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Access to Blackcomb Glacier : Is it closed !!!??

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Just met a family who returned from Whistler and they said the Showcase T-Bar was not running, and nor was the Horstman T-bar ?? And they did not see anyone climbing up above the Glacier Express chair , i.e. Spanky's Ladder access into Blackcomb. Supposedly glacier has receded dramatically , is this correct ?

 

Am stunned if true or is this just what happened when they were there? They are folks who work in tech based on the Eastern seaboard. Does not make any sense to me ? Really , I mean Blackcomb glacier was receding, but this fast so too dangerous to open to the public ? Or is this a complete mis-impression, please inform.

 

Blackcomb is probably the most glorious inbound glacier anywhere in the world !

post #2 of 14

Closed due to high winds.

post #3 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by dustyfog View Post

Just met a family who returned from Whistler and they said the Showcase T-Bar was not running, and nor was the Horstman T-bar ?? And they did not see anyone climbing up above the Glacier Express chair , i.e. Spanky's Ladder access into Blackcomb. Supposedly glacier has receded dramatically , is this correct ?

Am stunned if true or is this just what happened when they were there? They are folks who work in tech based on the Eastern seaboard. Does not make any sense to me ? Really , I mean Blackcomb glacier was receding, but this fast so too dangerous to open to the public ? Or is this a complete mis-impression, please inform.

Blackcomb is probably the most glorious inbound glacier anywhere in the world !

Weather I'm sure. Was open in last year's bad snow year and they have been having a pretty good season so far.
post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 

They were there for 7 days or 6, cannot be high winds can it. And they said got basically no new snow, rain & slop came down even on high. Very perplexed. Horstman T-bar is gone permanently they were informed, so no direct climb to enter 7th heaven from that location below Showcase and they said, they did not see or hear of any glacier access ? 

post #5 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by dustyfog View Post
 

They were there for 7 days or 6, cannot be high winds can it. And they said got basically no new snow, rain & slop came down even on high. Very perplexed. Horstman T-bar is gone permanently they were informed, so no direct climb to enter 7th heaven from that location below Showcase and they said, they did not see or hear of any glacier access ? 


Both T-bars show up on the Whstler web site but it says that they've been closed due to high winds, along with some other existing lifts.  I highly doubt that they've taken it out.

post #6 of 14
Was there at Christmas, went up Showcase, and then hiked up to the entrance and skied Blackcomb all the way down. It's receded some compared to 4-5 years ago when I was last there, but still very skiable. Not sure what's going on now but I assume some combo of wind, weather, and Avalanche control.
post #7 of 14

Bad timing local weather event. Alpine often can get shut down for Avy control. Skied both on Friday.

Earlier in the season Horstman did not operate because the glacier had receded enough that it made the slope  too steep  at the top section to safely allow public on lift. They made snow build it up and reduced the pitch . Runs were not closed, Showcase was still operating .

Last year was a strange one. The record low  snow pack followed by a record dry spell in summer. had a big impact on glaciers rivers wildlife and vegetation throughout the region.

post #8 of 14
Blackcomb glacier is also well within slide paths of events on either side of the run.
post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Posaune View Post
 


Both T-bars show up on the Whstler web site but it says that they've been closed due to high winds, along with some other existing lifts.  I highly doubt that they've taken it out.

This I could not find...but did make me hopeful, we were there in 2011 and 2012 and sure we saw and heard about the rapidly receding Blackcomb glacier but not it's mini neighbor but not surprising considering they are separated by a ridge line, but at this rate in 4-5 years, ouch !

Quote:
Originally Posted by rpratt View Post

Was there at Christmas, went up Showcase, and then hiked up to the entrance and skied Blackcomb all the way down. It's receded some compared to 4-5 years ago when I was last there, but still very skiable. Not sure what's going on now but I assume some combo of wind, weather, and Avalanche control.

So you did drop into Blackcomb via that short boot-pack from Showcase T-bar to the lip of Blackcomb. Blow-hole still open ? And the expanse of the glacier entrance, presume with the receding, that massive natural bowl is considerably steeper now ? But relieved to hear open, if it still is this season. But my question is Horstman T-Bar, they were told is permanently closed, and I read about the snow-making as mentioned above and  base packing earlier in the season, I guess the physical limits reached . But it got steep enough to kill the T-bar? Reminds me of the Saddle on the Whistler side, it got steeper and dramatically so between 2011 and 2012 . And these folks said the Saddle is very steep and I told them well, it is/was a Blue! 

