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WB- 8-13 Feb

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

Well, trip number 3 to WB, and the first (before Christmas) for sure was the best.

 

A little background - I was planned to go to SLC again this week, after a rather pitiful trip 2.5 weeks ago there. Just dreadful. Not much snow, very warm etc. So last week, I called my buds and said "so what do you think". The response was, well, it hasn't snowed since you've been here, and it's in the 50's this weekend. So, I called my close personal friends at Delta and changed my flight to Vancouver.

 

Why none of the usual pictures in this report so far? Would you like to see a picture of rain or fog? Well, that's what it's been. Yesterday was raining up to the top of the Gondola, with a little snoe at the top of Harmony and Symphony lifts. Yuck.

 

Also this weekend was "Family Day" in BC, and 7th Heaven lift had a 40 minute line. Groan.

 

Let's see how the rest of teh week shapes up.

post #2 of 15
Thread Starter 

So, how was today? Well, again, in the Whistler tradition, visibility was a theoretical notion, with 7th Heaven a particularly egregious offender.

 

Couldn't. See. A. Thing.

 

Sometimes it rained, sometimes it (almost) snowed, and it always was a bulletproof fog that made you work so hard just to survive.

 

Tomorrow sounds like more of ther same, then it'll be 7c in the alpine on Friday. Great.

post #3 of 15
So tcc shouldn't go to Whistler??
post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 

Well, Steamboat didn't measure up to his needs, so WB would probably not either. Best to stick to Okemo.

post #5 of 15

I have some other friends that headed out there and its so unlike the area this time of year.  Crazy.. 

post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 

Well, we could see yesterday:

 

 

 

Visibility was the good news. The not so good news was that it got a fair bit colder, so what looked to be wonderful slushy tracks instead rattled your teeth out, with Rhapsody Bowl being an egregious offender.

 

The lesson was, go lower. So the Dave Murray Downhill was excellent, not too soft, not too hard.

 

With a hill with this kind of vertical, its important to find the sweet spot, which is what mid mountain was. Supposed to go up to the mid 40's in the alpine, so, get up there early, and enjoy, because when it gets cold again, it'll be a mess.

post #7 of 15

Keep the TR coming!

post #8 of 15

thanks for the updates... when it's a bad year i find it hard to obtain first hand info on the mountian...

 

 

 

 

i'm going late mach....it has time to change but the long range forecasts don't seem very encouraging but i am not losing hope..

 

best scenario we get powder (even if very wet) and i'll be super happy

intermerdiary scenario we get spring conditions and i'll be happy

worse case, off-piste will be unbearable and we'll stick to groomer and i'll still be happy (tough possibly wet)

post #9 of 15

We're off this evening from the East Coast  - leaving some of the best conditions in years in Boston, to go to some of the worst at Whistler.  You know what though?  You make the best of what you've got.  We've booked lessons for the first time in years, so we'll miss the long lines and improve our technique.  With a local guide, Im sure we'll find the best that Whistler has to offer and it looks like its not going to rain for the week, so here's to a ski sun tan and some great top of the mountain shots.

 

Anyway, we've been blessed by 3-4ft powder days in Utah the last two years so we cant really complain if we get a not so good year. :)

post #10 of 15

any news on ski conditions?

post #11 of 15

Just came back from Whistler yesterday. Skied two days on Feb 13 and 14. It was my first time to Whistler. Unfortunately, they are having the worst winter of all times. One of the mountain hosts I spoke to said he'd been living in Whistler for over 30 years and never saw worse conditions than this year. Pretty much forget about skiing anything below the gondola lines. They are trying to keep a few trails to access the mountain base but conditions are worse than what I call spring skiing. Rocks/bald spots pretty much everywhere. Some of the trails are actually completely clear of snow. So, we took the gondola back down at the end of the day when we were heading back. Above the gondola line conditions improve a lot but that purely depends on the temperatures. Our first day it was raining cats and dogs. Good think we learned our clothings that claimed waterproofness were actually waterproof. Luckily it was just our gloves that were soaked. We skied Whistler on our first day, and despite the rain upper mountain snow was not too bad, only towards the end of the day conditions were pretty bad and we stopped around 3pm. Bad thing, there was very low visibility, and we couldn't see any of the surrounding mountains. the second day weather was great. Little cloudy but much clear views of the stunning mountain ranges. 

 

We skied Blackcomb on second day. It was almost sunny skies, beatuful views. Because of the rain we couldn't take pictures first day but second day that changed. Back to skiing, whatever rain we got the previous day, it became ice. Though some people were complaining, it was not as bad as the East Coast ice. We didn't have any trouble skiing through the ice. Icy conditioned softened litle bit around 10-11 am and we probably had the best skiing during those times. Again towards the end of the day snow was getting slushy, we decided to do one last run at the 7th Heaven around 3pm. Unfortunately the lift broke down while we were waiting in the line to go back up. The only trail going down the 7th heaven (sunset blvd) was closed due to lack of snow. We probably waited a good 30 minutes in the line and eventually they said the only way down will be via the closed trail where there are bald spots and rocks. Trail started good but there were some spots we actually took off the skis and walked down. It was pretty bad to end the trip like that. I hope the people who got stuck on the lift did not wait too long to get down.

