We Sing the Slopes Fantastic

BRITISH COLUMBIA :: WHISTLER BLACKCOMB

    Photo: courtesy, Whistler Blackcomb Ski Resort/Paul Morrison

MOUNTAIN STATS:

SUMMIT, 7,494 feet (Blackcomb)
VERTICAL, 10,300 feet (combined)
SKIABLE ACRES, 8,171 (combined)
ANNUAL SNOWFALL, 360 inches
LIFT TICKET, US$58
866-218-9690, www.whistlerblackcomb.com

DOUBLY HEINOUS STEEPS mean twice the fun at Whistler Blackcomb, home to the biggest vertical in North America and an astounding variety of snow conditions. Sister peaks, these British Columbia bad girls practically flaunt their grand vert, true glacier skiing, and leg-burner runs up to seven miles long.
WHY WE LOVE IT: By virtue of the vast and varied terrain (larger than Vail and Aspen combined), this resort has always drawn a cosmopolitan crowd. The number of rowdy young immigrants will surely redouble as opening day of the 2010 Winter Olympics approaches. And the village is at only 2,140 feet, so sea-level folk can let loose without fearing hypoxia-empowered hangovers.
NUMBER-ONE RUN: These peaks have long been a favorite stop on the World Cup circuit, thanks in part to the exhilarating 1.5-mile highway known as the Dave Murray Downhill, which rolls off the south shoulder to Whistler's base.
HOT LODGE: The Fairmont Chateau Whistler is a wonderland of sprawling penthouses and romantic turrets at the foot of Blackcomb Mountain. Luckily, there are more than two dozen bistros and nightclubs nearby to tempt you out of your mountain-view room on the stormier nights. (Doubles, $256-$446; 800-606-8244, www.fairmont.com/whistler)
SOUL PATCH: From the top of Horstman Glacier, traverse under the summit cliffs and cross the ridgeline via Spanky's Ladder. This brings you to a trove of hidden chutes plunging through a cliff band down to Blackcomb Glacier.

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