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

Blackcomb in May

We decided to end the ski season in Whistler. By renewing our Edge Cards, we got a spring season pass for $99 – an excellent deal for the 4 days we planned to ski. And we scored accommodation at the Whistler Village Inn, 100m from the gondola base, for $69 per night, including breakfast and an decadent outdoor hot tub. It was all a bit of a bargain.

It got even better when we saw the conditions. The base was mid-winter like at the bottom of Blackcomb’s Excelerator chair. Up higher the snow pack was 3m+ deep and in superb condition. On Thursday it snowed heavily all day, sleet-y lower down but pretty decent powder for early May up high. The best conditions were, as usual, in Glacier Bowl, where boot deep untracked lines were everywhere by the afternoon. Pakalolo was a steep and deep adventure. It was really great ski day.

February-like skiing persisted for the next two days. With Blackcomb fully open above the Blackcomb Gondola, we explored the whole mountain in a weather mix of cloud and some sun. Tree runs like Arthur’s Choice and Bark Sandwich were exceptional, and well-shaped, soft bump runs were everywhere. Sunday was a little less pleasant, with rain lower and sleet high up, but the snow remained relatively slick, and we had fun before hitting the road about 1.30pm.

For May skiing, it was insanely high quality. I suspect a Whistler pilgrimage around this time could become a regular event. And as a bonus, the bars and restaurants are pleasantly busy but not crazy, and you get to see bears and coyotes from the gondola. 

The highlight was seeing a big black bear and two cubs happily munching dandelions at the top of the half-pipe under the Wizard Chair. They were there for 3 consecutive days – they must like the food in this town as much as we do (see next post).

So that’s it for 2006/07 ski season. Time to enjoy the summer at home in the Tri-cities, inflate the kayak, tour the wineries, get out the camping and mountain biking gear, and go hiking in the mountains and rafting on the rivers.

And it’s only 27 weeks until ski season.

Trip statistics: 9100m, 8400m, 8600m, 5700m

Season final totals: 62 days, 24 powder days, 504,600 verts

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