathing Suit
Ok, wait – hear us out on this one. When you’re packing for a winter trip to Whistler a bathing suit might be the last thing on your mind. But what if you consider the opportunity to hit the hot tub after a day on the slopes?!
Nita Lake Lodge is home to two rooftop hot tubs, which have wonderful mountain views and offer a relaxing, adults-only spot to unwind under the stars. Nita is also home to a lakeside hot tub, which is better suited to families.
For the ultimate hydro experience, you may consider checking out Scandinave Spa. This open-air retreat is nestled among old-growth forest to Whistler’s north and follows the classic Scandinavian hot-cold-rest cycle.
Scandinave Spa is home to scented steam rooms, traditional cedar wood saunas, jacuzzies, and cold plunges. There’s also a number of lounging spots such as hammocks, firepits, and solariums. We recommend timing your visit well to avoid peak times and enjoy the peace and quiet. We find that this tends to be early morning and late evening.
(Non-Tech) Fun & Games
You likely won’t have too much free time to fill. But somewhere between skiing and après, you may find yourself twiddling your thumbs. So, when packing for a winter trip to Whistler, we recommend considering “Things To Do That Don’t Involve A Screen” – Use a trip to Whistler as the perfect opportunity to unplug!
Having a digital detox forces you to reconnect with yourself and the people around you. Consider packing some playing cards or a good book, for example. Maybe even pack a game? (It’s amazing how little space Scrabble takes up when you leave the box behind).
Cozy accommodation, such as that at Nita Lake Lodge, is large and welcoming. Features such as a separate seating area and basalt gas fireplace mean that you can make yourself at home. We would recommend having a quiet night in with your loved ones and recharging your batteries ready for another day of Whistler adventures!
Excited to hit the slopes?! Check out What’s In Store For The 2019/20 Whistler Ski Season by CLICKING HERE.