Seeing Rainbows | Making the Most of Whistler Pride 2020
If the stoke in Whistler was not already enough, in January 2020 they play host to Canada’s biggest Gay Ski week. Join the festival from the 26th January to the 6th February 2020, and experience awesome ski conditions during the day followed by inclusive events, parties, and aprés around Whistler Village. We have created a list to enable you to make the most of the Whistler Pride and Ski Festival 2020.
What is the Whistler Pride and Ski Festival?
Originally started in 1992 with a small group of skiers, this queer-focused event has turned into a full-blown festival. The festival offers inclusive ski and snowboard groups on Whistler and Blackcomb, followed by free aprés at the festival host hotel, the Aava Whistler Hotel.
There a plenty of free events available, but to experience Pride at it’s best you can pick up a full pass from the Whistler Pride website. There is also a really handy app available from the website too which will give you full updates throughout the festival. Why get the app? It’s preloaded with instant access to everything you need for the festivities:
- Daily schedules
- Helpful maps
- Event information
- Live news announcements
- Easy access to purchase event tickets, lift tickets and even pre-purchasing drink tickets.
The festival headquarters will be at the Aava Whistler Hotel, and you can head there on Sunday to pick up event passes and find out more about the festival.
Our list starts on Monday, but do not miss out on the Whistler Pride and Ski Festival opening Party. This event starts at 4pm on Sunday and features live music, and afterward, you can check out the Fire and Ice show from Skiers Plaza next to the Whistler Gondola.
It is the beginning of the festival, so this will be the best opportunity to rise and shine and get up early for Fresh Tracks. This is a hearty breakfast on Whistler Mountain followed by early access to the slopes. A brilliant way to beat the crowds and get perfectly groomed runs and fresh powder.
Once you are finished skiing for the day do not miss out on the free festival aprés at the host hotel every day from 3pm-6pm.
Each night after a big day on the mountain, there will be events (read – parties!) at the host hotel, keep an eye on the Whistler Pride website for updates. But if you need to fuel up first, try out some of the restaurants in the Village (details here).
This is the day to hit the slopes of Blackcomb, rip it up in the terrain parks or head all the way up to the top of the mountain and hit the off-piste runs on the way down. And when you need a break and some food, get to the Crystal Lodge for delicious waffles.
If you want to experience a bit of the backcountry and leave the lifts behind you can also look into organizing a private session with Whistler Adventures. We can help you plan a winter adventure perfectly to suit your needs.
Once you are finished with the free aprés check out the host hotel for Tuesday night’s entertainment.
If you need a rest day activity you can try out a sleigh ride with Blackcomb Sleigh Tours and take a journey through the winter wonderland of Whistler. This could be a trip with your friends or familiar, but we think it is a pretty romantic way to spend a day or evening with a loved one.
If you do head out skiing, aim to end up in Creekside (after shredding the Peak to Creek run) for either a midday break for lunch or aprés in the evening. You will also want to keep an eye out for Whistler Pride’s charity race too, which is entry by donation. You can enter and donate as many times as you want (or until your legs stop skiing).
Another day in the Whistler Pride and Ski Festival. If you are tired from partying the previous night then head to breakfast at Alpine Cafe just north of the Village. Try the French toast, it is delicious.
Fully fuelled up, it’s probably time to hit the slopes again. If you are feeling up to it get on the Dave Murray Downhill run, probably the most enjoyable groomed black run on Whistler. And for something more chilled out, take yourself and the family down the upper and lower Whiskey Jack Run, which is a mellow green.
Remember to head to the aprés at the host hotel, then use the app the find out what late-night event there will be to attend. Keep an eye out for events with Whistler Public Library too. They team up with Whistler Pride to show screenings of LGBQT+ films that are free to attend.
Friday is Parade day. It may be a good idea to save your legs and go easy on the slopes as you do not want to miss the Whistler Pride Ski Out and March. Wear your brightest colours and watch skiers and boarders slaloming down the mountain beneath a giant pride flag. Following the Ski Out there will be a march through the village in which everyone is welcome to join and celebrate.
Friday brings the second last free aprés, so if you have not made it yet, this is your chance. There will also be fantastic entertainment in the evening, check out the festival itinerary in the app to make sure you do not miss out.
Saturday will bring you to the festival conclusion after a beautiful week enjoying Gay Whistler and the Whistler Pride festival. Head up Whistler Mountain (or Blackcomb) and jump on the Peak to Peak Gondola. This is an experience not to be missed and the views will be breathtaking. Take a trip one last time to the peak and ski all the way out then chill out for the last free aprés at the host hotel. You will need to relax and recuperate, as Saturday will have the final night of the festival closing party, and this will go on till the early morning.
Based on last year you will get to experience free inclusive ski and snowboard groups lead by experienced and friendly guides. Hilarious games nights at the host hotel as well as comedy nights, live music, DJs, and Drag shows. Day time events are family-friendly, and the late-night events will be for 19+.
From the success of Whistler Pride and Ski Festival over the past few years, you know this is going to be fantastic, flamboyant, thrilling, and possibly quite tiring for your legs from all the skiing and boarding. Plan your stay and extra curricular activities using our guide here.
If you need a hand finding cheap eats, free parking, or some adventurous extracurriculars….
We have recommendations of places to stay, sights to see and fantastic restaurants to eat at. If this is your first time or 10th time visiting Whistler this event will be something to make your trip extra special. Canada’s number one LGBTQ+ ski festival, it is not to be missed.