Seize the moment for a little dose of winter fun.

Admittedly, getting into the winter spirit is challenging when it’s 70 degrees and sunny outside. So we reached out to Justin Grinius with RebalancedSF for inspiration and insights on his favorite ski destination – Whistler Blackcomb. It is one of the top destinations in the world for ski and snowboard vacations and is a short plane trip from California. Just don’t forget your passport. It’s in Canada.

So now that we have the inspiration and can almost picture ourselves on the lift with Justin and his friends, let’s get into the details of how to prepare, what to bring and what to do while there.

Ten [10] tips from Justin to help plan your ski or snowboard trip to Whistler Blackcomb.

1/ What kind of budget did you set for the trip?

To be honest, it was an impulse decision. We got the opportunity to join friends for a ski weekend and went. Sometimes you just have to seize the moment and go.

2/ When did you go and why did you choose that month?

We went in beginning of March this year because that’s when the cabin was available. March is one of the peak months at Whistler Blackcomb so you don’t always get your preferred dates. However, any weekend between January and March is a good time to go.

3/ Are the snow conditions similar to California? Or what were the ski conditions like [powder, groomed etc.]?

Ski conditions at Whistler Blackcomb are significantly better than at Tahoe, especially in recent years given the drought. The runs have a deep base with fresh powder on top.

4/ Did you take your gear or rent while there? Would you do the same thing next time?

We took our gear and would do so the next time to save money on rentals and have optimal equipment. Check with your airline but most do not charge an oversize fee for skis and snowboard bags. Other baggage fees apply.

5/ How did you prepare for the trip in terms of conditioning? Did you change up your workout routine or now would you recommend anything different?

I worked on core, leg and hip strength as well as flexibility doing Pilates and Redcord suspension exercises. I brought along my Hypersphere vibrating massage ball and Hip Circle fit loop to release my hips and strengthen gluts before and after each ski day.

6/ Did you ski all days or did you participate in the Whistler “après ski scene”? 

We skied all three days and participated in the après ski at the end of each day as well. It’s part of the fun of being on a ski holiday.

7/ What are some of the best places for après ski scene fun?

Nothing beats Fairmont Chateu Whistler après ski happy hour. Definitely put that one on your list.

8/ Is there anything that you didn’t get to do but wished now that you would have done if you had more time or knew about it in advance?

I’d love to take the gondola over to Whistler side next time since I’ve skied Blackcomb several years in a row now. On a short trip, it’s all about the skiing and time with friends. If I had a little more time, the Scandinave spa in Whistler village would definitely be on my list.

9/ What was the highlight of your trip?

Reaching the very peek (including the last 200 feet of vertical climb on foot) and skiing down Spanky’s ladder.

10/ Where are you planning to ski this year?

Whistler Blackcomb again because it’s our favorite place. This time, we’ll ski Whistler too.