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Whistler Blackcomb - Feb 28 & Mar 1

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

Lower Mountain is the worst I've seen it in the 5 years I've been riding here. Not sure how long they will be able to keep this going. Overall conditions were very firm and icy. Bluebird Day though. They also had their snowcross course open (complete with gates) which made for some fun laps!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While Exploring Found This Crevasse inbounds!

 

 

 

 

post #2 of 20

Wow, my local ski club is there now for the week.  I heard conditions were bad, but those pics are ridiculous. 

post #3 of 20
Thread Starter 

Its not horrible up top. Its the lower mountain that is brutal. They should be OK, i'm sure they will be pretty high up. 

post #4 of 20
It was pretty bad. I was there 2/28-3/2 and there were a few places where you could find grippy snow, but not many. We skied a few lines off of the peak chair on whistler that were ok. We also looked into sun bowl and it was so glazed that we beat a hasty retreat. We didn't venture into spa keys as the conditions were sketch enough that risk wasn't worth the reward. Blackcomb glacier had firm but grippqble snow.

I wish I had gone there before my heli trip rather than after. While I had fun, it was a disappointment to bail on most of the terrain.

Mike
post #5 of 20

i'm praying for snow! i still have three weeks for some solid precipitation (and by solid i mean plentiful and not liquid... and not hail either please...)

post #6 of 20

Winter has been canceled folks, another system coming in later this week warm and wet just like every other one. That takes us to March 15th. Not much hope left after that.

post #7 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by gramboh View Post
 

Winter has been canceled folks, another system coming in later this week warm and wet just like every other one. That takes us to March 15th. Not much hope left after that.


Didn't it dump like crazy in late march/April in 2005, the last bad El Nino year? There's always hope ... just!!

post #8 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by gortonator View Post
 


Didn't it dump like crazy in late march/April in 2005, the last bad El Nino year? There's always hope ... just!!

 

Yeah at high elevations it did. Looks like there may be a decent storm above 1700m this weekend, will believe it when I see it though. Gonna bring the bike up as well, depending how intense the rain in the valley is it might actually help Squamish conditions which are drying out a bit.

post #9 of 20

I'm at Whistler now with the family and just did day 1 of 6 on the 12th.  If you come here hoping to ski all the terrain on the mountain and want perfect snow you might be disappointed.  BUT, if you think of this as a trip in later April, with thin stuff lower down and lots of soft corn, we had a fun day yesterday.  Sun, flurries up top, showers low down, fog and rainbows over the valley, some new heavy snow up top near the roundhouse, frozen corn to start on the upper half (below the new snow level), buttery groomed corn on the lower half at the start of the day that no one was skiing.  All in all everyone came off the mountain dry and happy and tired after skiing the whole day. 

 

At creekside it says downloading recommended but we skied that a few times.  I would not bring my new race skis down there but it was just some pebbles mixed in where they had plowed things around.  Might not last another week though at the bottom with current weather.  The high alpine certainly does not look to have normal snowpack either, so I think some of the great double-black up top may not be all open.  Heavy fog filled in when we went up the peak and then high winds prevented me from checking out the top stuff at the peak.

 

Peter

post #10 of 20

how are the bowls, at least those you could go to? i assume it's hard bumps in the morning and spring bumps in the afternoon?

 

what about glades/trees? (the high up ones).. my impression is that they are not really practicable.

 

 

 

thanks

post #11 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by yann View Post
 

how are the bowls, at least those you could go to? i assume it's hard bumps in the morning and spring bumps in the afternoon?

 

what about glades/trees? (the high up ones).. my impression is that they are not really practicable.

 

 

 

thanks

 

There is no safe tree skiing unless you know where you are going (maybe the very top of Sun Bowl trees, and Xmas trees off west bowl).

 

Coverage is fine in the alpine. Snow this weekend will soften things up but then it's getting warm again so more melt/freeze. 

 

Tomorrow (Saturday) the alpine will not open and 20,000+ people from Vancouver/Seattle will show up to stand around getting soaked. Sunday the alpine will open and be decent wet/wind pressed snow, then back to melt/freeze.

post #12 of 20

When I skied there a week and a half ago, there were tons of little rocks lurking in the sugar on the traverses.  Most I could avoid, but there were some that were invisible and I got a couple of core shots.  It's tough conditions when a guy who regularly skis Breck and can avoid the vast majority of the junk still has to have his skis tuned every night...

