Spring Skiing at Whistler

As there was a bit of a lull in the job hunt/interviewing, and with the renovations (finally!) at an end, I took the day to head up to Whistler and do a bit of skiing. Unlike the trip up a week earlier that Justine and I did, the drive this time was easy, and I was on the top of the mountain ready for my first run by 8:45 am. It was a great day - the clouds were lifting, and blue sky was starting to peek through. There had been 15cm of new snow during the night, and the temperature was hovering around zero in the Village, and only dropped to about -5C at the top. A perfect day!

Heading up for the first run of the day.

At the start of the day, the Whistler crew were busy dealing with avalanche conditions. None of the “interesting” areas were open, and you could hear them setting off the explosives, triggering the avalanches. It went on for a long time. The early conditions were amazing - on my first run, right at the top of the lift I ran into (well not literally) the groomers on the way up the run, so I was able to jump on the fresh corduroy trail they left behind them, and cruise that out to warm up. That lead me to a run that almost no one had been on that day, which meant fresh tracks for me! It was a perfect combination. 

I ended up running up and down the runs around Emerald Chair for the first part of the morning. It was a nice combination of fresh tracks, some good groomed runs and a little bit of playing in the trees. Fun! Last time Justine and I made it up, we only got 6 runs in all day. I had 6 runs in before 10:00. And right around 10:00, they opened Harmony, which was my cue to head over that way.

Going up on Harmony Chair - lots of fresh tracks available; a couple of nice views of the local scenery; even after three trips down Harmony Bowl (almost lunch time) there was lots of snow still to be found!

The new Whistler iPhone app has this cool feature that allows you to track your runs over the course of the day. To the left is a screenshot (with some comments) from my morning. Yes, just the morning - I stopped it at lunch, then forgot to turn it back on again (I thought I had, but apparently not...) when I went back up. 

It’s pretty awesome to see your day clearly laid out - the distances you went, speed (although there must be something wrong with my iPhone's accelerometer, because there’s no way I was going that fast!), and a visual profile of your day. I like it a lot. 

Amazing view looking over to Symphony Chair.

The line for the Harmony lift were long (as you’d expect), but ended up being worth the wait. As the lift took me up, we broke through the clouds, into perfect sunshine and blue skies. 

I immediately headed along the “roadway” over to the top of Harmony Bowl. This is one of Justine’s favourite's and has become one of mine as well.

Looking down at Harmony Chair from the top of our run.

For whatever reason, not many people had skied this part, and I had basically fresh tracks down through the bowl. Even the steep, normally heavily moguled section that leads down to the chair had lots of fresh snow on it. 

It was fantastic, and I did three runs, before deciding that I was quickly running out of gas. As it was pushing noon, I decided to try and ski all the way out, to have lunch at the base of Creekside. 

Another view down to Harmony Chair.

To ski out from Harmony, you have to start at the top, and work your way across. I chose to go high, and went down over the face of Harmony, then cut across up high. This puts you out over top of Roundhouse. This ended up with me having a full run down to the base of Peak Chair, through more untracked powder - it was heavenly. From there, I continued down all the way to the base at Creekside. It was a long slog, and over the course of the morning, the temperatures had risen dramatically. It was 10C at the base, and the snow got really heavy and chunky, which was a bit questionable on my tired legs. I got down, and had a much-needed lunch break at Dusty’s. 

After lunch, a decided that despite being sore and tired, I just couldn’t pass it a couple of more runs, given how amazing the day was. I took the gondola back up, then took the chair to the top. I ended up on;y doing a couple more runs, as the legs just aren’t yet in shape for what I was asking of them. Still, I ended up doing a dozen great runs over the course of the day, enjoyed the sunshine and had a great day.