We were on the Sea-to-Sky highway at night, so we missed the awesome scenery, but we'd enjoy it on the way back. The highway through Vancouver along with the Sea-to-Sky highway was a real blast to drive, even in minivans; lots of turns and undulations. We stopped for groceries in Squamish and spent about $600 on stuff for the week. We planned to cook as much as we could and eat out a few times. We bought lunch sandwich material, breakfast, granola bars, etc.
We opted to stay in Creekside as we could get a ski-in/ski-out condo for cheaper than in Whistler Village. And with having a real varied group, it would be good for everyone to have the freedom to go and come whenever they want. The shuttle to the village was $1.25 each way and we did this instead of driving around once we got there. We got the condo through AlluraDirect.com and it was a great experience. It was a nice 3-bedroom condo with sleeping for 10 with access to a huge outdoor hot tub and pool, which was the social buzz of the evening.
I was checking the snow forecast and it was snowing pretty steadily before our trip and unfortunately we would be getting no new snow the whole time we were there. Anyways, the bluebird sunshine days were much appreciated.
Regarding the actual skiing, it was a total blast!! The hype about Whistler is certainly true. Over 6 days, we were still discovering and enjoying new stuff every day. Vince, the French guy in our group, has been skiing since he was 5 and he's a pretty smooth, fast skier and the terrain was still challenging to him. The lifts and runs are setup very nicely - the mountain has been designed well, not too many flat spots. On Whistler Mtn, The Peak is the place to be for double black runs. Whistler bowl is good stuff, lots of different ways to come down. The stuff further right of the Peak (West Cirque) is good too, but it empties out a bit further down the mountain, requiring two lifts to come back up. Harmony was nice and challenging, lots of peaks and valleys, requiring you to plan your line a bit more thoroughly so as to not miss the good stuff. Symphony Bowl was good too, but a little less challenging. They had one or two blacks, right under the peak and the rest was good blues. The glades at the bottom are nice and scenic. They had signs up saying how they were environmentally-friendly when they made this bowl.
We were told by some locals/instructors that Blackcomb is generally less crowded since the tourist type of skier mainly stays on Whistler, because that's what the place is known as. It seemed sorta true. Blackcomb had more challenging runs on the whole compared to Whistler. 7th Heaven has some great blue groomers, with nice vistas looking back at Whistler Mtn. The Couloir Extreme, a double, was fantastic. Steep, slope at 53 degrees and nice and long. The entrance was a bit rocky, but the run is great. The blacks under Glacier Express were good too, but they were getting icy after being quite heavily skied out. Blackcomb Glacier was a good run, nice blue, but it empties out really far down the mountain, at Excelerator Chair, taking about 30 mins for the whole run. Climbing up Spanky's Ladder seemed a better pay off since the runs were less skied out and were more challenging, but still were only blacks, not really doubles, compared to the Couloir Extreme. We also had quite a bit of fun in the Terrain Park on Blackcomb. It was my first time to hit a terrain park at a big mountain and wow, the jumps are constructed real nicely, with good landing zones.
I took some videos of us and here are three compilations. Please note that we're not really experts and it's all just for fun. :
Black Diamond Runs
Terrain Park Fun
At the top of Whistler Gondola, looking out from the Roundhouse Lodge.
The Roundhouse Lodge
It was super windy and cold the first few days. Harmony was especially quite bad.
The Peak-To-Creek run, which was popular among the greens/blues in our group.
Sweet. A tunnel at the bottom of Franz's heading to the Midstation on Whistler Mtn.
Clear, calm bluebird days...
From the top of Franz's chair looking towards the Roundhouse Lodge.
Always waiting on the boarders
Group shot. Almost everyone in our group: Vince, me, Allen, Ian, Cesar, Claudia and Rick.
Allen doing an aerial...
Just to remind us which country we're in.
Edited by JamminSki - 12/17/09 at 4:39pm