Pacific Northwest Ski blog (and a few other places!)

Lots or reports from skiing around the Pacific Northwest, with some East Coast excursions thrown in for good measure

A Black Diamond-athon at Apex

We left Whistler after skiing and meandered through the wonderfully scenic Coastal Ranges and over to the Okanagan Valley. Fab, cheap food at Garden Sushi in Merrit, a quick sleep in Penticton, and we were on the hill at Apex by 9am on Friday.

Apex is all about the black and double-black diamond trails which drop off a long ridge line on either side of the main quad chair that serves the whole mountain. There’s 20+ marked steep runs, and as we discovered, many unmarked lines for exploration.

Despite no snow for a week or so, the cover was in excellent condition as few slopes are visited by the somewhat feeble January BC sunshine. There were a few woody protrusions in the really steep areas, but nothing that couldn’t be easily avoided.

We started in the sun on The Great Wall, and then spent the rest of the morning picking off the lines to the skier’s right of the chair. There was some nice wind blown snow in the areas under the chair, and the blue groomer run outs were as good corduroy as I think I’ve ever skied – like carving through ice cream just out of the freezer. Vanilla bean, I think ;-}

After lunch we switched to the skier’s left, and had enormous fun on the soft bumps on the multitude of trails that descend from the traverse. Some of these runs were seriously steep and narrow cuts through the dense trees. It was superb and testing fun.

Oh to be here on a powder day – I could spend days on some of these trails. Apex is a small mountain that packs a big punch, and we certainly felt like we’d been in a fight by the day’s end and 9100 verts. With aching bodies, it was in the truck, Rossland bound. 

Season so far: Season Totals: 28 days, 12 powder days, 216,300 vertical metres


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