January 20-23, 2009 – Whistler Blackcomb, BC

For the second time in as many years, a few friends and I, along with our families, made the trip north to Whistler Blackcomb for some winter time skiing and riding.  We stayed in a ski in, ski out condo on Blackcomb, in close proximity to Whistler Village.  The upper lifts on Whistler weren’t running due to the extreme avalanche conditions and depth hoar snowpack in the alpine.  Not to worry, we found excellent riding on both mountains over the next several days, and the weather was gorgeous.  Here’s a shot looking across the Blackcomb Glacier from the top of the t-bar…

Looking across the Blackcomb Glacier

Looking across the Blackcomb Glacier

We tested out the new Peak to Peak gondola, which had only been open for a month or so, and it sure makes getting from Blackcomb to Whistler a whole lot easier.  What used to take an hour now only takes a few minutes.  Here’s a shot of Andy, Todd, Kim and I heading from Blackcomb to Whistler…

The crew on the Peak to Peak Gondola

The crew on the Peak to Peak Gondola

The first couple of days were spent riding the groomers since the majority of the alpine was closed, but the sun and beautiful weather more than made up for it.  Looking into the mountains surrounding Whistler, it appears the backcountry opportunities are endless.  I imagine you could live up there for a few winters, ride the backcountry every day, and still not have explored it all….

Looking out into the Whistler backcountry

Looking out into the Whistler backcountry

On the third morning of our stay, the Harmony Express lift opened on Whistler Mountain, and we were able to find lots of untracked powder off of Harmony Ridge.  The ridge has lots of nice lines, including one area called KC Roll, where we spent quite a bit of time farming turns…

Matt dropping a small rock on Whistler Mountain

Matt dropping a small rock on Whistler Mountain

Andy was on his ski blades, and slashing quick turns this way and that.  The funny thing about blades though, is that they’re a bit harder to control when the snow is deeper.  I snapped the below photo just at the right time to catch him pre-wipeout…

Andy biffing it on Whistler Mountain

Andy biffing it on Whistler Mountain

On the last night of our stay, we all went out and had a few beers in the village prior to eating dinner at a nice restaurant (of which the name escapes me).  The nightlife in the village is always happening, with plenty of things to do.  My wife and I had a few beers at a couple of different pubs before taking the bus back to the condo, capping off another great year at Whistler.  I’m already looking forward to a time when we make a return trip to the land of big mountains and good riding!  Here’s a parting shot of Todd and Kim on a stellar day from the top of the 7th Heaven Chairlift…

Todd and Kim at the top of 7th Heaven

Todd and Kim at the top of 7th Heaven

 

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