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Whistler / Blackcomb Jan 2016

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 

 I am going to whistler with another couple at the end of JAN...  and am dreaming I was there now..

Looks like lots of good snow.. I thought El nino was supposed to affect them poorly..

Thoughts  ??

 

Keeping my fingers crossed for another great month.

 

Kyle

 

Moderator Note: moved to Resorts, Conditions & Travel

post #2 of 28

me too?  read that  PNW is suppose to be bad during el Ninos.   What happened?

post #3 of 28

El Ninos usually bring warmer and drier weather to the PNW, it's true.  But not this year so far.  It's my impression that December is often different than January in one way or another.  It may get warmer, drier, wetter, or keep the same, there is no way to know.  No matter how much intellectualizing you do about it, it still does exactly what it does and you can't do anything about it, so relax and enjoy what you can when you can.

post #4 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Posaune View Post

El Ninos usually bring warmer and drier weather to the PNW, it's true.  But not this year so far.  It's my impression that December is often different than January in one way or another.  It may get warmer, drier, wetter, or keep the same, there is no way to know.  No matter how much intellectualizing you do about it, it still does exactly what it does and you can't do anything about it, so relax and enjoy what you can when you can.

Lol, yup
I'll we can do is cross our fingers

Kyle
post #5 of 28

El Nino has not taken hold yet. Looks like its about to with a high pressure ridge building in the Pacific starting around New Years. I was hoping to go to Whistler as well in January but keeping a close eye as the storm door may be shutting off just as we get into January :(

post #6 of 28
Question on Whistler in Jan, but not about snow. I'm already sold based on their season so far.

I'm looking to do a last minute trip skiing Jan 8-11, since flights from Philly to Vancouver are cheaper than Denver or SLC, and I'm dying for snow here. How are the crowds that weekend? I was hoping not terrible since its between New Years and MLK.

Also, I'm looking to stay somewhere in town, preferably close to lifts but if I'm near a free shuttle and it's cheaper, I'll gladly take it. The rep on the phone offered me a two bedroom for four people in Valhalla. How's this place?

Sooo stoked to go to Whistler for the first time!
post #7 of 28
I don't love the Valhalla location. It's too far to walk to the lifts but the shuttle stop isn't that close either (maybe the equivalent of a block and a half or two blocks, which to me is far in ski boots). You can still walk to restaurants and shops easily in street shoes, it's just with gear that it would be a hassle. If it's an amazing deal you could make it work by doing things like paying five dollars a night to store your skis in the basement of Carleton Lodge, right by the gondola, and stashing shoes and booting up in the locker room.

El Niño doesn't kick in until January. It's not uncommon to have a really good early season and El Niño years.
post #8 of 28
Have you looked at the last minute deal portion of the lodging page on the Whistler website?
post #9 of 28

Hey Christy, the rep did mention to me that I'd have to walk a tad further but it's significantly cheaper than other nearby options. 2 in our group board, and 2 ski. I'm a boarder, so I don't walking too much. Also, outdoor hot tub as opposed to indoor at Marketplace!

 

I checked the last minute deals - at first the trip would just be me and my one friend, he's 25 and I'm 24, which is apparently an issue for some of these places. One or both of our dads might be coming now, which would get us around that hump, but also we'd need a bigger condo. Everything is very up in the air at this point. Thanks for your input!

post #10 of 28

It sounds like Valhalla suits your needs then, and the location won't be onerous. Tell the skiers they can store their skis at Carleton Lodge, if they don't want to carry them. Have a great trip!

post #11 of 28

There is a bus stop  less than a block from Vahalla. Go across the Olympic Plaza and there is a stop for bus #4 the free village shuttle but nobody bothers to go there as it is only about a 5 minute walk to the lift. Just cut though the Brewhouse to Blackcomb way and walk up the sidewalk to the lift it will most likely be faster then waiting for the bus which runs at best every 15 minutes during peak hours. If you go though the village like most tourists it is ridiculously long and busy at the end of the day.

 

Also, your room it may be newly renovated due to a large fire from 2 years ago. Half the complex just reopened earlier this year. One other thing to consider is you may have a bit of noise from the free skating rink out front or snow removal of the square in the morning.

 

If you stay there try Pure Bread as it is the best bakery in town, at least in my opinion.


Edited by reefer - 12/23/15 at 2:22pm
post #12 of 28

Thanks for the input everyone! Looks like our group is down to 2, and the reps are recommending the Listel hotel. Seems much closer to everything. Now I just need a foot to fall while I'm there!