 

If this is your first time to WB, I'd strongly recommend the free guided mountain tours. We loved them, you pick a line according to your level. Given the horrible snow this year, the guides actually take you to the best trails on the mountain. So it's not a coin-toss to find the good runs. The tours take off at 11:30 am at the top of the gondolas in both mountains. After the tour is done, we went back to the trails we liked the most. At least we still enjoyed our trip with the help of this tour.

 

finally, given the conditions, you don't need to rent a powder ski. I ski on a 88mm and my wife skis on a 76mm ski and we didn't have any problem with the snow. But if the temperatures are not going to change, bring your thin layers.

post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Partizan Turks View Post

 Pretty much forget about skiing anything below the gondola lines. They are trying to keep a few trails to access the mountain base but conditions are worse than what I call spring skiing. Rocks/bald spots pretty much everywhere. Some of the trails are actually completely clear of snow. So, we took the gondola back down at the end of the day when we were heading back. Above the gondola line conditions improve a lot but that purely depends on the temperatures.

 

 

what do you call the "bellow gondola line"?... do you mean anything bellow the lodges? below the mid station?

 

 

 

long range forecast is announcing some snow in march (yes i know accuweather month-long forecast does less good at prevision than simply using averages but it keeps my hopes up!)

post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Partizan Turks View Post
 

Just came back from Whistler yesterday. Skied two days on Feb 13 and 14. It was my first time to Whistler. Unfortunately, they are having the worst winter of all times. One of the mountain hosts I spoke to said he'd been living in Whistler for over 30 years and never saw worse conditions than this year. Pretty much forget about skiing anything below the gondola lines. They are trying to keep a few trails to access the mountain base but conditions are worse than what I call spring skiing. Rocks/bald spots pretty much everywhere. Some of the trails are actually completely clear of snow. So, we took the gondola back down at the end of the day when we were heading back. Above the gondola line conditions improve a lot but that purely depends on the temperatures. Our first day it was raining cats and dogs. Good think we learned our clothings that claimed waterproofness were actually waterproof. Luckily it was just our gloves that were soaked. We skied Whistler on our first day, and despite the rain upper mountain snow was not too bad, only towards the end of the day conditions were pretty bad and we stopped around 3pm. Bad thing, there was very low visibility, and we couldn't see any of the surrounding mountains. the second day weather was great. Little cloudy but much clear views of the stunning mountain ranges. 

 

We skied Blackcomb on second day. It was almost sunny skies, beatuful views. Because of the rain we couldn't take pictures first day but second day that changed. Back to skiing, whatever rain we got the previous day, it became ice. Though some people were complaining, it was not as bad as the East Coast ice. We didn't have any trouble skiing through the ice. Icy conditioned softened litle bit around 10-11 am and we probably had the best skiing during those times. Again towards the end of the day snow was getting slushy, we decided to do one last run at the 7th Heaven around 3pm. Unfortunately the lift broke down while we were waiting in the line to go back up. The only trail going down the 7th heaven (sunset blvd) was closed due to lack of snow. We probably waited a good 30 minutes in the line and eventually they said the only way down will be via the closed trail where there are bald spots and rocks. Trail started good but there were some spots we actually took off the skis and walked down. It was pretty bad to end the trip like that. I hope the people who got stuck on the lift did not wait too long to get down.

 

If this is your first time to WB, I'd strongly recommend the free guided mountain tours. We loved them, you pick a line according to your level. Given the horrible snow this year, the guides actually take you to the best trails on the mountain. So it's not a coin-toss to find the good runs. The tours take off at 11:30 am at the top of the gondolas in both mountains. After the tour is done, we went back to the trails we liked the most. At least we still enjoyed our trip with the help of this tour.

 

finally, given the conditions, you don't need to rent a powder ski. I ski on a 88mm and my wife skis on a 76mm ski and we didn't have any problem with the snow. But if the temperatures are not going to change, bring your thin layers.

 

Good report.  I left on the 13th, and confirm it was raining pretty good, but you should have seen the 12th! I didn't even leave the hotel it was pouring so hard.

 

Yes, virtually all report it's the worst winter in recent memory, and I have to agree. Of my three trips this year, the best was in December, and they've gone downhill since. My next trip is supposed to be early March, and I'm having second thoughts.

post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by yann View Post
 

 

 

what do you call the "bellow gondola line"?... do you mean anything bellow the lodges? below the mid station?

Sorry for the confusion. I stayed at Creekside, pretty much you can draw a horizontal line at the altitude of top of creekside gondola and do not try to ski anything lower than that. trails between the tops of whistler gondola and creekside gondola, early morning were fine but they got very slushy towards the afternoon. We skied Upper Dave Murray downhill in the morning, which was perfect but at the end day while we were going back it was horrible. So as long as you ski closer to the peaks of both mountain you'll find good snow all day, otherwise unless you're an early bird, be prepared to ski on horrible slush.

post #15 of 15

I still have 5 Edge Card days to use, and am hoping for something decent in March or April. That seems more and more unlikely, but I haven't completely given up. I suppose I'll just let them go if things don't improve, no use spending money on hotel and such on top of the Edge Card if conditions don't warrant going.

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