While the calendar still reads May, Whistler Blackcomb (WB) has wasted no time unveiling its summer program for 2015, with a number of new additions that are sure to keep guests and locals busy until the fall.
At the top of the list is the rebranded summer sightseeing pass, the Peak 2 Peak 360, which offers guests unlimited access to the world's highest aboveground cable car, over 50 kilometres of alpine trails and the Roundhouse all summer long. The pass also comes with exclusive perks and discounts, such as 20-per-cent off at select retail and food outlets. The pass is priced at $79.95 for adults (and $69.95 if booked five days in advance), making it only slightly more than the $54.95 it costs for a single-day lift ticket.
Access to the Peak 2 Peak is free for Winter 2014/15 pass holders.
"We're really trying to communicate to people the breadth of the things we have to offer (in the alpine)," said Rob McSkimming, Whistler Blackcomb's VP of business development.
The Peak 2 Peak reopens on May 23.
Once in the alpine, guests can take advantage of the resort's new RFID tracking technology, allowing them to save their start and finish times on roughly 25 different trail routes. Hikers will be able to save their times online to track their personal bests and compete with others. Timing checkpoints will be located on the Whistler Mountain peak, at the top of Emerald Chair and on Blackcomb Mountain near the Peak 2 Peak terminal.
"This new RFID technology gives us more capabilities than we've ever had before," McSkimming said.
If you prefer travelling on two wheels, WB has also added new additions to its fleet of rental mountain bikes, including a new line of Santa Cruz, Devinci, Scott and Norco Enduro bikes, available for rent from the Salomon Store at the base of Whistler Mountain and the new Demo Centre in the Carlton Lodge. Two styles of E-bikes will also be available for rent: a cross-country model and one suitable for riding the Valley Trail.
Returning this summer will be the resort's educational "Two Peaks, Two Pasts" geology and ecology tour, delving into the unique natural histories of both of the resort's namesake mountains.
Pro photographers will guide guests on the Alpine Photography Tour, giving budding shooters the tools to capture the best images of Whistler's scenic landscapes.
After its launch last summer, WB has once again teamed up with Blackcomb Aviation to offer a variety of helicopter sightseeing tours, departing from Whistler Mountain beginning in late June.
With the $5.4-million upgrade to the Rendezvous Lodge now underway, Steeps Grill on Whistler Mountain will open for the summer this year, beginning June 27, taking over for Christine's Restaurant as the resort's alpine fine dining restaurant.
A snack kiosk will also be available outside the Rendezvous on Blackcomb while construction is taking place.
The Mountain Top BBQ Series returns this summer with two dinner seatings every Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening at the Roundhouse Lodge, starting June 27.
For more information, visit www.whistlerblackcomb.com.