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For winter sports enthusiasts, 2010 is obviously a big year, what with the Winter Olympic Games heading to Vancouver and Whistler from February 12-28. For LGBT jocks and jockettes, it's even bigger: PRIDE House, the first-ever dedicated chill-out pavilion for LGBT athletes and their supporters, makes its debut, a testament to Canada and the Games' host communities. But what's news to the world is old-hat to those who've ever attended a Whistler WinterPRIDE event, a week-long series of powder shredding and post-slope parties. If you haven't, then this is the year to do it.
From March 1-8, basking in the afterglow of the games and taking advantage of the mountain's already world-class but gussied-up facilities (all the world will be watching, after all), the #1 gay ski week (as rated by Gay.com) is certain to be a sell-out. Book early to guarantee access—and save money.
Available until January 31, early bird discounts bring Men's Full-Week event passes to $275 Canadian (over $310 regular and $341 individually at the door), and Women's Full-Week passes to $170 (versus $190 regular, $211 a la carte). Pass holders skip lines and are guaranteed admittance to capacity-controlled events, including the popular MountainTOP Snow Ball and Pool Party, which is making a splashy return this year.
Pre-planners also benefit with the Stay Free package: five nights accommodation for the price of four (a minimum 20% discount per night), plus a free fourth day of skiing and a Fresh Track Ticket which gets you a hearty breakfast and prime upper mountain runs an hour before the general public. Starting at $125 per person a night, it's your best bet—unless you feel like splurging on the mod-chic and TAG-approved Hotel Adara (check out our exclusive review and Sherman Meter rating), Whistler's only true “boutique” hotel. Ski-and-stay packages must be booked by January 31.
Even if you're not a snowbunny, as North America's largest mountain resort, Whistler Blackcomb offers up plenty of alternate activities such as a tube park, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling, as well as primo spas, shopping and dining in its pedestrian-only village. WinterPRIDE-sponsored events include cooking classes, zipline tours, and dog sledding.
If one gay ski week isn't enough, or if you've just procrastinated renewing your passport, there are plenty of U.S. gay ski events in 2010: