Our 10 Whistler Pride Highlights 2019 – It seems to become an annual habit, a good one we have to add. Starting the new year with a Gay Ski Week Pride trip to Canada is just the best way to kick off our gay travel plans for 2019. It was time again to pack our bags and pride ski outfits and fly over to Vancouver to attend the 27th annual Whistler Pride Gay Ski Week in the Whistler Mountains, British Columbia. The first Gay Pride of the season for us brings lesbians, gays, and queer folks from around the globe together to celebrate pride, equality, and love and the rainbow colors into the winter wonderland of Northern America. Join us on our first trip of the pride season and see the winter pride festival “Whistler Pride Gay Ski Week” through a couple of men‘s eyes.
(Main Photo at Pan Pacific Whistler)
Best of Whistler Pride Ski Festival
The Winter Pride event Whistler Pride and Ski Festival takes place in the Ski Resort Whistler Blackcomb, which is supposed to be one of the biggest ski resorts in the northern hemisphere, and, most important, it gets a huge amount of snow during the winter season, especially in January. Lucky for us we arrived during a huge snow storm followed by a so-called Blue Bird day with fresh powder snow and a crystal blue sky. But this was just one of the following highlights of Whistler Pride like the Canadian Wellness hot spot Scandinave Spa, the impressive Peak2Peak gondola, the Furrocious fetish and military party, the comedy show with Pam Ann and, of course, the huge final event, the Snowball. Enjoy!
# 1 Fly with Delta to Vancouver (and back)
But before our gay ski adventure begun, we had to cross the Atlantic and Canada to fly all the way to the Pacific west coast, to Vancouver. Our airline of choice was once again the Sky Team Airline Alliance including KLM (Royal Dutch Airlines), Delta Air Lines and Air France. We love to fly with Delta, an airline which is supporting the LGBTQ+ community already for years. After a 10-hour flight, we arrived in Vancouver, BC safe and sound and ready to conquer Whistler and Blackcomb mountain!
Plan your Trip: Flight Offers to Vancouver/ Seattle
# 2 Stay in a Lodge with Mountain View
After we made our way up from Vancouver along the scenic coastal drive north into the snowy mountains (and yes, that took us only 2.5 hours), we arrived at our lodge right in the center of Whistler Village. What we did not know was, that on the next morning we would wake up with an incredible view over the slopes of Whistler mountain. Our tip: choose accommodation with a kitchen area, ski, and snowboard lockers and short ways to the slopes just like our hotel. We stayed at the Pan Pacific Village Center, which we definitely can recommend for your trip next year or any other trip planned to Whistler.
Plan your Trip: Hotel Deals Whistler BC
# 3 Ski or Snowboard at Whistler-Blackcomb
We were seriously lucky with the weather this year and did not even know about it, at least at the very beginning when we arrived. The day after the snow dump, the sky cleared up, and the winter sun turned the grey weather of our arrival day into a so-called Blue Bird day: Blue sky, powder snow on the slopes all over Whistler-Blackcomb and chilly temperatures below zero degrees Celsius, the whole freaking wonderful day. Due to the jetlag, we were already up and running when the first lifts and gondolas made their way up to the mountain top. Daan joined a ski lesson, while Karl enjoyed the white gold on more challenging downhill runs with its snowboard. The cool thing about this ski area is that you get two separate mountains beside each other which are easily reachable with the Peak2Peak gondola, which holds the world record for the longest free span between two rope towers: 3.03 km! The Peak2Peak is also perfect for taking some stunning photos overviewing the snow-topped Whistler mountains. What a fantastic winter day in British Columbia!
Plan your Trip: Ski Rentals at Whistler Blackcomb
Silence please! we are relaxing. After a day on the slopes, we decided to relax our muscles and to warm up our tired legs at the Scandinave Spa Whistler which is beautifully nestled in the forest, just about 10 minutes from the Whistler Village Center. Dressed in our swimwear, we were eager to do nothing but laying in one of the hot tubs and outdoor pools with an amazing view over the valley. Chill out music, healthy food and drinks, and many opportunities to just lay down, to sleep or to read making this place very special. Good to know: The wellness and spa center opens daily at 10 am with the option to rent robes, towels, and slippers at the site and a small restaurant offering healthy food and drinks with a view over the venue.
Plan your trip: Scandinave Spa Whistler
# 5 Show off your Fetish at Furrocious Party
Enjoying the Candian winter outdoors in the snow is just one part of the Whistler Pride Festival. The second part of the one-week pride festival are the parties, shows, and T-Dance Après-Ski events. The first dance highlight that made it on our highlight list was the so-called Furrocious party. We dressed in some of our favorite leather outfits and danced together the night away. Good to know: Start your party night early and don’t come too late. In Canada, clubs and dance events have to close down at 2 am already, per law.
# 6 Laugh your ass off at Pam Ann’s Comedy night
Every year, the Whistler Pride & Ski Festival is organizing a comedy night inviting internationally known comedians from all over the world. After last year’s comedy star Margaret Cho, it was time to laugh our asses off with Pam Ann, the raunchy Australian comedian Pam Ann alias Caroline Reid. Targeting all ethnicities, gender identities, and sexual preferences, no eyes stayed dry during her show, although it went nonstop far below the belt line. But for us, the comedy night is always one of the highlights to kick off the Whistler Pride week, getting to know the gays, lesbians, and queers from all over the world attending the winter pride festival week. See you next year again, for sure!
