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Whistler - why do they "close" good runs?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Just noticed yesterday they had "closed" the peak to creek run at Whistler. I saw a ton of people ducking the rope to get there... so after asking some of the folks whether it was ok now (and concluding yes it's fine), I did the run--and it was great! 

So my question: why would they close runs that are perfectly good? Is it because creekside's closed? (which is odd, because all the runs off peak to creek go to another open chair...) is there some kind of hidden danger on this particular run? Are the patrollers just not patrolling the area? (in which case I'd only go with a friend)
post #2 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Metaphor_ View Post

...(and concluding yes it's fine)...

 

Just curious. What criteria did you use for arriving at this conclusion?

Your profile says you are from Whistler. Is it safe to assume you have some avy training, BC experience, etc? And that you are generally familiar with the hows & whys of Whistler ops & patrol? And if so - shouldn't you be explaining this to us?

Seriously, I am curious...
post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 
Peak to Creek are actually a set of groomed runs with some ungroomed on the side--not backcountry.Throngs of people duck the ropes so I'm actually wondering if someone from Whistler has some perspective on why they close them. To clarify, I'm looking for details as to why they'd mark this area as closed--a series of avalanche cautionary notes from folks who aren't in the area and have no firsthand experience with these runs will not really add value. (That's all been covered before...)
post #4 of 18
Not familiar with that particular run. But if there're another runs next to it stays open, avi danger is probably not the issue. So it's natural to ask "why is it closed?"
post #5 of 18
 As I said, I am curious. As the only respondent so far (edit - except at_nyc...), I think it is pretty clear I was not saying "that's wrong" (whether or not I might think so). 

I asked what criteria you used in making your decision. Just because a run is inbounds or marked means little to the snow. When spring arrives, all sorts of things change. Quickly. Even inbounds paths can run. Big. So I'm inclined to ask again - what criteria did you use in assessing whether or not it was reasonable to duck the rope? And how does knowing or not knowing the reason for the closure play into that? Maybe it is closed just for economic or convenience reasons. Maybe not. But since you made an evaluation - I am curious what went into it. Or not. (the joys of a rather public forum...)

BTW - if you really want this question answered, you might ask it at TGR. There are some folks there rather familiar with the ins and outs of the place.
post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 
Point recognized. No intent to be abrasive (though I recognize it was and I apologize). I just don't want this to spiral into admonishment for ignoring posted signs. Based on the volume of people ducking the rope (about a zillion), and the types of runs below (mostly pretty flat), the volume of snow (lots), I'm confused. (That, along with the fact that I've been told by friends they close it when it's perfectly skiable, was effectively my criteria, in addition to looking before leaping.) 

My guess is there just aren't enough patrollers around to monitor that area, since it's so large. But that's just my guess... 

So I'm going to ask a patroller tomorrow and will post back to sate anyone's curiousity.  
post #7 of 18
Guess?

Save money on lift ops.

The area you speak of has more exposure to the sun and
usually deteriorates faster in the spring.

Is Creekside Gondola closed?

Looks like it doesn't get you back to village.
post #8 of 18
 I hear you. And I am curious. Both about your decision process and the real underlying reason for the closure.

Just for fun, here are some pics snarfed from an older thread at TGR. A few hours after closing for the season in 2008, Heavenly Basin broke loose big. IIRC, supposedly the debris pile under the lift line was something on the order of 30 feet deep. I'm sure you will recognize the location...

img2597is5.jpg

heavenly%20basin.jpg
post #9 of 18
Not sure about there, but Temps in the cascades have been high, and there has been some moderate rain. I got a Tweet 15 mins ago that Mt Hood Meadows had closed Heather Canyon due to Avy danger. Things get closed for a reason. I've seen plenty of threads on TGR about people at Whistler who thought they knew better, and ended of being a statistic.
post #10 of 18
WB is Huuuuuuge.....  And the spring season runs until late May with enough terrain open higher up on Blackomb for the number of people who still want to ski and who dont have their bikes out yet.

