Whistler/Blackcomb, B.C., Apr. 4, 2015

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Whistler/Blackcomb, B.C., Apr. 4, 2015

Postby Tony Crocker » Wed Apr 08, 2015 12:49 am

After the past 2 days it was an easy call to start on Blackcomb. 7th Heaven also has the best potential for low angle powder though new reported snow was only 2cm. Once again the snow report was off, but in this case the surprise was positive. Up high it was a more like 4-5 inches of fluff, and with a slightly delayed opening 7th Heaven had been only lightly tracked by the time we got there. First run right down the middle of the slope.
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New snow over moguls farther down.
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There was cloud on top but from our rides up we knew to push far skier's right for more untracked.
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Bottom of Symphony/Harmony at Whistler in background, also in cloud at the top.

This line continued down into the scattered trees of Everglade with much less in the way of bumps under the new snow than the first run.
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We repeated this area for the next run.
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The cloud gradually lifted so next we skied Xhiggy's Meadow/Lakeside Bowl.
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After 4 runs the 7th Heaven liftline had built into the 10 minute range and the new snow was well tracked, so we skied off the Horstman side into Secret Bowl.
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Extremely Canadian has several advertising signs strategically placed up in the more challenging terrain. Secret Bowl itself is quite mellow but all of the exits from it are not. We chose Cougar Chutes into Jersey Cream Bowl.
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There were occasional firm spots here but lots of soft snow in which to make your turns.

We then took Glacier chair and hiked Spanky's to ski Garnet to Ruby Bowl.
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By the time we got back to Glacier Creek it was about 1:30 and the weather had closed in, so we rode the Jersey Cream chair and had lunch at Rendezvous. It was snowing hard when we got out so we took the Peak-to-Peak gondola over to Whistler. It was only high overcast there, so we rode the Peak chair and skied Glacier Bowl skier's right of the Saddle. Up the Peak again the weather started to close in, and Liz took the cat road around toward the Saddle while I dropped into Whistler Bowl. I thought with the new snow I might ski it all the way down. But visibility was bad in the moguls so I traversed out to the ridgeline intending to ski Shale Slope. But I saw two locals skiing along the top of the ridge and decided to follow them. The snow soon became nearly untracked and they dropped into the trees above Grand Finale. When the slope steepened we had to pick our way carefully around deadfall and exposed logs. But it was still an unexpected powder bonus late in the day, and with a more normal snowpack the entire area would be prime tree skiing on a good powder day.

Liz and I met up again at the Olympic mid-station to download. I skied 16,000 vertical on Blackcomb and 7,400 on Whistler, with about 6K of powder. This was the day we knew we made the right call where to ski after Iceland.
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Ski Records
Season length: 21 months, Nov. 29, 2010 - July 2, 2012
Days in one year: 80 from Nov. 29, 2010 - Nov. 17, 2011
Season vertical: 1,610K in 2016-17
Season powder: 291K in 2011-12
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Re: Whistler/Blackcomb, B.C., Apr. 4, 2015

Postby Skrad » Wed Apr 08, 2015 8:25 am

Was hitting the Spearhead Glacier Saturday (backcountry past the Blackcomb Glacier). Was truly great...

Decker Glacier on Sunday (one further over).

A great weekend - feeling more complete with the season now after the winter that never was.

Going back this weekend but worried about the Telus Festival. It's a zoo.
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Re: Whistler/Blackcomb, B.C., Apr. 4, 2015

Postby jamesdeluxe » Wed Apr 08, 2015 12:11 pm

Sorry if you mentioned it elsewhere -- is this visit on your way home from Iceland?
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Re: Whistler/Blackcomb, B.C., Apr. 4, 2015

Postby Tony Crocker » Wed Apr 08, 2015 1:37 pm

jamesdeluxe wrote:Sorry if you mentioned it elsewhere -- is this visit on your way home from Iceland?

Yes. As mentioned in my April 2 post we had a choice of Denver or Seattle to catch an Icelandair flight to Reykyavik. As noted above we were pleased with our choice. At most areas in marginal seasons it's the expert terrain that rarely or never gets open. At Whistler/Blackcomb the the alpine snowpack is so consistent even in down years that most of the expert terrain gets covered and it becomes only a question of surface conditions. Obviously conditions can be bad after it rains, but it rarely rains all the way up (this year had lots of unfortunate exceptions to that) and even a modest snowfall like this one brings excellent skiing. The intermediates confined to high density groomers got the short end of the stick here. I'm guessing james can relate, because this is not an uncommon situation in the Alps. See St. Anton as Exhibit A: great off-piste skiing but often crowded and scraped off groomers.
http://bestsnow.net
Ski Records
Season length: 21 months, Nov. 29, 2010 - July 2, 2012
Days in one year: 80 from Nov. 29, 2010 - Nov. 17, 2011
Season vertical: 1,610K in 2016-17
Season powder: 291K in 2011-12
User avatar
Tony Crocker
 
Posts: 10673
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 10:37 am
Location: Avatar: Charlotte Bay, Antarctica 2011
Location: Glendale, California


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