Here are some basic guidelines when considering what clothing and accessories you will need for a visit to Whistler.
Firstly, you NEED a good quality ski jacket and pants, something made from GORE-TEX is preferable. Next you will need one, or even two pairs of warm, waterproof gloves. It is also a good idea to have a pair of warm, waterproof boots for walking around the village. Ski goggles are a must, even in spring, as Whistler can get snow storms and/or high winds at any time of year. I also highly recommend a helmet.
They are the essential items you need to stay warm and dry. During the reservation process, you will be presented with an option to rent various articles of clothing and/or protective equipment.
However, there are some types of clothing that cannot be rented and therefore you will need to purchase them either at home, or here in Whistler. This is because dressing in ‘layers’ is the most recommended approach to having a comfortable day on the slopes.
Dressing in layers means starting with a base layer (thermal); merino wool is best, but synthetic base layers are also fine. You then want a ‘mid-layer’ – usually a lightweight, wicking shirt is best. Next you will want a ‘warmth’ layer, which will vary depending on how much insulation your ski jacket has. I recommend bringing a decent fleece, or preferably a few fleeces to provide some choice of different thickness. Some people also like to have a ‘down’ vest or similar, this is generally people who either have shell jackets (no insulation) or may be susceptible to the cold. A good example of this approach is the range of clothing from Icebreaker.
Don’t forget that skiing can be a VERY energetic sport, and it is likely you will sweat from the exertion. Too much clothing and you will sweat a lot, resulting in some very chilly chairlift rides as the sweat evaporates. This is why breathable materials (GORE-TEX and natural fibres) are recommended, as they help your body try to regulate a comfortable temperature by allowing that moisture to escape.