To run an operation of this size, you need to have plans in place for the staggered wind-down of the hill, allowing the hill to plan for staff contracts, summer lift maintenance, etc, etc....  (Remember WB is one of the rare-breed profitable hills)

If you look at the whats open and snow report pages of the site you'll see that Creekside is now shut for the season....... probably no other risks as yet (still never know).  The rest of Whistler mountain shuts soon too.

They'll first maintain the bits that are open for the summer, then start hitting the lifts that closed first so they can get all of the facilities ready for next season. It's quite an impressive operation.  (Olympic chair is being shipped to Sunshine village this summer too)

Also, the wildlife will be starting to wake up in the lower areas and the lower trails need to recover so that the plants and berries can recover enough to keep the critters happy!

WB will be scaling back the number of patrollers, so rope ducking out on Creekside is fully at your own risk....
post #11 of 18
Thread Starter 
Oh, yuck, lots of possibilities. My decision was based on guesswork (closure of the creekside gondola and wind-down of operations, plus the fact that my instructor friends have said they close it often when it's totally fine) and the volume of other skiers heading that way. I'll check next time with some patrollers before ducking (was silly, but not as silly as ducking an utterly empty area). Just curious if anyone knew the particulars of why they'd close the whole area. 
post #12 of 18
I will give you some advice.  Do you have a season pass?  If you are going to duck the rope, make sure you leave your pass at home and use a lift ticket, because if you are caught and you have a pass you will be banned for a year. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Metaphor_ View Post

Just noticed yesterday they had "closed" the peak to creek run at Whistler. I saw a ton of people ducking the rope to get there... so after asking some of the folks whether it was ok now (and concluding yes it's fine), I did the run--and it was great! 

So my question: why would they close runs that are perfectly good? Is it because creekside's closed? (which is odd, because all the runs off peak to creek go to another open chair...) is there some kind of hidden danger on this particular run? Are the patrollers just not patrolling the area? (in which case I'd only go with a friend)
 
post #13 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by ramzee View Post

(Remember WB is one of the rare-breed profitable hills)


 

Is that why Intrawest defaulted on their debt?

post #14 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by steamboat1 View Post




Is that why Intrawest defaulted on their debt?


If I'm not mistaken (and I might be) it was Fortress that was in financial trouble, not WB.  WB was one of Fortress's few resorts that was actually profitable.

Case in point, the largest resort development under construction in Canada (Three Sisters Mountain Village) was put into receivership last year, but it wasn't because the project was in financial trouble.  It was because the new parent company that had bought the project less than a year earlier (Morgan Stanley) was in trouble and walked away from a massive bank loan they used to help fund the purchase.  Just because a project is on the block or forced into receivership doesn't mean it's in financial trouble.
post #15 of 18
Yup.... Fortress Funds own Intrawest LLC, Intrawest LLC owns Whistler Blackomb, Intrawest LLC also owns lots of property and relies on property sales to keep it's business model chugging along.

Global financial crisis = less property sales = Intrawest in doo-doo.

It is Intrawest that has defaulted on its loans, if the banks call it in they would assume control of Intrawest from Fortress.

As far as I'm aware WB as a company runs the operations side of things and is very profitable.....  Intrawest owns a lot of the buildings in the village and is suffering badly.

The general consensus is that WB could happily operate as a stand-alone, but why would Intrawest sell it's main income generator??
post #16 of 18
Does anyone know the outcome of the auction that was to take place back in Feb? I haven't been able to find any information about it. My understanding was that everything was up for sale including WB.
post #17 of 18
Intrawest/Fortress got a last minute stay of execution........  The banks accepted another restructuring plan....... Come back in a few months for the next installment!
post #18 of 18
Thread Starter 
 Amusingly enough, I discovered today that it wasn't peak to creek that was closed--it was a face they'd roped off probably to keep novices from tumbling to their doom. oopsies. 
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