With a certain predictability, we headed up to Whistler for Thanksgiving. Not that we actually had much choice – it was the only Pacific Northwest ski hill with good snow conditions. And work buddy Kevin got us an excellent deal at the very pleasant Ironwood condos. These turned out to be an easy bus ride to the lifts, and a healthy 15 minute walk in the evening to the village.
There was lots of snow on the top 2/3rds of the both mountains, and the weather was cold and clear pretty much for all four days (pics here). We skied Blackcomb for the first three, avoiding the crowds, and hit Whistler Sunday when Harmony was open. The cover in Harmony Bowl was actually very good, and I tested out a few new lines off the ridge, which while tracked, had excellent forgiving, dry snow. Little Whistler was complete delight.
Saturday was probably my most memorable day. Blackcomb was almost deserted until 11am, and Jan and me skied hard until lunch, finding excellent conditions on the mid-mountain lifts. It was a cold and cloudy day, so keeping moving was a good idea, and an early lunch was a welcome event (I love the lentil soup in Glacier Creek!).
After lunch we did a couple of runs off the Crystal Chair, finding tasty bumps and soft snow on Rock and Roll and Ridge Runner (both ungroomed). By 2pm, Jan decided to head down, and I figured a couple of cruises on the Solar Coaster runs would be a fabulous finish to the day. So I skied down and got on the lift – no lift line for the record.
Half way up the lift, the sun came out. And then I decided to sample Bark Sandwich – a perennial favorite of mine – and found perfect soft bumps. Lower down, I avoided the chopped up Gear Jammer, but found Undercut in exceptionally good condition. Some great bumps on a 40% fall line (measured with my new clinometer!) – suddenly I was in heaven. 3 more non-stop laps of the same route trashed my legs completely, but if the lift hadn’t closed, I’d have gone for more.
And on 4 laps of Bark Sandwich, I encountered no one. Zilch. Just me in my solitary nirvana, bumping along, singing to Neil Young and Bjork on my mp3 player. Good job there was no one to hear really :-}
day 1: 7700m
day 2: 8150m
day 3: 9550m
day 4: 6200m
Season total: 4 days, 31,600 vertical metres