 

Mike

post #13 of 20
Upper part of bowls is real winter snow, but gets sun-baked halfway down on the peak chair. Coverage was pretty good, but for example The Cirque is the usual sideslip in but much longer and very rocky, and The Couloir is closed. On blackcomb the top 1/3 of 7th heaven was decent snow over a firmer base (on groomed runs) to start, and turned into corn snow, frozen to start the morning. Re-thinking what I said earlier, in some years there is more snow still in mid may, but maybe that's just remembering the bigger snow years. Based on the forecast I'm seeing the creekside ski-out might not last beyond his week.

Peter
post #14 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by gramboh View Post
 

 

There is no safe tree skiing unless you know where you are going (maybe the very top of Sun Bowl trees, and Xmas trees off west bowl).

 

Coverage is fine in the alpine. Snow this weekend will soften things up but then it's getting warm again so more melt/freeze. 

 

Tomorrow (Saturday) the alpine will not open and 20,000+ people from Vancouver/Seattle will show up to stand around getting soaked. Sunday the alpine will open and be decent wet/wind pressed snow, then back to melt/freeze.

 

A quick look at the WB website confirms the alpine closure, but my question is WHY?

post #15 of 20

new snow avy control 

post #16 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by noncrazycanuck View Post
 

new snow avy control 


It's actually wind closure, I'm up here debating going out because there's *heavy* rain with 20-90km winds hitting everything that you can lift access.

 

#WBops - All Whistler & Blackcomb Alpine lifts are closed for the day due to high winds. Crystal Chair & Catskinner remain on stand by.

 

https://twitter.com/WhistlerBlckcmb/status/576810338537988096

 

 

 

post #17 of 20

It's really a combination of both. Some of the alpine upper lifts will safely operate even in very high wind speed. But you can access a lot territory from them and current avalanche rating is very high in the alpine. With heavy wet falls it's not uncommon the upper third gets shut down, even mid hill there will cornices building with the high winds. This year there is not the usual alternative because there is no snow on the lower third so I'd save your money.

Tomorrow should be much better. 

post #18 of 20

Strong winds, heavy snow, maybe a fair bit up top.  Some chairs and main gondola sometimes were running slower a few times due to wind too,   Alpine was closed just due to the weather system and the nature of the terrain, nothing to do with the low snowpack.  No big hoards of people, apparently everyone in Vancouver is in summer mode and with no snow visible assume on the local peaks many assume there is no skiing. 

 

Peter

post #19 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by gramboh View Post
 

 

 

Tomorrow (Saturday) the alpine will not open and 20,000+ people from Vancouver/Seattle will show up to stand around getting soaked. Sunday the alpine will open and be decent wet/wind pressed snow, then back to melt/freeze.

 

Well, I was right except the 20,000 people showed up yesterday. Big lines in the morning at Peak, Harmony and Symphony. Skiing was mediocre, couple decent turns high up (>2,000m) followed by a crust followed by ice. I did one lap down Flute shoulder, decent snow except there was so much cornice/avalanche debris in the fan that you had to watch your speed on the way down.

 

On the flip side, my first day checking out the Whistler valley bike trails on Saturday was awesome. We waited for the rain to stop and were on the trails from 2-6pm, even got a bit of sun. Trails are in amazing shape, barely any water although the wet roots were tricky.

 
Quote:
Originally Posted by noncrazycanuck View Post
 

It's really a combination of both. Some of the alpine upper lifts will safely operate even in very high wind speed. But you can access a lot territory from them and current avalanche rating is very high in the alpine. With heavy wet falls it's not uncommon the upper third gets shut down, even mid hill there will cornices building with the high winds. This year there is not the usual alternative because there is no snow on the lower third so I'd save your money.

Tomorrow should be much better. 

 

This. The timing of the storm also prevented the snow safety guys from doing AC work on Saturday morning. Generally, when the hazard is increasing (continued snow and winds) during the morning, it can be too dangerous to get the guys out to do their routes. Also the high winds can prevent chairs from running, so on those days they make the call around first light to shut er down for the day. There was massive cornice growth for sure, there's a big one still up around Horseshoe 3 on Harmony and tons of cornice debris below Flute.

post #20 of 20

Ive always wanted to get to Whistler. Glad I skipped this year i guess. Soon though.

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