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

We’re off – 2012-13 Season Kick off at Whistler

This is our 10th Thanksgiving in the Pacific Northwest, and our 8th in Whistler. All have delivered fantastic November skiing, and this was no exception.

A calm, clearing Thursday was great for warming up legs that hadn’t clicked into boots and skis for 6 months. It was Blackcomb opening day, so we skipped the mayhem and as a reward scored first tracks on an immaculately groomed Franz’s (glacier) run. Even seeing grooming on that run, rather than hard packed death snow, is a rarity. this was a true pleasure. By noon we were ripping in something approaching mid-season style, turns flowing down the hill on the mostly deserted Whistler groomers.

And then it snowed a foot Thursday night, all the way down to the village. Back on Whistler for the morning, we saw Franz’s in a very different light – deep, virtually untracked pow, delivering the first face shots of the season. We managed 4 or 5 runs down that side of the mountain, pushing wider out towards the old Franz’s chair to keep picking up fresh lines.  It was even possible to ride down to the GLC at the base for apres beers. This was too good for November.

By Friday afternoon, benign and increasingly sunny, cold weather moved in. For some reason, the snow on Blackcomb seemed to remain in fantastic condition, more mid-winter than November. So we stayed there for 2 days, skiing mostly soft bumps, powdery remnants and the occasional groomer. Catskinner bumps into Freefall was my pick of the weekend, providing late afternoon Solar Coaster laps that turned legs to jello. Until you sat on the chair. By the top, it was all systems go for another …

4 days: 7900m, 8000m, 9000m, 7500m vert

Season totals: 4 days, 1 powder day, 32,400 verts

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