Whistler’s Lingo

Whistler is only located 2 hours away from Vancouver but that doesn’t stop it from having its own language! We wish we could say that it’s because of the transient nature of the town or foreign influence but in reality, we just had to come up with terms that described our daily life in the most accurate way possible. We’ve gathered up some of the most common Whistler lingo for when you encounter a local who seems to be speaking gibberish and want to communicate back!


The term Whis is short for Whistler. It is an affectionate pet name for our beloved town.

Ex: “Are you staying in Whis this weekend or heading out of town?”


A beanie is what everyone who isn’t Canadian calls a toque. If you are still unsure of what a toque is, let us simplify further: it is a cap made from cloth.

Ex: “Glad I have my beanie to hide my helmet hair.”


Gnar or gnarly is usually used to describe a situation or an action that of the utmost coolness mixed with the utmost dangerousness. Basically, most locals want to achieve gnar status.

Ex: “Bro, that was gnar!”

“Slack Country”

Slack country is easily accessible backcountry or off-piste terrain. This term is interchanged with chair-lift accessible backcountry.

Ex: “The slack country was going off today!”


To shred is to ride or ski hard.

Ex: “Let’s go for a shred bud!”


One run down the mountain.

Ex: “I’m going to get some laps in before work.”

“Blue Bird”

Blue Sky.

Ex: “It’s blue bird, let’s go!”

“Grey Bird”

The opposite of the blue bird, a cloudy or overcast kind of day.

Ex: “I’m in no rush to get up there, it’s grey bird.”


The term gaper is generally used to describe someone that isn’t used to spending a great deal of time on the mountain. They stick out like a sore thumb because of their lack of knowledge and can often be found right in your way.

Ex: “That guy is a gaper!”


The goods, the ultimate, and the one thing we all live for in Whistler, fresh powder baby! This term can also be used to describe untracked snow.

Ex: “10cm of freshies!”


Extremely awesome. Exactly what you want everyday in Whistler to be!

Ex: “Today was epic!”


Gondy is short for gondola.

Ex: “Meet you at the gondy for 8am.”

So next time your in Whistler and encounter a local, talk the talk and they may introduce you to their secret powder stash.