Steep Couloirs and Flatspin 360s - Skiing and Boarding 22-23

bigq

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Jul 15, 2005
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Looks amazing @uncannymanny !

Did you ski Blackcomb Glacier? I want to check it out but from the trail map I can't figure out how to make it back to a lift after you have made your way down.
 

uncannymanny

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Jan 12, 2007
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Looks amazing @uncannymanny !

Did you ski Blackcomb Glacier? I want to check it out but from the trail map I can't figure out how to make it back to a lift after you have made your way down.
Yup, pictures 3-5! You Take the T-bar from the top of Glacier Express. You come out on the Glacier Road trail. Follow the boundary line around the trail map.
 

GoJeff!

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Yeah, it was kind of funny that we do this weird descent and then there is an article about another group doing the same thing in the LA Times the next day.

I don’t personally know Andy Lewicky, but I’ve read his blog for years. He does some very cool trips locally and in the Sierras. I did email after the article to let him know they had the second descent of Lukens. Actually, it would have been fun to meet up on top.

At Mammoth right now in this soon-to-be-record snowpack. It is crazy. Multiple lifts are below snow level, and there are doable lines that have never existed before.

This is my daughter exiting a *second story* door at the place we are staying. Supposedly there is a hot tub somewhere out that way.

62288
 

Bowhemian

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Nov 10, 2015
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Last night conditions were soft, mushy, and very slow. Pats is somewhat steep, but it gets pretty flat as you get towards the bottom. The flat spots were stupid slow. The mushy stuff made it hard to turn and it didn't take long for me to get worn out. My shortest night of the season by far, didn't even ski for 2 hours. I also had my first big wipe out. First run, about 200' into it. Making a turn and one ski got caught in the mush, twisted me a bit, and down goes Fraser! A bit of a yard sale, as I lost both skis, both poles, my hat and my googles. At my age, stuff like that hurts. And I am sore today.

Pretty close to wrapping up the season for me. Pats Peak is supposed to close next Sunday.
All told, I skied 12 times. 11 at Pats, 1 at Ragged. Roughly 123 miles according to my ski tracks app. I have had a ton of fun getting back into it.

edit: corrected total miles
 
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Kliq

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Mar 31, 2013
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I feel like if you skiied twelve times, even at a smaller mountain like Pat's, you should have covered a lot more than 23 miles. Something might be up with your app.
 

Bowhemian

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I feel like if you skiied twelve times, even at a smaller mountain like Pat's, you should have covered a lot more than 23 miles. Something might be up with your app.
Good catch! That is a typo-should be 123. Stupid fat fingers.
 

Preacher

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Jun 9, 2006
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Sun Valley was fucking awesome. We were on Bald Mountain all week. They got like 4 feet or so of snow the week before we got there (on top of the feets they got earlier). Plus, another 20+ inches fell our first two days on the mountain. Tickets were stupidly expensive ($190 per day). Luckily, my wife and I got a 50% discount since both of us are active duty military. I really wish I had brought my other set of skis that are much more suited for powder. Not sure what I was thinking. My wife had my primary skis with her in Cambridge that I had been using all year in NE. Meanwhile, my powder skis sat in my garage in Texas. Just so much fucking snow. I think we’re going to try to squeeze one more weekend (Easter) at Sunday River. We each have a voucher for a one day pass. And then it’s on to the Far East.

62341623426234362344
 

GoJeff!

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Sun Valley was fucking awesome. We were on Bald Mountain all week. They got like 4 feet or so of snow the week before we got there (on top of the feets they got earlier). Plus, another 20+ inches fell our first two days on the mountain. Tickets were stupidly expensive ($190 per day). Luckily, my wife and I got a 50% discount since both of us are active duty military. I really wish I had brought my other set of skis that are much more suited for powder. Not sure what I was thinking. My wife had my primary skis with her in Cambridge that I had been using all year in NE. Meanwhile, my powder skis sat in my garage in Texas. Just so much fucking snow. I think we’re going to try to squeeze one more weekend (Easter) at Sunday River. We each have a voucher for a one day pass. And then it’s on to the Far East.

