Whistler Gay Ski Week 2001

Photo Galleries:
gallery 1
Gallery 1

The only thing lacking when your off skiing up in the mountains is gay lifestyle, that is unless you go on one of the many gay ski weeks or weekends on offer. Last year I tried out Aspen in America and the European week in France. On each I met friends who recommended Whistler. I couldn't resist it this year, I just had to go and check it out for myself.

Whistler is billed as one of the best ski resorts in the world and I can't really disagree with it. It's less than 2 hours drive from the beautiful city of Vancouver on the West coast of Canada. The resort comprises of two large mountains right next to each other (Whistler mountain and Blackcomb mountain) both just as exciting as each other. They jointly provide a vast amount of trails and runs to explore along with a fast and organised lift system to help you get about without to much queuing (unlike the queues in the evenings).

The annual gay and lesbian ski week (previously called Altitude, now called Winter Pride) is held early February and attracts around two and a half thousand people, mainly men but some lesbians too. Surprisingly not all of these people come for the skiing but many come up from Vancouver just for the Aspire-ski and parties.

There was a lot of great entertainment organised, most of which sold out (too many peoples disappointment) well in advance. So if your thinking of going next year make sure you book your entertainment's pass well in advance. This year 2001 was its 9th year, each year apparently growing in popularity. The venues just don't seem to be big enough to accommodate everyone. The Aspire ski was pay on the door and unless you came down off the mountain early in the afternoon you had no chance of getting in.

There were 3 big circuit parties to the week worth a special mention. First off was a pre-party  called Avalanche in Vancouver. You needed to get there a day early for it, which is good as it gave me the opportunity to check out the city instead of just passing through it. I met up with some friends who put me up for the night (thanks boys) and introduced me to the local Vancouver "dudes". After Avalanche we went onto a wild after-party in an underground gay club and then back for a "totally awesome" chill out sex party.

The next big event had to be the Afternoon T-dance towards the end of the week. It was held at the top of Whistler mountain in the Roundhouse. Unfortunately the Gondola broke down for a good 20 minutes halfway through taking everyone up. We all felt for the boys stuck in those little cars, in the middle of darkness! The venue was great and overlooked Whistler village, with its pretty twinkling lights down below. The party was great fun, as you'd expect when you pack a couple of thousand muscle boys into a venue like this. The gondolas back down afterwards where interesting as someone described "a mini moving darkroom, with a view!"

The final circuit party was the massive Snowball on the last night. Everyone went to this one as it was held in the massive Whistler conference centre. Unfortunately due to the local laws it finished as early as 2am but what a night it was.

Other entertainment included a comedy night, beach party and a fashion show. Also for each night of the week a different club around the village hosted a night of dancing and partying.

If the group of friends you travel out with are different abilities then you needn't worry. The event organises mountain guides (free of charge), for both borders and skiers all week. They take you around the mountains showing you the best routes and trails, and for the advanced skiers some fantastic out of bounds, double back diamond routes! I must say a big thank you to my guide who took me on some wild adventures.

It was a fun week and I'll definitely be going back sometime for a second helping of the Canadian boys and of course the great skiing conditions of the resort. For further information on the Whistler gay ski week log on to: www.GayWhistler.com