 

In terms of what's open now, are there good black diamonds open? The interactive map shows mostly blues open.

post #13 of 28
Pretty much everything is open. There are a few runs still closed but nothing to worry about. Eating lunch at mid-mountain on blackcomb right now and it's a great day. 5-6 inches overnight and some sunshine today.
post #14 of 28
Awesome, I love what I'm hearing!

Does the whistler gondola actually take a half hour to get to the top?
post #15 of 28
Seems to me it's more like 20 minutes, but I bet someone will tell us exactly what it is. You can count on a line in the morning to get on, though.
post #16 of 28
And while I had to leave this morning to head home it was snowing starting yesterday around 1-2pm and still coming down this morning at 7:30 when we hit the road. A good 2-3 inches in the driveway where we were staying, presumably at least that much up on the hill.

Definitely a good time to visit whistler
post #17 of 28
Quote = speerhead:
I thought El nino was supposed to affect them poorly..

Not Whistler, which averages 103% of normal in strong El Nino months.  Whistler has a slightly independent microclimate, tends to be relatively better than other NW areas during bad years, of which last year was a good example.   Some of this is altitude/latitude.  The Whistler alpine holds up OK even when the lower half of Whistler and nearly all of Washington State skiing gets trashed by an excessively high rain/snow line.

Quote = onstar11:
me too?  read that  PNW is suppose to be bad during el Ninos.   What happened?

Most but not all PNW, Northern Rockies and western Canada areas average around 85% of normal snowfall during strong El Nino months.   But:

1) Obviously El Nino is not the only variable, and most of the weather forecasters have said November/December weather had little to do with El Nino. 

2) A lot of these PNW areas average 400+ inches, and lots of areas would be delighted to see 340 inches of snow.

3) The PNW is the most drought proof region of North America. The biggest risk to skiing is an excessively high rain/snow line like last year.  El Nino probably raises that risk a little bit, but 2014-15 was a true outlier season in that regard.

4) December was so spectacular in the PNW that those areas could get that 85% for the rest of the winter and the overall season would probably still be above average.

post #18 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Christy319 View Post

You can count on a line in the morning to get on, though.

How about lines elsewhere on the mtn? I was hoping crowds wouldn't be too bad, since most people would either go the weekend before for NYE or after for MLK.
post #19 of 28
Even the lines yesterday (Boxing Day) were surprisingly light. Skied right onto the lift most times, waited less than 5 minutes at worst. The 24th was the worst day of our trip for lines, and even then it was very quick in singles line and maybe 5-10 as a group. We avoided harmony and 7th heaven, though, which were apparently the longest lines on mountain at 15 or so. And we stayed in Creekside so avoiding the main village lines first thing in the AM.
post #20 of 28

Thanks for the input everyone! My trips coming up, skiing this Fri-Mon. Doesn't look like I'll get any fresh, but I know December treated them well.

 

Any recommendations on spots with particularly good snow around this time? Hoping to not be stuck to groomers.

post #21 of 28

http://quickdrawpublications.com/product/advancedexpert-ski-and-snowboard-guide-to-whistler-blackcomb-2nd-edition/

 

get yourself a copy of this and you won't go far wrong , lots of good spots well described

post #22 of 28
Quote:
 
How about lines elsewhere on the mtn? I was hoping crowds wouldn't be too bad, since most people would either go the weekend before for NYE or after for MLK.

 

I was there Monday and Tuesday and I skied to the chair or had to wait behind only a handful of folks every time. No lines at all where I skied (I didn't take the Village Gondola, though). Weekends will still be busy I'm sure but this week was a joy.

post #23 of 28
any updates on conditions. I know they've been getting a bit of rain. heading out early next week
thanks in advance
post #24 of 28

Conditions are turning around. It was miserable Tues-Thurs, lots of rain. Went up yesterday, off piste is frozen mid mountain maybe better up higher, didn't go higher because of low vis.  Groomers pretty firm. There's 15 cm of new snow with a little more coming. Think it should be OK this coming week.

post #25 of 28
thank you for the update
post #26 of 28

Would someone please comment on the current situation at WB and the outlook over the next week or so?

post #27 of 28

We had big dump last Friday night, up to 60cm in the alpine, epic on the Saturday. That should help the us through the warmer patch this week, though expect rain up to about 1800m throughout the week. I always check in on this guys blog daily.

 

http://www.wayneflannavalancheblog.com/

 

He's ski patroller and avi tech at WB. He does a daily forecast with predicted FL and accumulation for WB.

post #28 of 28

best site for Whistler snow info

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