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How to Find The Blackcomb Glacier ICE CAVE in Whistler

Hanging out in Whistler Blackcomb Ice Cave

The ice cave is without a doubt the most incredible natural wonder in Whistler Blackcomb. There is no other ski resort in the world with ski in ski out ice cave access. The turquoise blues, frozen rocks, and charcoal layers of ice are a sight to behold.

A trip to Whistler Blackcomb is not complete without a Blackcomb glacier ice cave adventure. The ice cave is quite literally frozen in time and is a beautiful window into Whistler’s prehistoric past and how the glacier formed and changed over time. The Blackcomb ice cave is natural and holds perennial (year round) ice. The cave itself is absolutely massive and could easily be a venue for a 50+ person ice party. It’s sheer size and resort ski access are what make this natural attraction so unique.

The Ice Cave isn’t marked on the Whistler Blackcomb trail map nor is it advertised by the mountain. If you are comfortable skiing Whistler single black diamonds you can easily and safely ski the Blackcomb Glacier to the Ice Cave.

In this post I’m going to show you how you can get to the Whistler Blackcomb ice cave so you can experience its beauty with your own two eyes!

Please remember to always wear a brain bucket AKA a HELMET. I swear by my Smith Vantage Helmet and IOS Goggles. Another fantastic and super affordable option is the OM Diamond Snow Helmet with MIPS technology &  OM Ultra XL Goggles. Keep your brain and eyes protected all day long!! (Use code JAMES10 for a 10% discount on anything on the OM website)

 

Blackcomb Glacier Ice Cave, Whistler BC

 

How To Find The Blackcomb Glacier Ice Cave

The ice cave is located in the Blackcomb Glacier on Blackcomb Mountain. The first step is to make your way up Blackcomb mountain via the Excalibur Gondola from Whistler Village or the Blackcomb Gondola from the Upper Village. Once you are on the Blackcomb side of the hill make your way to the Glacier Express Chairlift located at the base of the Glacier Creek Lodge.

 

Glacier Express Chair, Map, Whistler BC

 

Once you reach the base of the chair you need to check the light up billboard above the chair to see if the Blackcomb Glacier and the Horstman T-bar are open. If the Green light is illuminated you are good to go. There is also a set of lights indicating the visibility. If the visibility is Good or Fair I would recommend going for it. If the visibility is poor, the ski down the glacier itself won’t be too enjoyable. If you can save it for another day, I would, but if you only have one chance, then go for it and be careful to follow the orange disks down the glacier.

 

The lightboard

 

Ride up the Glacier Express Chairlift and upon reaching the top exit to the right. The Showcase T-bar is located just down the cat track and you can’t miss it. Enjoy the short ride up the T-bar and get ready for a quick uphill hike.

 

Showcase T-Bar Map Whistler BC

 

Take your skis off and follow the 50m bootpack up and to the right. Once you reach the top of the bootpack, pop your skis on and prepare for an awesome descent.

 

Hike to Blackcomb Glacier Map, Blackcomb Mountain, Whistler BC

hike to the blackcomb glacier, Blackomb Mountain Whistler BC
The quick boot hike up to the glacier

 

You can choose to ski anywhere within the glacier bowl. The steepest lines are to the far left and right. The easiest terrain is in the middle between the orange disks and the blue square markers. Riding down through the bowl is phenomenal and is the closest thing you’ll get to backcountry skiing in the high Alpine on a ski resort. As you near the bottom of the open bowl follow the markers staying to the right.

 

View of Blackcomb Glacier, Blackcomb Mountain, Whistler BC
Looking back at the top of the showcase T-bar from the Glacier

Blackcomb Glacier, Skiing Map

 

The space between the markers will get smaller and this is how you will know you are nearing the ice cave. Keep your eyes peeled down and to the right for the ice cave. There are some cliff signs on top of the cave which mark the entrance. It is typically quite busy with visitors taking photographs making it pretty hard to miss. You can choose to ski straight down to the cave or loop around the boundary signs (which I would recommend). The boundary signs are there because ice and crevasses are unpredictable from year to year so it’s always best to take the safest possible route.

 

Ice Cave Skiing Map, Whistler BC

The Blackcomb Glacier Ice Cave view from the outside
Ice Cave Hole from Afar

 

Skate or hike towards the ice cave and ski, slide or walk your way down into the beautifully blue cavern. I’d recommend looking closely at the walls, feeling them and looking up. Plan to spend a little bit of time in here because it is so surreal. Make sure your phone is charged so you can stock up on once in a lifetime pictures and videos!

 

Inside the Blackcomb Glacier Ice Cave

Blackcomb Glacier Ice Cave, Whistler BC

Lunch in the Ice Cave Blackcomb Glacier Ice Cave, Whistler BC

 

The last time I visited the ice cave I cooked breakfast inside on my MSR Pocket Rocket Stove.

 

Cooking in the Whistler Ice Cave

MSR pocket rocket stove in the ice cave

 

When you are ready to exit the cave hike back towards the Glacier Road, the groomed cat track heading back towards the resort. It will lead you past the Gemstone Bowls and all the way down to the Crystal Ridge Express.

 

Glacier Road Map, Blackcomb Mountain BC

 

That’s all there is to it!

Now you know how to find and access the ice cave so you can have an amazing adventure the next time you are at Whistler. Please note that Vail resorts recommends that visitors don’t actually enter the cave. You assume all risk and responsibility if an issue arises, but, the cave hasn’t collapsed in millions of years so I wouldn’t be too concerned!

Lastly, I would recommend eating your lunch at the Ice cave or finishing off a great ski day with an Ice cave adventure. Since you have to hike a little bit in and out of the cave it will eat away at  some of your valuable skiing time so It’s always best to strategically plan it into your day.

Have fun exploring the Whistler Blackcomb Ice Cave!

Let me know if you have any questions in the comments.

 

 

 

6 Responses

  1. Hi there, do you have to be able to do black Diamond runs to do this?? I’m an intermediate skier, not crazy good but can do greens easily and some blues.

    1. Hey Matthew,

      The run itself has the slope angle of a blue run, but changing snow conditions and bumps can make it ride more like a black. If you can confidently ski blues with bumps you should be okay to give it a whirl. It’s very similar to the lower portion of the Lakeside Bowl in 7th heaven. I’d recommend trying a run like Upper Gear Jammer (when it isn’t groomed) and if you can ski that comfortably then go for it!

      There are not many hazards along the way but if the terrain is a little too much for your skill level then it will take a long time to ski down!

      You can always ride the T-bar up, hike to the top and take a look at the Glacier for yourself. If you think it looks to challenging its easy to turn around and there is an awesome groomed track down beside the t-bar back towards the Glacier Chair.

      Hopefully that helps a little bit. Have fun!

  2. is the ice caves melts down in the summer time ? love to go in the summer rather than winter time
    how far of hike in the summer if we decide to go in the summer ? thanks

    1. Hey Peony,

      Ice cave is there year round. It just looks a little different in the summer time and there is some glacial melt around it. The hike is totally doable as a day trip and you could even mountain bike up part of it.

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