Resort and backcountry skiing and snowboarding in the western US and Canada, including our famous reader-submitted No-Bull Snow Reports.
Wed Apr 18, 2018 8:16 am
Our son couldn't take Friday off and fly to Vancouver on the same day as my wife so she had agreed to drive the 80 miles to the airport and and pick him up (not sure if that is in exchange for me buying her lift tickets the rest of week - 2 X $65 Canadian on 1/2 price employee discounts somebody gave me and 3 X $98 Canadian Ski With A Friend from my pass), then take him to the same Richmond, BC Dim Sum place that we had lunch at on Friday. But adding to the sh---show of 7" new on the next to the last Saturday Whistler is open in (Blackcomb will go into late May), her phone, which we signed up for a month of data in Canada was not working with data with either cellular or WiFi. I pre-loaded the map to airport on my phone which she took and her phone started working 5 miles down the road. The rest of her trip was uneventful and they brought back enough Dim Sum leftovers to share. EpicMix had me getting on the Creekside gondola at 8:35 and Big Red Express at 9 AM. Nothing was open above Roundhouse so I skied Ratfink trees to Emerald chair where line was quickly building.
At Roundhouse there were free demos available at part of the World Ski and Snowboard Festival. Rossignol did not have anything left so I took out some 188 length 106 width Salomon QST that skied a lot better than my much heavier powder skis of the same length. They were much lighter, perfectly tuned and waxed and according to rep, they were next year's model with better damping. I found some untracked snow getting to and in Upper Franzs Meadows, then skied groomer, where skis also worked very well, to Big Red where line had grown a lot in 40 minutes. At the top, I saw Harmony had opened, so after getting cliffed-out once on the way, I was able to get to skiers right of the chair where there was no line. I took at lap on Harmony finding a lot of low-hanging and angle, but often wind-affected untracked. Since I was only supposed to have demos out for an hour I went from top of Harmony to the Headwall above Roundhouse and got a little more wind-affected untracked before returning demos.
I looked at Peak, which after a lot of bombing had started loading, but line looked way too long for me so I returned to Harmony for another lap. At the bottom the singles line was not moving so I followed a lady from Squamish from singles into regular line. I timed the line at 23 minutes. At some point, I rode a chair with guy who said they had taken Peak and timed line at 45 min as it was stopping a lot. While in line, we saw Symphony chair had opened so I skied there via wind-affected Sun Bowl, then took a lap under chair in a lot of untracked. The Symphony line was quickly building so I joined a lot of people up hike to Flute Peak. The harder part of hike, that a lot of people were skinning took 20 min. and it was about 30 min. before I started skiing down the saddle between Flute Bowl (which had some good, very steep lines and a lot of slides) and North Flute Bowl.
I'm not sure what I did the rest of the day, although I did get up Peak chair where line had gone down even though it was still stopping a bit about 1:30 and skied West Bowl into Highway 86. I got to the Creekside base about 2 with almost 22K. We are staying just across the street from gondola and I went into condo to eat my lunch with thoughts of going back up, but after skiing the increasing slushy snow to the 2140' base, I eventually decided to call it a day. No pictures as not only did I not have phone, but did not have camera. It was a somewhat rare for Whistler day with a combination of decent visibility to the top, although the base to middle of Alpine lift were often cloudy, and new snow.