This year, GayWhistler.com is celebrating the 20 year anniversary of WinterPRIDE in Whistler, B.C. and you should be there to celebrate! Boasting one of the biggest gay ski weeks in the world, WinterPRIDE is jam packed with fun activities and events, some of the world’s best terrain, and of course hotties from all over the world looking to meet new people. What more could you ask for?

WinterPRIDE is extra special to Homorazzi because that is where we came up with the name, before the site was even launched. Cast member Topher had passed out early, before we had even gone out and all of us started taking pictures of him… like the paparazzi homo-razzi. (Special thanks to Topher for inspiration!) Since then, we’ve made it an annual tradition to take part in the festivities and this year will be no different.

With that, we’d like to share some of our recommendations and tips to surviving WinterPRIDE 2012.

Do Go Up For The Entire Week (If You Can)

A few years ago, cast members Patrick and Adam took a week off and experienced the entire week of WinterPRIDE in Whister. They had an unforgettable time. The people that are there for the entire week to be the people that have traveled the furthest and that that have made a week long vacation out of the festival. Many actually attend every year, as an annual getaway with friends or their boyfriend or girlfriend. It speaks volumes when you consider how many people go annually. If you can’t go up for the entire week, try to at least go up on the Thursday to give yourself at extended weekend in gay winter paradise.

Get An Event Pass

Rather than trying to buy last minute tickets to individual events, get one of the event passes. You’ll save money and avoid stress because you’ll be all set to attend all of the events that everyone else is. You don’t have to worry about “what everyone’s up to tonight,” because everyone goes to the events on your pass.

For more information on events and/or to buy individual tickets, click here. Also note that the annual “Celebrities Snowstorm In Whistler” at Garfinkels (on Friday, February 10) is not included in the passes, but they can be purchased online here. For a list of all of the entertainment and performers throughout the week, click here. Our very own Tyrell will be performing at the final Saturday Apres and our own Calan will be competing in the Mr. Gay Canada competition!

Do Attend All Of The Apres

Seriously, everyone goes and it’s the best place to meet people (perhaps scoping out who you want to snuggle by the fire with later that night – WINK). It’s also a great way to wind down after a great day on the mountain, and to catch up with friends that you may not have skied or boarded with during the day. To save time and hassle, bring cash and go early. That way you can get your drink tickets in advance and not have to bother with that additional line once it gets busy.

Do Ski Or Snowboard

You’re in one of the most beautiful ski resorts on the planet – take advantage of it even if it’s for one day. If you end up only going up to Whistler for the weekend, our recommendation is to consider that you may want to only ski or board one of the days. Chances are you may be quite hungover one day, or if you have to drive back home on Sunday, you may want to not attempt going heading up the slopes that day. In most places, check-out is 10:00am so you better be ready to get your sh*t together on the last day. Some of us have learned from experience that the next guests to say in your condo may be ready and waiting that morning.

Do Something You Haven’t Done

There are SO many fun activities to do while you’re there so do your best to take advantage of them. Some of them have set dates and times so that you can meet as many people that are there for pride as possible, but most can be booked during other times if you aren’t there for the whole week. Last year, we did the Tube Park which was such a blast and something none of us had experiences before. You can choose to do a one-hour or two-hour session. We recommend two for sure!

You can also go on the 3-hour Callaghan Cruiser snowmobile tour! This takes place on Monday, February 6th and will take you into the backcountry for some amazing scenery and fun. The following day on Tuesday, you can go on a dog-sledding adventure with Trappers’ Run Dog Sledding. This will give you some time to relax with friends as you ride a mellow mix of open and winding trails for an unforgettable winter journey showing the beauty of Whistler.

New this year is the Pride Skeleton Experience. Yup, just like the Olympics – but gay. This two-hour session starts off with a sport orientation, helmet fitting, sled familiarization, track etiquette, safety guidelines and a mock run. After that, you get shuttled to the start position, also known as the Maple Leaf Start situated 1/3 of the way up the track. With a final safety check and briefing from the Whistler Sliding Center Track Crew, you’ll be ready for action! Best part is you get to go down twice!

Last year on the Sunday before we went home, a few of us went so far as to jump off a bridge – at Whistler Bungee that is! Definitely a must for those thrill seekers out there. Be sure to book ahead of time and buy a picture of your jump afterwards – totally worth it!

For more information on activities, including activities like Wine and Beer Tastings, click here.

Eating & Drinking

If you’re staying for the weekend, chances are you’re staying in a place that has a kitchen or a kitchenette. Head to the IGA Marketplace grocery store in Whistler Village North to pick up your groceries, mix, ice, etc. there. It’s conveniently located beside the BC Liquor Store so it’s a one stop shop. This will help you to save a bit of money by not eating out at every meal, and doing a bit of pre-drinking with friends in the condo before heading out. Other than that, there are plenty of restaurants all over the village that are greating for lunch or dinner. If you want a “hangover” breakfast, McDonald’s is also located by the IGA Marketplace.

Take Pictures

Take lots of pictures. Pictures of the scenery. Pictures with friends. Pictures with the people you meet. You definitely want to capture the fun you’re having for the next year! As I mentioned above, the first year we went (before Homorazzi was started) we took pictures of our Topher passing out early in the condo. The picture above is what I was referring to. With that, the name Homorazzi was born and the site came after.

Our Experience At WinterPRIDE 2011

Finally, check out a little montage of our experience at WinterPRIDE last year, as we groped the slopes and put our party hats on. Can’t wait to share our upcoming experience from this year – hope you’re there join us and be a part of it!