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Going to Whistler

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Well, weather be damned, I'm going to Whistler/Blackcomb. I'll hope for snow, but it looks like I'll be skiing in the rain, on ice, at least for the weekend. I'll hit the mountains Friday, and ski until Tuesday.

I'm bringing two pairs of skis, my Rossignol Cobras and Salomon SuperMountains. I've never skied on the kind of snow conditions I'm likely to see, but I'm guessing that the Cobra, a snappy ski with a 68 mm waist, will be a pretty good ski for it.

Any recommedations on which mountain and which runs I should ski? It's such a big mountain (two mountains) that I can see myself spending too much of my time trying to figure out where I am, where the best runs are, where I don't want to go, etc. I'm guessing that skiing anywhere but on the groomers is going to suck. Fortunately, at such a big ski area, there will probably be lots of groomers to be skied. If anybody can recommend any particulary fun or challenging groomed runs, I would love some pointers on where to go (or if I'm wrong about wanting to stay on the groomers -- if there's good skiing to be had elsewhere -- I would like to hear about that too).

I've been re-reading the advice some of you folks offered about making good turns (in response to my "rookie" question). That was a good discussion of the mechanics of turning; there's a lot in there to get me going in the right direction. I should have a fun weekend of over analyzing my technique. I'll comment later on how the advice worked out.
post #2 of 7
I lived in Whistler for a season and will offer up the following. In my experience - between Whistler and Blackcomb, I believe Whistler mountain is the more "navigatable" of the two.

For the weekend or weeklong visitor, Whistler Mountain offers many choices and the ability to explore a great deal of terrain, from one side to the other, in a relatively short time. The lift system on Whistler "basically" routes toward the Roundhouse lodge at mid-mountain. I believe it to be the easier of the two mountains to ski without a map - and the choice for those without "local knowledge".

Two of my favorite Whistler groomers are Ptarmigan (leading to Garbonzo Quad) and the Upper Dave Murray Downhill (Big Red Chair) - both are very fast. You can ride Red Chair on that side of Whistler (the Creekside) and find a couple nice runs early in the day. Franz's is a mogul field by mid-day, be warned! Late day I tend to spend my time on the Harmony side - with excellent lift access to the back bowls - symphony and sun bowl. You can blast through on a groomer (Burnt Stew Trail) but "hey, doesn't that look untracked over there?"

Blackcomb is a fantastic mountain. Expert - off piste and treed runs galore - its best stuff is harder to find and definately requires plentiful snow. Not my pick for traffic-free groomers. I simply believe that the crowds are easier to avoid on Whistler and you can ski it more efficiently without a plan.
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
If I take a lesson while I'm there, should I take a 3 hour private lesson, or a three day Ski Esprit for the same cost?
post #4 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Colossus178
If I take a lesson while I'm there, should I take a 3 hour private lesson, or a three day Ski Esprit for the same cost?
yo Colossus = Im skiing with my wife on Friday and Saturday. Since its just cruising we can play tour guide. We usually get on the Creekside gondola as thats close to our place and go from there. Want to meet up? pm me and I can give you my cell #.,
post #5 of 7
Ski report from Whistler.

My wife and I met with Colossus on Whistler. Cruising sunny conditions. For a guy who's been skiing over a year wow can he ski. We worked him hard and took him on many traverses in a vain effort to find off-piste that wasn't rain crust and soaked. We did take him on many nice groomers and showed him good views and told him how beautiful things were in the "old days" when there was bottomless powder all the time, every time.

After skiing and failing to break Colossus, we then took him power-shopping and talked him into enrolling in the Dave Murray clinics which will shortly have him skiing like Bode Miller (and not like Tanner). He however, did succesfully resist buying some Volkl 724 Pros that were a steal.

Then we moved him from the youth hostel hellhole to the skankiness of the Boot Ballet and Shoestring Lodge where we found evidence of many young Australian lassies. We'll leave it to Colossus to complete this end of the story.

To top it off we're going to indulge in destroying some demo skis tomorrow on Blackcomb. Cheers!

post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 

Kudos to LeeLau, EpicSki

Many thanks to LeeLau and his wife for touring me around Whistler/Blackcomb. They generously skied with me for two days, showing me where to go and how to get there. Then, after putting up with my rookie skiing, they showed me around town and introduced me to a few of the locals. Without this EpicSki hookup, I would have been immensely frustrated.

This help was particularly helpful in light of the less-than-perfect conditions; not much of either mountain is/was skiable. At first, is was soggy, wet, heavy rained on snow; then, it warmed up, and got mushy. Finally, it froze solid, leaving nothing but boilerplate. I can see how W/B would be awesome when the conditions are right, but there isn't much to be skied on now.

I brought two sets of skis, which was a good move. When it was wet and mushy, the SuperMountains were a fine ski. Now that it's frozen hard, the Rossignol Cobras are working great.

I participated in day one of the Atomic Dave Murray ski clinic today. Once again, despite the conditions, it went pretty well. The coach of the group I was in was very helpful, and has offered some excellent advice for improving my turns. I've extended my visit here by a day, so that I can participate in the entire clinic. (I'll post later with a full review of the clinic.)

Bravo for EpicSki! This place has been an invaluable resource.
post #7 of 7
Bryan,

Glad to hear you're making the best of poor conditions. Who's your coach? Demoed any atomics. Say hi to julius for me.
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