Quote:
Originally Posted by noncrazycanuck View Post
 

Bad timing local weather event. Alpine often can get shut down for Avy control. Skied both on Friday.

Earlier in the season Horstman did not operate because the glacier had receded enough that it made the slope  too steep  at the top section to safely allow public on lift. They made snow build it up and reduced the pitch . Runs were not closed, Showcase was still operating .

Last year was a strange one. The record low  snow pack followed by a record dry spell in summer. had a big impact on glaciers rivers wildlife and vegetation throughout the region.

Just clarifying (to feel some relief) you skied Blackcomb Glacier itself, and Horstman Glacier Friday ? How did you access Blackcomb Glacier ? Is Sappire Bowl accessible either through Spanky's or via the long traverse starting below Blowhole and traversing above Surf's up etc. Are the other Gem bowls open and also the exits into Blackcomb Glacier - are they skiable or a total cluster-f---?

 

Thanks, Whistler-Blackcomb is the greatest place we have skied in North America, hence we went twice, in our short ski lives, and the highlight of the place is Blackcomb Glacier...hence the rapid-fire queries. Thanks


Edited by dustyfog - 2/29/16 at 4:54am
post #10 of 14

all runs are normal, used Spankys into bowls I did not actually do Blowhole but for no reason other than I prefer shorter ski outs on Gem Bowls.

Horstman t-bar's top section might be a little steeper than usual but certainly was nothing out of the ordinary.

Sounds like people you met were there in a pineapple express. Avy control is often a problem then and will take longer than it does for the front to pass.

Likely they just misinterpreted cause and then heard story of Horstman T bar's slower opening this year and combined the two..  

post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by noncrazycanuck View Post
 

all runs are normal, used Spankys into bowls I did not actually do Blowhole but for no reason other than I prefer shorter ski outs on Gem Bowls.

Horstman t-bar's top section might be a little steeper than usual but certainly was nothing out of the ordinary.

Sounds like people you met were there in a pineapple express. Avy control is often a problem then and will take longer than it does for the front to pass.

Likely they just misinterpreted cause and then heard story of Horstman T bar's slower opening this year and combined the two..  

Thanks, now that's a welcome , relief, folks who narrated are German, though live in the USA, skier/snowboarders and good at it but there is something very conservative about them, well, it seems abundantly apparent, and Googler too.

 

Thanks - can now sleep better!

post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by noncrazycanuck View Post
 

all runs are normal, used Spankys into bowls I did not actually do Blowhole but for no reason other than I prefer shorter ski outs on Gem Bowls.

Horstman t-bar's top section might be a little steeper than usual but certainly was nothing out of the ordinary.

Sounds like people you met were there in a pineapple express. Avy control is often a problem then and will take longer than it does for the front to pass.

Likely they just misinterpreted cause and then heard story of Horstman T bar's slower opening this year and combined the two..  


+1

 

Tseeb was at W/B Feb. 25-27, skied Blowhole and several runs from Spanky's Ladder with Extremely Canadian.

 

Just because a glacier recedes in the summer does not mean it won't be well buried in the winter.  W/B is having an above average year, all runs are well covered. Any terrain closures will be due to too much snow (visibility, avalanche control) not too little.

post #13 of 14

Hortsman has been closed all season i believe. Showcase is good to go on most days. Never realized how important hortsman tbar was, makes it way easier to hot lap pakololo , C.E. , secret basin, and cougar chutes. 

post #14 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Crocker View Post
 


+1

 

Tseeb was at W/B Feb. 25-27, skied Blowhole and several runs from Spanky's Ladder with Extremely Canadian.

 

Sorry, but did not see this thread until looking for something else. Our guide said shape of Blowhole was different from previous years. We dropped into it partway down as there were rocks showing at top.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by powderpanda View Post
 

Hortsman has been closed all season i believe. Showcase is good to go on most days.

Both T-bars were open all three days I skied WB and both had lines on the last Saturday in Feb. 

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