Size isn't everything, though, and what Whistler lacks in quantity, it makes up for in quality, with sensational skiing for all standards...
There are a couple of caveats - overcrowding and lift queues are a big problem at weekends, and the weather can be iffy. And while it's usually snowy, sometimes the Pacific-Ocean climate serves up some very mild and slushy skiing conditions.
Resort height: 653m
Whistler's skiing is divided between two big mountains, which both offer roughly 1,400 vertical metres of skiing. That's a lot - far more than most skiers or snowboarders can manage in a single run without pausing (on several occasions) for breath.
At the top, conditions are very similar to the Alps - with frigid temperatures, open bowls and steep couloirs. Lower down, the forest takes over. This means there's an unusual variety of terrain and conditions to be sampled here: when it's sunny most people ski the peaks, but if the clouds come down they can drop into the trees, where the dark shape of the forest edge gives them some visual guidance amid the general white-out. When conditions are good, most skiers or snowboarders of average ability or above get a bit giddy here - the mountains seem to go on forever.
One other noticeable feature of Whistler is its freestyle scene. This has always been a progressive ski resort, and draws much of its energy from nearby Vancouver. Each weekend, the city's young guns throng the terrain parks and put on the most eye-popping display of acrobatics you're ever likely to see. And if you feel inspired, Whistler has laid on a beginner's park, in which you try your first rails and kickers.
To get to Whistler you have to fly to the far side of Canada, and then take a three-hour transfer...
Jet lag is a problem for the first two days as a result, and will have you wide awake at 3am. Still, at least you'll be ready for the first lift of the day!
With its varied terrain, Whistler is a great choice for both intermediate and advanced skiers and snowboarders...
Snowboarders in particular will also enjoy the resort's terrain parks. However, beginners could be left feeling a bit short changed.
With lively nightlife and loads of activities for non-skiers, a trip to Whistler should please everyone - except perhaps your bank manager...
Rating: 8/10 Après-ski
North America's biggest resort is also home to North America's most vibrant after-hours partying - the action starts in bars like Garibaldi Lift Co and Merlins at the bottom of the slopes, and keeps going all night. In particular, it's the clubbing that stands out - courtesy of Tommy Africa's and Maxx Fish. The restaurant scene in Whistler is good too.
Rating: 8/10 Non-skiers
There's a mind-boggling choice in Whistler - the only drawback is the fact that the base village is rather low, and if there's a mild spell it may not feel like a proper winter holiday. But perhaps you'll be too busy moving from spa to shop to restaurant to notice. Vancouver is a daytrip away and well worth the visit.
Rating: 6/10 Cost of living
Such is the demand for rooms, and the current strength of the dollar, that Whistler is turning into an expensive destination. What's more, most budget accommodation is a long way from the ski lifts, and involves riding the shuttle buses. Save a trip here for when your bank balance is feeling healthy.
Rating: 6/10 Attractiveness of the resort
Frankly, Whistler is over-built these days, and the base village is in fact a town. Still, most visitors to Whistler don't give a damn about that. It's the mountains they're after, and these are satisfyingly high and craggy (though not quite as impressive as the Alps).