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Awesome. Sounds like a perfect trip.
 

bigq

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Whistler Blackcomb was fantastic! More specifically Blackcomb was fantastic. I'm not sure if the pictures will do it justice but Blackcomb Glacier was amazing. I caught early lifts and spent the morning there on Saturday. The conditions were perfect. There were several inches of new snow from the night before (light and fluffy) and for whatever reason (maybe because it's late in the season) there were not a lot of people up there. Without working too hard I was finding mostly fresh tracks until noon when I bailed for lunch with aching quads. I'm not sure if there were heavy winds the night before or maybe it was due to cumulative accumulation from a couple of days but the snow depth was mid shin well above my boots and my skis fully disappeared from view for long stretches.

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Today was not so good at Whistler. I did several runs off of Harmony 6 Express and the visibility was really poor. The cloud cover was thick and it was difficult to differentiate between snow and sky and I could not make out the contours of the snow. I took things slow and cautiously as a result. Frankly it was more stressful than fun so I did a few runs on the lower mountain and called it a day.

I stayed in Whistler Village and really like the overall feel of the resort. Being able to walk to the gondola was a nice touch. Hope to bring my family for a trip next year. I will be back in Vancouver in late April. May bring my skis again then.
 
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Feb 19, 2015
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My skis are Fischer Transalps, which are hand-me-downs from my friend who upgraded to something lighter. I have Salomon Guardian bindings, but am getting my hands on something lighter as well. Gear probably isn't the only reason why I am a slow-ass skinner, but it'll be nice to have less weight to haul. I've got Scarpa boots.
About a month ago I bought Fisher Transalp 86 carbon skis and paired them with the Fisher Travers CS boots and Marker Alpinist 10 bindings. Weighs significantly less than my old touring setup (which was also tech bindings, but a decade old) and skis better.
 
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Spelunker

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Jul 17, 2005
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Sun Valley was fucking awesome. We were on Bald Mountain all week. They got like 4 feet or so of snow the week before we got there (on top of the feets they got earlier). Plus, another 20+ inches fell our first two days on the mountain. Tickets were stupidly expensive ($190 per day). Luckily, my wife and I got a 50% discount since both of us are active duty military. I really wish I had brought my other set of skis that are much more suited for powder. Not sure what I was thinking. My wife had my primary skis with her in Cambridge that I had been using all year in NE. Meanwhile, my powder skis sat in my garage in Texas. Just so much fucking snow. I think we’re going to try to squeeze one more weekend (Easter) at Sunday River. We each have a voucher for a one day pass. And then it’s on to the Far East.

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Huh, I was there the 18th-20th. Ibid and ditto. I get the feeling that amount of snow is a little rare there- that's the critique I always hear about SV- but the dumping they got was legit.

I know Dollar is the "beginner" mountain, but I was pretty surprised when I'd randomly take a green to traverse or get down: even *those* were full of ungroomed bumps. I can't imagine a beginner trying some of those.
 

Bowhemian

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Used my season pass at Pats Peak for the last time Friday night. Conditions were OK, but not great. Snow was a little mushy, but it was getting very firm and fast by the time I wrapped it up. It was tough skiing, my legs only let me go for ~3 hours. But that's OK. I did 13 separate trips to Pats, so the midweek pass was well worth it. My biggest problem was hitting the bar for a couple beers after each trip. That gets expensive. Next year I should be more disciplined-not sure that is going to happen though.

Heading to Loon on Thursday to wrap up the season.
 

