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

Tag Archives: Whistler skiing

Starting off Spring at Blackcomb

I don’t think there’s a better place to be on Earth than Whistler Blackcomb in the first week of May. The village is quiet, accommodation cheap (yes, cheap!), there’s restaurant and bar specials everywhere, and of course, some epic skiing, usually on Blackcomb. The weather – it’s Whistler – can be Springtacular, foggy, damp or full on winter. We had them all in 6 days. A fantastic 6 days, of steeps in packed pow, epic groomers, and Springy corn snow under deep blue¬†skies.

Here’s pics from the (mostly) Springtacular days ūüôā

Another luxury is the lift times, from 10-4pm. Lie in, relax, ride until it gets too hot (or damp!), head down the slush to the¬†base, and chill in Blacks or Merlins for an apres beer or two. With no lift lines, the vert can be cranked out without really trying. And all for a $159 Spring Pass. It’s heaven.

Hopefully, Vail won’t fuck up this perfect time of year up for many years to come. It really is impossible to beat.

10,300m, 10,000m, 10,900m, 12,200m, 10,500, 5300m vert

66 days, 556,000m vert, 16 powder days

 

More Early December Whistler Pow

Not a great deal of snow had fallen at Whistler in the 12 days since we left on ThxGiving weekend. It had been cold though. Real cold. Perfect for filling in the mid and lower trails with gun pow. The whole place looked a lot whiter.

A skiff of snow fell Thursday night, freshening up generally firm runs and adding a little give to the off-piste. High cloud invited us to take laps on Harmony, where some of the bowls skied pretty well. Just before lunch we headed up the Peak Chair and as we did, in moved the weather. It was ski-by-braille on the top of the Peak-to-Creek. We bailed at the Big Red Chair, and stayed on mid-mountain ripping groomers for the rest of the day.

A solid 4 inches+ fell Friday night. Early runs on Blackcomb were fantastic. Warming up on the terrain park, smoking pow between jumps, was great fun. Then laps on Seventh Heaven where the trees near the chair were a bumpy soft delight. There was still time before lunch to duck over the top, grab a shot down Pakalolo and head back up to hike to the Blackcomb Glacier. It was a little rugged in places, but there were really nice fluffy turns to be had.

Sunday was a mild storm day. Snow overnight was topped up constanly by steady falls. The upper mountain was socked in all day, so we played mid-mountain on Whistler. Garbanzo was the go-to lift, with no line (it wasn’t busy anyway) and some excellent on and off groomed runs to be had. It was a very fine, fast day.

Friday 9500m, Saturday 8000m vert, Sunday 8500m vert

Season totals 8 days,  58,800m vert, 6 powder days

Footnote: This was our first trip with the S’no Joke ski club, which we joined recently. 80+ members headed to Whistler and stayed in the Listel and Aava hotels – fantastic locations and great pre-Xmas prices. Everyone carpooled up and we shared with another new member (from the UK!) who turned out to be a really nice guy. The downside of this was that we collectively knew no one in the club, and as we arrived 8pm-ish Thursday and missed the arrival drinks, we pretty much hung out together that night and skied together Friday.

Friday night was a fun social with tasty food. We got to know a few folks, but I especially was hampered by an evil cough, so wasn’t exactly on best socializing form. There was a pre-ski meeting Friday morning where we at least got to ride up the lifts with a few members and chat. The group quickly¬†disintegrated when we got to the top but I did manage a few runs with a strong group of skiers. Promising.

Large, established groups are always hard to get to know, so it’ll take time, but hopefully we’ll meet a few good ski buddies downstream. If any turn out as good as out friends from the Desert Ski Club, we’ll be very hoppy indeed ūüôā

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

January pow returns at Whistler

Like comedy, skiing is so much about the timing. After a week of mid-January-doldrums sun and freeze-thaw, Whistler was holding up well, but definitely showing some wear on the Wednesday morning we arrived. By noon it was snowing, and did so on and off until we left Friday afternoon. A good 30cm+ turned the skiing from decent to darn fine. With midweek ‘crowds’ (timing, remember), there was no panic to lap up pow. Like hipsters on fixed gears, we cruised casually around, picking off the best terrain on offer..

A line of fresh on the Blackcomb glacier? Ok …

Untracked lines under Flute and in the Symphony trees? Sure ..

Ripping groomers down Rock n’Roll? Why the hell not …

A clear and cold Friday opened up so many possibilities. Ruby Bowl was skiing like a dream. Dodge the thin rock band into Cougar Chutes, and boot deep freshies were the reward. At 1pm. Mid week in January at Whistler can be a fine thing indeed if you get your timing right.

11,200m, 11,300, 8400m vert

Season Totals: 45 days, 20 powder days, 425,200m vert