#7 Winter Activities with TAG Whistler
Do you know what we love more than zip-lining? Zip-lining in winter! For the second time, we were able to enjoy the Whistler winter experience with the team from The Adventure Group (TAG) overviewing the snow-topped mountains and Canadian forest of the Garibaldi Provincial Park. After we had heavy snowfall during our last year’s TAG Zip-Lining Adventure we were lucky to soar this time between the mountains with a clear view! For us, it is just the most exciting way of experiencing the mountains in winter: Feeling free while flying over narrow valleys and the dense Canadian forest. It definitely was not our last time!
Plan your trip: Winter Fun with TAG Whistler
# 8 Ski & Walk the Pride Parade, Whistler
We seriously love the fact that our first Gay Pride of the year already happened in January! Gathering at the mid-station of the Whistler gondola, getting ready with colorful outfits, rainbow flags and whistles, skiing and snowboarding down the hill as a demonstration and march through the Whistler village center is just… EVERYTHING! We think it is significant to take part in these public Pride Parade events, and we hope that Whistler Pride will make sure that their Winter Pride March 2020 will be even bigger and brighter! But for now, Happy Pride 2019, Whistler! May it become a great year full of achievements for the LGBTQ+ community of Canada, Northern America and the whole world! Thanks for the love we were able to share with everyone and the fantastic feeling of pride during this week of winter wonders.
# 9 Celebrate Winter Pride at Snowball
On the same day as the ski and pride parade in Whistler, all LGBTQ+ people and friends are invited to celebrate pride and love together at the highlight party event, the annual SNOWBALL. White unicorns, sexy bears in onesies, fetish outfits and casual as usual – everything is possible and everyone is welcome at the big final event taking place at the congress center in Whistler Village. One big difference to all other party events during Whistler Pride Week is the fact that the party does not stop at 2 am (that’s the normal last call for parties in Canada). But instead the event continues until 4 am, which gave us more time to enjoy the last night in Whistler together with old and new friends from Canada, the US and from all over the world. Happy Pride Whistler 2019!
# 10 Add some extra nights in Vancouver
Gay-friendly Fairmont Waterfront with Stanley Park Harbor View
But our trip wasn’t over yet, on the contrary! Like last year, we love the fact, that we were able to add some additional days in Vancouver. As the biggest North American harbor city, Vancouver feels like home to us with all its vegetarian restaurants, its alternative, cool and hip places and the close connection to nature with Vancouver Island and the surrounding mountain ranges. We decided to stay at the Fairmont Waterfront after we had such great experiences in all the other Fairmont Hotels in Canada. And once again, we weren’t disappointed. We opt for the bed & breakfast combo with a Stanley Park Harbor King Room facing the waterfront of Vancouver harbor and the snow-topped mountain range of Cypress Provincial Park and Mount Fromme. The breakfast was divine and the option to swim in January outside in the rooftop pool surrounded by the skyline of Downtown Vancouver was just everything we needed after a week in the snow.
Explore Downtown, Granville Island & Vancouver Beach
We started our explorations of Vancouver with a visit to the Digital Orca by Douglas Coupland right at the waterfront of the Burrard Landing. We took a long walk from there once through Downtown crossing Burrard Street Bridge taking a left turn to Granville Island. Granville Island for us looks like the Treasure Island of Vancouver with its street art, super cute and hip shops, and hidden gem restaurants. After some successful shopping and delicious snacks, we took the little False Creek Ferries to the Maritime Museum Ferry Dock, and walked along Vancouver Beach and Jericho Pier for sunset. Vancouver, you seriously stole our heart, and we cannot wait to be back, at the Fairmont Waterfront and the city itself! A huge ‘Thank you’ to Barb for the photos:
Now it’s time to plan and book your Whistler Pride Ski Festival in Canada
It was fantastic to be back in the winter wonderland of the Canadian province of British Columbia. We are in love with the Canadians here who are super friendly, helpful, and supportive, LGBTQ+ or not. A big shout-out and special thanks go to Sunil and Tom from Whistler Pride, Lindsay from the Pan Pacific Whistler, and to our wonderful friend Barb from megamouthmedia from Vancouver, who is simply the best person to explore Vancouver with. It should be mentioned that Barb Snelgrove is a well-known and popular Radio Host, Twitter and LGBTQ+ Influencer who knows all about the best locations, LGBTQ+ events and hidden gems in and around Vancouver. Canada as one of the most LGBTQ+ and gay-friendly countries in the world already feels like home to us, and we hope to be able to see even more of this welcome country in Northern America. We cannot wait to be back and to see more of Vancouver in summer, maybe during Vancouver Pride?
Do you wanna know and see more of us gay couple travel bloggers? Stay tuned on Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook! See you around during a Gay Ski Week, in Europe or around the world and on one of our next gay pride trips around the world!
Karl & Daan.