It’s been such an epic season at Whistler so far, we felt the urge to call in again for a few days in late January. Sue and Rob, our ski buddies from Sydney, had no complaints about this at all. And it was good to catch up with Jim and Kath as they meandered from Sydney to London.
We spent Tuesday exploring lots of the new terrain around Symphony Bowl and cruising the bumps in Harmony and off the Peak chair. The weather was perfect, sunny, still and cold, and the crowds light, with no lift lines at all. The snow that hadn’t been acquainted for long with the sun remained in good condition, and on Whistler this means lots of fun terrain to explore on a 100+ inch base.
Wednesday was a double-black diamond Blackcomb day. Couloir Extreme, Diamond Bowl off Spankys Ladder and Pakalolo were all conquered in a superb day of skiing. We even slipped in some fast cruisers on Ridge Runner and on 7th Heaven. Sunny, no people, no wind, repeat …
Thursday we went back to Whistler and showed Jim and Kath some of the more enjoyable, challenging but not evil runs like Dave Murray Downhill and Bear Paw. Kath lost here black diamond-inity, and seemed to enjoy it, even though we have some of it on film. All suitable bribes considered.
After lunch we headed back up the Peak chair, and Rob and myself decided on a last run down Whistler Bowl. I dropped in Liftee’s Leap, which wasn’t too serious, did 4 turns, stopped and looked over my shoulder to see if Rob had followed. Stood still, my downhill ski slipped, and the next thing I knew I was tumbling down the huge hard bumps in the bowl. I flipped, turned, rolled, all to no avail, and only when the gradient eased a little, about 300m down, did I manage to dig in my boots and stop.
A bit winded, slightly stunned (thanks helmet!) and as it turned out, with a very sore left thumb, I waited for Rob to collect my skis and continue, a little tentatively. We headed out down Shale Slope, and I saw the others stood on the trail and went to join them and recount the story of my long slide. After a minute or so, Sue realized that Rob, who was just behind me, hadn’t emerged from a small dip by the side of the run. A radio call revealed a stunned Rob, who had hit the snow helmet first at high speed in some soft, grippy snow.
Fortunately, he was ok too, and we all carefully headed down to the village to end 3 great days skiing on probably the best in-bounds terrain North America has to offer.
3 days: Tuesday 9900m, Wednesday 8900m, Thursday 5400m
Season so far: Season Totals: 27 days, 12 powder days, 207,200 vertical metres