Whistler , bc ( update )


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buddy gil headed out to john smart's mogul camp a week early this year.. i'm leaving on sunday the 21st but he has been there for a week..called me and reports tremendous snow levels in the glacier and killer weather.. pretty much overcast all week with only 1 night of rain so far. this has created great conditions . gil reports bump lines in fine shape. the traditional, pain in the ass, 3 lift download and awful bus ride, has been cut down to 2 lifts and no bus ride due to the skiable line off the top of the glacier down to lift #2. gil predicts it will last through next week for the adult bump session.. also reporting seeing some of the sickest new school freeriding and bump skiing in his life. all the superstars are in town teaching at camps including janne lahtela the finnish gold medal winner ( teaching at world mogul camp with cooper schell ) and travis mayer the us silver medalist. the 10 day forecast looks good for the upcoming week. will try to update from whistler next week for all the faithful needing a fix...
thanks for the update joegm!!! have fun out there! for some reason, i still frequently check in here during july... my fix has been cured for now <IMG SRC="http://www.firsttracksonline.com/discus2/clipart/happy.gif" ALT=":)">
as in the past ,i'm thowing this up here in the east becasue a quick scan of the posts indicate interest in the east on this site outpaces the west by almost 6 to 1... well another successful trip to heaven, er whistler in july, has come and gone... no bull snow report had a very deep base up in the glacier making for outstanding summer skiing conditions. pobably the best base in the glacier in my 3 years of mogul camp.. blackcomb apparently had quite a mild spring after an above average winter so this set it up well... however, it was hot hot hot for our first three days commencing on monday the 22nd... m t and w saw temps approach 95 in the village and close to 75 up in the glacier.. a pleasant breeze kept things refreshing though up on the snow. three days of bluebird for m t and w. the camps day off had buyddy gil and i going up on our own to ski on thursday.. well worth it since john smart's mogul lanes were basically our own private pleyground seeing as world mogul camp, run by cooper schell has wrapped it up the previous day... world, by the way, this year, had janne lahtela the gold medal winner from finland teaching...i only saw janne really let it go 2 times, but that was enough...really he's on another planet.. another bluebird day , but cooler around 65 in the glacier. we pounded out about 25 bump runs for the best day i've had on skis since the 40 inch dump on cannon mountain 2 years ago. we also got to shoot on video cam about an hour of video in the moguls, which will be great to get us throught he next three months. truly a " glorious " day !!!!!! sun, 65f, no clouds, near empty glacier and a kicking sound system reverberating the sounds of b. marley, and the pixies through the bowl courtesy of the rowdy pirates over at the high north freeride camp. high north was the only other camp operating that day in the upper part of the horstman glacier aside fromthe race camps which operate in the lower half and ride a different t bar. high north was just getting back up and running after being shut down in the middle of one of their sessions due to insurance issues... but they got it all straightened out.. their problems however, did result in the cancellation fo the whistler open contest, which is unfortuate becasue i was stoked to see the boys going off. camp was back in session on f s and sun and sunday saw the only bad weather day.. no rain just fog.. lots of fog which at times made skiing pretty near impossible... all in all a great week .. lots was learned ( like how much i have to learn ).. best teacher of the week for me was a kid named mark mcdonnell, a former cnadain bumper and the winner of the bud pro mogul tour in 98... top 10 olympic coaches that were there included ryan johnson and scot bellevance both from cananda and trennon paynter (australia) and american sean smith ( the guy who did the demo run on the nbc olympics coverage on tv and one of the best coaches by the way ) <BR>observations; the thing i am starting to realize more and more is that this camp is not only just about skiing moguls, it's about learning how to ski.. mopgul skiing technique is needed in every type of skiing, groomed flats , steeps, powder, the trees.. pretty much everything except racing, which i have no desire to do...so the great thing about camp is that it is really about becomeing a better skier not just bump skier, and it's done in an atmosphere where it is one heck of a good time...now i have not been there in the winter but i think whistler may be a bit overrated in the winter.. i don't think the snow fall is the best ( which seems like a paradox seeing as they ski in july ) i think it's insanely crowded and it's not cheap.. but the summer, ah well , i thinks simply it's paradise.. one persons opinion!!!!!!we are into august boys, in theory, we could be burning lift serviced turns in the month after next...stay cool... and any info seekers about summer camp go to smartmogul.com .. p.s the average age of the adult sms session is about 37
My son Adam went to Smart's first session (June 19-27) freeride camp. Conditions were considered excellent by the repeat campers, many of whom zero in on that session because they have the most snow available to build the terrain parks. <BR> <BR>According to Adam June 20-22 were similar to our many May/June Mammoth trips, with clear skies and overnight freezing to set up the snow. Then they have a one day break to rest their beaten-up bodies. June 24-26 were overcast, so intensive salting was needed to keep the snow firm on the jump approaches. <BR> <BR>Early session is also good for being able to ski down to Solar Coaster and only ride 2 lift to the base at the end of the day. <BR> <BR>I must emphatically disagree with the above winter comments. Whistler's snowfall is extremely reliable. If you want to ski real snow and real terrain in December instead of man-made ice boulevards, there is no place better. The rain and slop you see down in the village is not what Whistler is all about. 90% of W/B ski terrain is high enough for reliable natural coverage.
tony, no offense intended about w/b in winter...glad your boy had a good time at the freeride... he made a good choice with smart... i don't know if he was considering high north but like i said they had some pretty unhappy puppies when they got shut down for 8 days and were sending kids home right and left...smart does a nice job, from what i hear , with the kids... like i said i've never been there in the winter so my opinion value about the place may be minimal.. i based it on local scuttlebut... my sense is that the place indeed does have some sick conditions above the third level of lifts up into the alpine... more than a few locals have told me though that the lower third of the mountain has been closed in the past in march due to lack of coverage... i also get the sense that the place is insanely crowed... as someone who gets to ski midweek, i've been spoiled rotten into the mindset of " i don't play with others very well" my point was that wb would not be my first choice if i was to go west in the winter... ironically, my first choice probably would be where you went in may... mammoth.... and maybe kirkwood.... and i keep hearing about this bump heaven called mary jane in co. but i think i'd hit mammoth... hope your summer goes fast.. turn em good!!!! <BR>jgm
Guys, while I understand Joe's point, I moved this thread over to this more appropriate spot in Western reports.
The recommendation of SMS came from Leslie Anthony, my Powder editor from 1995. He now lives in Whistler and founded the new Canadian SBC Skier magazine. Adam's instructors included Mike Douglas, Sarah Burke, and one of the famous "3 Phils" from Quebec. These freeskiers are all sponsored every year, so they sell off their year-old clothing and gear cheap to the campers. The pants Adam bought from ? Nesbitt are in Powder's September Shooting Gallery. <BR> <BR>With regards to Whistler's crowds, my 2 trips there were last week of February 1991 and first week of April 1998. On the latter trip we skied 135K vertical in 5 days. Both trips ended on Saturday, and some of the lift lines increased substantially from Vancouver day-trippers. Midweek you can ski yourself into a pulp especially if you start early. <BR> <BR>As I may have commented before, since its mid-80's peak Mammoth has lost 1/3 of its business while at least doubling its lift capacity. It is now one of the least crowded big mountains in North America, particularly since what business it has is still concentrated on the weekends.