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November 25, 2008

Ski and Stay in Whistler Blackcomb

Stark
Artwork by Vanessa Stark

by Alex Pasquariello

It's that sacred time of year again, a season when friends, family, and perfect strangers gather together to count their blessings and thank the snow gods for another ski season. It's also the time of year when Condé Nast Traveler's December issue hits newsstands with our "2008 Best Places to Ski & Stay" package. Here's a spoiler: For the second year in a row our readers have voted Whistler Blackcomb their favorite resort in North America. More good news: The epic, twin-peaked resort opens for the 2008-2009 ski season tomorrow (okay, well it fully opens tomorrow--the Whistler side opened today).

Of course, early conditions exist, so all that gnarly terrain you crave won't be open this turkey day. The resort says it's been blasting snow guns, though, to Mother Nature's growing pile, and the Creekside Gondola will be open for access between peaks. Log on to the resort's Web site for the latest conditions. This early season pow is all leading up to one of the biggest days in Whistler Blackcomb's history: December 12. That's when the resort opens its massive PEAK 2 PEAK gondola, linking Whistler and Blackcomb--you can read all about it in the December issue.

If you're in B.C. and making first turns, drop us a line here on the Daily Traveler, or send your opening-day photos to letters@cntraveler.com. In the meantime, get your fix with the art of Vanessa Stark, a local shredder and an artist. Her painting, "PEAK 2 PEAK - First Tracks," won a nationwide contest to design the official poster for the inaugural season of the gondola. Prints will be given away at the grand opening event on December 12 and the original artwork will be auctioned off at the 2009 TELUS Winter Classic/Whistler Blackcomb Foundation Gala on January 25, with proceeds supporting non-profit organizations in the Sea to Sky Corridor.

Further reading:
* Top ski resorts
* Top ski hotels
* Ski trends

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