CoffeeNerdness

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Just did three days at Kicking Horse and one day at Sunshine Village. They haven't gotten puked on like some places out west, but they were fully covered and open and the snow was great. Kicking Horse has some insane terrain and the non-stop eye candy in the Canadian Rockies was ridiculous.
 

bigq

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Just did three days at Kicking Horse and one day at Sunshine Village. They haven't gotten puked on like some places out west, but they were fully covered and open and the snow was great. Kicking Horse has some insane terrain and the non-stop eye candy in the Canadian Rockies was ridiculous.
That’s fantastic. One of my coworkers lives not far from Kicking Horse and he has talked it up to me. I would love to get out there but it seems fairly remote.
 

GoJeff!

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That’s fantastic. One of my coworkers lives not far from Kicking Horse and he has talked it up to me. I would love to get out there but it seems fairly remote.
Glad you had fun at Whistler. Seems like you hit the glacier at the perfect time.

Interior BC has a lot of great resorts. None are as big and developed as Whistler, but they tend to be less crowded and offer some fantastic terrain. The negative, as you note, is that they are a pain to get to from the U.S.

Rogers Pass (between Golden and Revelstoke) serves as the unofficial dividing line for interior BC because it shuts down quite often.

The ones on the Golden side (Kicking Horse, Sunshine, Lake Louise plus Fernie and Panorama if you stretch the definition a bit) are pretty accessible from Calgary, via a long but stunningly beautiful drive. I like Kicking Horse the best of those, but there is fun stuff at all of them.

The Revelstoke side has Revelstoke Mountain Resort, Red, Big White, Silver Star and many smaller ones. I've been to Revelstoke many times for backcountry trips, and its always a huge pain to get there. You either fly to Kelowna (or Kamloops) which requires a connection plus a drive, drive 8 hours from Vancouver, or drive 6+ hours from Calgary and risk a Rogers Pass closure.

I guess my overall recommendation would be to set aside a decent chunk of time if you plan to head to the interior. It's hard to make it work for a few days, but there's lots of fun to be had for a week or more.
 

Sausage in Section 17

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Mar 17, 2004
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That’s fantastic. One of my coworkers lives not far from Kicking Horse and he has talked it up to me. I would love to get out there but it seems fairly remote.
For Kicking Horse, you would fly to Calgary, and then it's about 2.5 hours to drive. This takes you right past Sunshine, and Lake Louise (in the Banff area), which are also glorious with big terrain.

Revelstoke has great terrain on the upper mountain, but the lower 2/3 of the hill is often in a thaw/freeze zone, and the conditions in that zone are usually less enticing than the upper mountain. Almost every time I've been there, you just ski the upper mountain and usually ride the gondola down to the bottom when you're done.

Silver Star was my home mountain for 10 years, and it has everything you'd ever want except high end expert terrain and tree skiing. This keeps the hordes away, but unless you really are someone who needs to be ripping the hardest terrain most runs, you will find everything to enjoy great skiing, including plentiful, dry powder, at any of the Okanagan resorts (Silver Star, Big White, or Apex near Penticton) You can fly to Kelowna from Vancouver or Calgary, and be at any of those resorts about an hour later. These places still have some good expert terrain, just not a lot of alpine bowl, or upper mountain trees. I would share chairlifts every year with people who told me they used to go to Whistler, or Banff, or Colorado, but once they came to the Okanagan, found good skiing, with lower crowds, lower prices, good snow, etc., they stopped going to the other places and kept coming back there. Silver Star and Big White have mid mountain villages, which mean basically every accommodation is ski in/out. Sun Peaks is outside of Kamloops and is in the same league. By East coast standards, these are BIG resorts. I think they all clock in at around 2,500 ft. vertical, and over 3,000 acres. So while they may not compare to the biggest, baddest Western resorts, you will probably still have the time of your life.

In Southeast BC are the Kootenays, with places like Red Mountain and Whitewater. Both of those places have better expert terrain (incredible tree skiing) than the Okanagan, but are a little harder to get to. You could fly to Spokane and drive 2.5 hours to Red, or a little further to Whitewater. Even further east are places like Panorama, Fernie, and Kimberley, where you'd either drive a lot or fly into a town called Cranbrook through Vancouver.