Sunday, 13 April 2014

A season in Whistler - 5 Things You May Want to Know

Whistler is a hotspot for skiers and snowboarders from all over the world, if you are thinking about heading over to the resort that is renowned for it's powder, have a read.

1. Money
Whistler is catered to its guests, and most of them will have a substantially bigger amount than you do. Wages are low and most seasonairre's live off their tip money, or employee perks. If you are doing a season here, you will most likely be living pay check to pay check. Serving jobs in more upmarket restaurants are the best jobs. Jobs with the mountain give you a free ski pass and other benefits, but usually you don't make any tips. However everyone has no money, and being a close-knit community, the more people you know the less money you will have to spend. For example if you get to know a tuning shop boy, you can get your snowboard waxed for a couple of beers. At my work we get vouchers to spend at work, so I can swap these for discounts in shops, free t-shirts, free drinks, even a taxi home if I'm lucky.

2. Community
As mentioned it is a close-knit community. I have met only two people who were born and raised in whistler over the last 6 months, and because most people have come from another country or town, they all understand what it is like moving here. When I first arrived shop assistants, bar tenders, waitress' were all giving me tips on what I should do to find a house/job. The Facebook groups - Whistler Buy and Sell, Whistler Winter 2013, etc. Are all really helpful. Whether you have lost your phone, need a free sofa or just want to ask a question, people are genuinely happy to help and give you advice. They want to share their thoughts and opinions. It also helps if someone breaks into your house in the middle of the night and steals your laptop - this happened to a chap on a season here and by the next day he had handed the culprit over to the police all thanks to Whistlerites on Facebook.

3. Activities
Depending what time you come depends on what activities you are. In the winter thousands flock for the snowboarding and skiing, in the summer it is for the biking. Aside from these there are other things to do but as a seasoniarre you're time will more than likely be spent drinking and working. If you have a bit of money then you can do all sorts of things; bungee jumping, zip lining, tubing. If you are here in the summer then days are spent down by the lake basking in the sunshine.

4. Housing
Housing in the winter is like a gold rush. There are so many people trying to find somewhere to live for the winter that housing is quite difficult. Dont get me wrong you can find somewhere, but that somewhere might be sharing a room with 3 others or sleeping in an unused sauna! Prices are expensive for what they are. I paid $500 for a shared room a 20 minute walk out of the village. It is hard to find a room you don't have to share or a room in the village for a decent amount of money. In the summer prices go down and there are more options. Check out Facebook groups and craigslist for rooms.

5. Nightlife
Whistler is abundant with drinking holes. You can easily go out any day of the week, as long as you have enough money to! Get a locals sticker for as many places as you can, it will save you money throughout the season. Garfs, Tommy's, Longhorns, Maxx Fish and Bills all do stickers. Moe Joe's also do a membership card. Monday's is 80's night at Tommy's, however Maxx Fish has taken over with there Monday night. They also run a night on Tuesday. Wednesday is Bill's night, Thursday is Garfs. Avoid Saturday and Sunday unless you want to queue for ages and spend the night with city folk. And Sunday is Longhorns and Moe Joes.