Whistler or Banff for winter 2012/13 ??
Replies: 14 - Last Post: Oct 12, 2012 9:45 AM Last Post By: roremc
Sep 19, 2012 3:39 AM
Whistler or Banff for winter 2012/13 ??im a 23 year old from australia and planning a trip to canada for a working snow season 2012/13.
im planning on leaving on the 14th oct, but just cant make up my mind between spending the season in whistler or banff.
i was hoping to get someones opionion whos spent a season in any one of them (or both).
so as a general question.. which one did you like/recommend better?
my plan is simple.. get to vancouver, bus it to either banff or wistler, look for a shared house + job.
i guess i want both worlds of the working holiday, some awesome snow and some awesome parties. i have had a look at smaller resorts such as revelstoke, silverstar, fernie, etc... but none have appealed to me as much as whistler and banff when it came to the balance of party and snow.
i initially considered whistler, but from what ive read/heard, its VERY touristy/commercial, competitve and quite pricey. not to say that banff is so much better. but is it considerably cheaper? or slightly bit easier to go about getting accom + job?
also from what i understand.. in banff there are a couple of resorts around to go to (sunshine, lake louise, etc) is it best to stay in banff and travel up the hill? or stay on the hill it's self? (for any aussies here.. is it a similar link with jindabyne and perisher?)
and will your season pass cover just the one resort or will it be for the whole banff region?
thanks in advance for all the info and advice!
Sep 19, 2012 2:27 PM
1I am coming up on 5 seasons in Banff so I am biased but here is my two cents.
Banff is cheaper than Whistler. From what I know though not enough to make you go one way or the other. Sales tax here in Alberta is on 5% and in BC its 12 or 13%. Someone will correct me.
As far as partying goes Whistler has it over Banff. Again if you did end up in Banff you will still have more than enough nightlife to keep you going. So the difference is not that great. One thing that is good in Banff is the guy/girl ratio. There are still lots of guys around but nothing like some resort towns I have been too. Not sure how whistler compares? Assuming you are a guy? : )
Both are touristy but I think Banff has a better control on it as we are inside a national park so development is limited.
Around Banff there are three resorts. Lake Louise, Sunshine and Mt Norquay. Norquay is small and mostly for families. The other two can hold their own as world class resorts. If you buy a skibig3 pass it will cover all 3 or you can get individual passes for each one. Within day trip distance of Banff you can also ski Kicking Horse, Panorama, Castle, and Nakiska. Not much further afield you have Revi and Fernie.
You can live on hill at Sunshine but 95% of people live in Banff or Lake Louise. The Lake is a small town so it just has basic facilities. Banff has lots of bar restaurants, cinema and 3 clubs as well.
Rideonwhistler one of the regulars on here should chime in. If not do a search of his posts as he knows his stuff!
Your plan of showing up and finding work and housing is solid. Make you have plenty of cash to get you going. Some people show up and get work and housing right away for others it can take time.
Sep 19, 2012 2:42 PM
2Banff is a small mountain town in a National Park that has skiing in the area (as noted above) during the winter. Whistler IS A SKI AREA AND “NOW” SUMMER RESORT, so of course it is commercial/touristy, but its only 1.5 hours from Vancouver which is an easy getaway, as Banff is 2 hours from Calgary but you are still in the snow. Whistler has more on mountain jobs, and the job fair is the end of Oct, go there and if you get a job (maybe with housing) stay if not push off for Banff which is more beautiful.
Sep 19, 2012 2:55 PM
3Banff is 1 hr 10 minutes max...not 2 from Calgary...Louise . 1.75 hrs from Calgary.
Both towns are nice, but will get insanely busy during peak seasons. I wish every Aussie or European didnt always flock to the big 2 like this. Id persoanlly rather party in Revy or Fernie where the scene is way more....whats the word...less trendy? (il work on a better word lol). I LOVE THE INTERIOR. I worked in 2 resorts...and both were small hills with awesome vibes, good riding, and great snow. The party scene is what you make of it...but the hills are what they are!
Ps...Norquay is not worth mentioning...and Sunshine is worth boycotting ;) Louise is a big...."when" the snow is good, this hill is hard to beat! Whistler can also be epic on a good snow year (think they are due for a bad year?)
Sep 20, 2012 9:26 AM
4LC is right. If you take the party factor out go to Revi! I am setup here now with a good job so I won't be going anywhere anytime soon but if I was coming for a season I would go central BC. The snow is crazy good. Short season and less partying but good times.
Oh and 1hr and 10 minutes hey? How is that Ferrari going for you LC? ; )
Sep 20, 2012 10:31 AM
5Haha, well I'm sure u know average speed on the TC is 125km+ at 6am... Canmore is under an hr;)
Sep 21, 2012 8:52 PM
Sep 25, 2012 10:51 AM
Sep 25, 2012 12:12 PM
8Just to help people make their minds up just last week I took these pics of employee housing in Whistler-in lovely Creekside neighbourhood.
Note that a shared room in one of these dumps goes for upward of $700/month.
Pic 2 of same row housing
Just across the street-slightly more upscale
Note-old car not included
Sep 25, 2012 9:25 PM
Sep 26, 2012 11:29 PM
10Thanks Roremc :D I've been canoeing the Yukon river so away from the computer for a couple of weeks! HST (sales tax) is 12% at the moment in B.C..
Hardnosethehighway... whose staff accomm is that?! I walk past these every day, and I thought they were just regular market cheapo housing - they are without doubt some of the sh*#est buildings in Whistler! For anyone getting worried out there, these are not Whistler Blackcomb's creekside staff housing - the Westside complex is actually pretty nice.
Whistler's a popular choice for all the obvious reasons - we have two huge lift accessed hills with enough terrain to make sure you can get happily lost for a couple of months. Then when you feel like you want more adventure, we have some of Canadas most stable snowpack so you can explore away from the lifts (with all the gear and some training of course!). Our village is really pretty and busy - we have loads of bars and 5 clubs that are pretty reliably full during peak season. Transport is great - Vancouver's only 1.5hrs away if you need the breathe some city air - our historical snowfall chart is nothing to be ashamed of either - I could go on :D
Saying that, housing here can be more expensive than other parts of Canada - one of the downsides to being the busiest resort. Also our plentiful powder gets tracked out a lot faster than the smaller resorts like Revi - and unless conditions are perfect, the powder can slush up after a day or so.
I would make the choice based on what kind of lifestyle you want when you're out here - Banff is really good fun if you want that smaller town experience.
Sep 27, 2012 8:25 AM
11I have never understood why anybody would travel halfway around the world from Australia to pay for the opportunity to party with..... the same people they left behind.
Oct 5, 2012 5:11 PM
12I wondered if anyone could kindly make any suggestions as to the best accommodation for a first-season staff member at Whistler?
Nearly all relevant information on the internet concurs: the on-the-hill staff accommodation, Glacier, is noisy, rundown and generally awful; Brio is slightly less so; and Westside is an annoying bus trip away and so not much fun if you want to out in the town (personally I think one night out per week would be by absolute limit).
None of it sounds very appealing, but renting a room in a shared house seems to be double the price (upwards of $900 per month in shared room), albeit in comparative luxury. I know you get what you pay for, but I have lived in some great but still affordable staff accommodation in ski seasons past (it was in New Zealand, mind you). Is there a happy middle ground that can be struck? Or should I just 'suck it up', as they say?
Any help much appreciated!
Oct 5, 2012 10:29 PM
Oct 12, 2012 9:45 AM
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