I came to Whistler because I had some downtime from work. I rode the bike course. I think one of the loops is close to 2800 feet of elevation.
Here is my breakdown of the bike course. It's 3 parts.
Part 1: Alta Road - 9 Miles round trip. Going up, it isn't that bad. 2 big climbs but nothing that you can't handle. A lot of the climbs you can get some momentum to get up it. Going down takes you about half the time if you're willing to go for it. There are some curves when going downhill and there are some parts of the road that will need some work. There are 3 speed bumps which you will feel if you are going fast on the downhill descents.
Part 2: Sea to Sky Highway. It is 22 miles road trip to and from Alpine Road. It takes me about 30 minutes to get to Callaghan Road. Takes me about 40 minutes to come up from Callaghan Road to Alpine Road. When the highway is closed off for the Ironman, I believe that going from Alpine Road to Callaghan will be at least a minute to 2 minutes quicker. There are 3 climbs that I can remember (Alpine to Callaghan). Some climbs you can get some momentum with from the downhill. Not as bad as going from Callaghan to Alpine Road. This is where I think most of the elevation comes from. There are at least 3 LONG CLIMBS where you are just grinding it out.
Part 3: Callaghan Road. 6 miles round trip. It's long to go up. It takes half the amount of time to come down. I can see it being a little dangerous in parts coming down as the decline is very steep and people are going to want to push it.
Overview: Its going to be a long bike day. I road the other day from Whistler Village to Pemberton, and yes, that was a tough ride going and coming back. But at least you had the 28 mile flat ride in the Meadows to kind of make up time and relax before you began your trip back to the Village. The Sea to Sky Highway, I know in previous versions of IM Canada you had to do that, but it really takes its toll on you. I really think overall it's going to be closer to 8000 ft of climbing. The main issue that I have is that there isn't really a lot of downtime on the course where you can rest a little bit. Even on the descents there is a turn or slight curve that you have to be able to handle. It is very up and down and like a previous poster posted, you will have to be good at changing your gears because there will be a lot of that going on this bike ride. Wind will be a factor in several places, especially the Sea to Sky highway. I have had it both going out and coming back on it. Crosswind, headwind, you can feel it. Even the most experienced and strong bike rider will feel the 3 loops.
Will head back up and ride the entire course soon. Will give you the exact details when I get it.
How were the roads (in regards to snow)? IM says they cannot produce the final maps that show aid stations and where turn-around spots are because of "weather"...
I live in the PNW and I am not sure what "weather" that would prevent anyone from being on the course to determine this....