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What is up with Whistler?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I just left the Whistler website and looked at the lift schedule. It said the hours were 8:30-3:00. Is that right? If indeed that's correct then what a rip off! I also looked at the webcams and it was snowing at both the mid-mountain and peak levels, but there was no picture for the base cams. I presume this was because it's raining? I understand that resorts want to put their best foot forward, but most areas seem to be able to do that while still providing an element of truth.
post #2 of 15
Those hours are typical for whistler this time of year due to the short days, and extend as the days get longer. I think they set them to allow for daytime patroller sweep. As for webcams..the last time I saw the basecam it was looking really bad with only the manmade ski-out track having snow, so no suprise they decided to nix it. The current round of storms/fcsts is showing improvement now with lowering frzlevels so it should improve ... just stay on upper lifts.
post #3 of 15
I can't speak for the cams, except that we've had a bout with warm, wet weather and I can't imagine that there's enough snow on the lower runs at Whistler to actually ski.

As to the hours of operation, it seems reasonable to me. I don't know what it's like in Virginia, but I live south of Whistler and it is dark around here at 4:30. It's not light until 8:00 in the AM. If you want the area open and ready, the employees need some daylight to prepare and there has to be time to sweep the hill and remove bodies before night sets in. Mt. Baker goes from 9-3:30, but it's a much smaller area so it can go later and still have enough time.
post #4 of 15
Ditto what the others say about about closing times. Being this far north of other places out west you might ski (i.e., UT, CO) makes a big difference in the length of the day. Combined with the location of the sunset, hiding behind the mountains and such, and it gets dark early.

As for web cams at the base; there's no snow there. It takes a good stretch of cold weather with snow for the base to be white, and it hasn't happed there yet.

The good news about Whistler is there's really no need to ski below mid mountain. I often take the gondola down from the midstation even when there is snow - too many newbs below there.

The recent heat wave in the NW here has really put a damper (so to speak) on what was a nice start to the season. The snow report for Whistler says they have a 30 inch base - which is very thin. I'm not sure they ever admit to having less than 30 inches. It looks like there's some more weather moving in now, finally.
post #5 of 15

Here's Why They Don't Show the Base Cam:
post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 
I'll buy the lift hour defense, but no excuse for the lack of pics at the base. Thanks for the link Powdr!!
post #7 of 15
I think the Whistler camera at the base is usually working. Or at least, I've seen it several times before. It's down now to "technical difficulties", which probably means "technically, we have snow... but there are difficulties with actually skiing on it".

As a rule, assume there's no snow in the village when they're reporting a 30 inch base.

Seriously, though, there's no real reason to consider what the conditions are in the village. Whistler is a *mile* of verticle. It's often slush with bare spots in the bottom 2000 feet, with great snow above. It's not like skiing in, say, Summit County where the base is at 9,000 feet and if there's no snow there, you can pretty much assume there's no snow anywhere.
post #8 of 15
We seldom ski the lower half of the mtn, except to ski out at the end of the day. With over 5000ft of vert, you've still got over 2500ft just skiing the top.

The hrs of operation gets extended as the day light hrs get longer. They bump it up in 1/2 hrs increments as the days get longer.

If you ski right to the end of the day and time it so you catch the last chair up. You can usually squeak out another 30mins or more past closing. Sometimes we hide out in the roundhouse after the last chair for a while to let the crowds disperse, then ski down once most everyone is gone.
post #9 of 15
You go stay on the lower slopes. I'll stay high.

From a buddy


Nasty folks. Perhaps one day we will have a Provincial Parks Service with people again... Sad

On a brighter note, boot-top powdies up high today and the forecast is looking reasonably good for the week. We didn't get above 2200m, but there are reports of up to 100cm new up higher. Hoping to investigate tomorrow, though the forecast is for winds up to 70-80kph, which could move a lot of that new around.

Avalanche cycle seems to be running its course, with some stiffening in the snowpack today--still rated good old CONSIDERABLE for the next two days, however. Smile
post #10 of 15
just returned from WB - tonight after a week' stay.

No snow all week - in the lower half of the mountain. very slushy everywhere else.

monday - 19th was hard packed and icy.
tues - wed rained upto roundhouse lodge and snow above. peak chair was
really nice - whistler bowl was open.
thursday - not bad, some fresh powder. around roundhouse lodge.
friday - fantastic day - with 6-8inches of fresh on 7th heaven and
all higher lifts open all day for the first day
saturday - it rained heavily - upto the top of the mountain. disaster.
sunday - worst skiing day of my entire life. higher lifts closed due to
winds. all runs of jersey cream and solar coaster - had snow washed off due to the rains with huge pools of standing water and huge areas of dirt.
could not handle it any more.

so overall - i had about 2.5 good days of skiing.
post #11 of 15
You people braving Whistler might also want to know that last year it was possible to get full or partial refunds on lift tickets. Just go to guest relations and complain. Some people were able to get full day refunds - I think they gave up earlier in the day than we did though.

Hopefully the weather moving in now will stay a while!

I had a 4 day planned trip last year, the Season of Doom. My friend and I skied what we could on two days, got half price refunds and left to come back to Seattle and drown our sorrows.

The guy I went with lives in Atlanta. I've been telling him how great Whistler is for years. Finally he decided to come out for a few days... I doubt he'll be back. heh.
post #12 of 15
Your trip to w/b this week sounds like a mirror image of mine. I was there for 5 days Sun-Thurs. Had planned to ski all 5 days, but only ended up getting in 2 1/2 days due to the rain.

I notice this coming week's forecast is looking much better with low freezling levels and snow. Needless to say, I'm feeling bummed out that I chose to go this last week instead of this coming week. Sux!

I'm thinking Colorado or Utah next, but knowing my luck, I'll get skunked again. Too bad you couldn't get weather insurance for ski trips.....:
post #13 of 15
I've always been told to plan W/B after mid-January. We're heading up in early February. I hope it's not like last year!
post #14 of 15
oh no, it's a complete rip-off. Sue them. They are Canadian, after all. Suing them would be good!
post #15 of 15
Originally Posted by CalvaryMike
I've always been told to plan W/B after mid-January. We're heading up in early February. I hope it's not like last year!
You can never tell with Whistler but some of my best trips to WB were at the end of January. With the conditions so bad last year, I didn't even bother. But I have a trip scheduled for the last weekend in January and I'm not worried, yet. The temps in the mtns have dropped just a bit and the freezing levels are coming down, so hopefully it will build a solid base for the rest of the season.
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