"That’s a no from me dawg" – this video of Whistler's lift lines may make you rethink resort skiing altogether

Family Of 3 Riding Ski Lift
Social media users have been sharing footage of the insane lift lines at the BC resort over the weekend (Image credit: Layland Masuda)

All any skier really wants is to wake up to news that their favorite mountain has received 16 inches of snow overnight, but when that dump takes place over the weekend after a snow-starved start to winter, it can spell congested runs and interminable lines for the lifts. Skiers and snowboarders at Whistler learned just that on Saturday, when social media users shared footage of horrendous lift lines snaking for long enough to make even the most enthusiastic skier think twice. 

One video, which you watch below, was posted by X user Graeme McRanor and shows a seemingly endless queue of eager skiers stretching along Sea-to-Sky Highway and Lake Placid Road as they wait to board the Creekside Gondola. Though it's not clear how long the line is, the video lasts for a full 19 seconds before losing sight of the queue as it disappears around the corner. Other skiers posted online about waiting up to 90 minutes to board a chairlift at the resort on the same day.

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In general, the wisdom on a powder day is that the early bird gets the worm, but one commenter says they left for the hill at 5:55 a.m. and still didn't beat the lines. McRanor shares in the comments that he left Squamish at 7 a.m. to make the hourlong drive. However, the mere sight of the relentless line of people snaking along the sidewalk proved too much for McRanor, who captioned the video "that’s a no from me dawg" and revealed in the comments that ultimately he just kept driving.

It wasn't all bad news, however. At least one commenter on the video said they waited until 11 a.m. to head up and managed to avoid the crowds and ride the gondola solo.

Several commenters blame Vail Resorts for the overcrowding. The Colorado-based ski giant known for gobbling up resorts around the world acquired Whistler in 2016, which means any holder of an Epic Pass can ski there. An Epic Pass means you can ski for an entire season for what you might pay for three days worth of skiing at some resorts, but in many ski towns, locals gripe that it causes overcrowding. Vail Resorts doesn't disclose their skier threshold for how many can get on the slopes, so it's hard to say if this is at the root of the issue, or if it was a perfect storm of snow-hungry skiers finally getting nearly knee-deep snow on a Saturday.

Whatever the cause, the resort has now seen over two feet of snow in the past week, with more on the way and we're sure that the skiing is worth it when you finally get out on the slopes. If you're trying to avoid the crowds, ski on a weekday if you can, consider waiting for the crowds to clear on a snowy weekend, or head to the backcountry if you're trained in avalanche safety and geared up to go skinning. No matter where you're going, make sure you read our pro tips for skiing powder confidently.

Julia Clarke

Julia Clarke is a staff writer for Advnture.com and the author of the book Restorative Yoga for Beginners. She loves to explore mountains on foot, bike, skis and belay and then recover on the the yoga mat. Julia graduated with a degree in journalism in 2004 and spent eight years working as a radio presenter in Kansas City, Vermont, Boston and New York City before discovering the joys of the Rocky Mountains. She then detoured west to Colorado and enjoyed 11 years teaching yoga in Vail before returning to her hometown of Glasgow, Scotland in 2020 to focus on family and writing.