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In the past decade, Whistler, about a two hour drive from Vancouver, has seen an explosion in development. Hotels, timeshare complexes and townhouses have mushroomed at the base, leading to an accompanying explosion of shops, restaurants and other activities to keep the visitors happy. Locals here, numbering around just 10,000, brace themselves for winter months that pack in up to two million visitors a year.
I unpacked myself in the Four Seasons, just minutes by foot from the base of Blackcomb. Coupled with Whistler Mountain, on offer are 38 lifts and an incredible 8,000 acres of skiable area. To give you an idea of scale, thatís over 50 percent more terrain than any other resort on the continent. Add in first-class facilities and a discounted Canadian dollar, and itís no wonder Whistler has become popular with celebrities like Demi Moore, Sandra Bullock and Harrison Ford, who reportedly owns a house in the village.
After loading up on a sublime meal at the hotelís Fifty Two 80 restaurant (named for the number of feet that can be skied on Blackcomb Mountainís vertical mile), I was eager to try snowmobiling. Iíve been itching to get on a snowmobile for years, and Canadian Snowmobile Adventures offer various packages to introduce both newbies and experts to the surrounding terrain.