Unofficial Snow Reports and Weather Conditions for Whistler, British Columbia, Canada

A Picture Tells A Thousand Words – Or Does It?

Symphony Amphitheatre

This blog/Facebook page is all about skiing in Whistler, BC, Canada. The local ski resort is called Whistler Blackcomb and a lot of people spend a lot of money to come here and ski it. My reports are primarily for them, intending to help them make informed decisions regarding how to spend their precious vacation time. Since probably 90%+ of Whistler’s guests ski INBOUNDS, the focus of my reports is about the INBOUND skiing available at Whistler Blackcomb.

Recently I made a post on my Facebook page regarding my first day skiing Blackcomb mountain this season. To summarize, the coverage is thin, there were plenty of ‘icy’ roll-overs and I just didn’t think much of it. Opinions vary, fair enough, and one man’s treasure is another man’s garbage, I get that but …

Someone responded to my Facebook post with a photo showing a single fresh line along with the comment ‘seems OK to me’. I interpreted that to mean this person thought the skiing on Blackcomb was OK, because they skied that line, that day, on Blackcomb mountain. I responded by asking them when and where the photo was taken and they posted yet another photo, claiming the new one was taken on the day in question. Nothing else.

Long story short, I am still not sure where the first photo was taken, but I am pretty confident the second was taken in Symphony zone on Whistler mountain. Now, I could point out a few discrepancies, however the main point I want to express is this…..

OUT-OF-BOUNDS skiing can be dangerous
Even when it is inside the ‘normal’ ski area boundary!

Once you ‘duck the rope’, you become responsible for your own safety. You should carry the correct equipment for self rescue, know how to use it, and practise using it often (I am guilty of that last one). Just as important, is that you ski with a partner who also has the gear/knowledge.

Everyone……

Please do not post photos to my Facebook page of skiing out-of-bounds unless you make it perfectly clear in your comment that it is out-of-bounds. Especially when it appears as though you are travelling alone! I do not wish to have my blog/page to be seen supporting, or worse, encouraging people to go places and do things they shouldn’t.

End Rant.

If you wish to learn more about staying safe in the backcountry, do a course. The photo below shows the ski area boundary gate, which is where the ‘out-of-bounds’ begins. Once you step past it, you’re on your own. Behind the sign (the latest avalanche bulletin) is a group of people doing a course with Extremely Canadian.

Ski Area Boundary gate

Snow Report time – We need more snow……..
Actually, 8cm of new snow fell last night (to the valley), it will help, but I haven’t had a chance to get up the mountain yet.

In other news, yesterday a friend and I hiked up and skied Symphony zone (yes, the out-of-bounds area that I suspect the commenter’s second photo was taken). The hike took approximately 1 hour, and the short story was we found a few nice turns of fresh, which was more than I expected. The conditions are vastly different to what is available inbounds, always remember that.

Jeffs Ode to Joy

If a picture tells a thousand words, then a video (with sound) must tell a million. The photo above, like many others, only tells half (a tenth of?) the story. Watch this video to see more of what it takes to get to, and back from those 6-7 nice turns.


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ALL of following photos are out-of-bounds, and they were taken on the 4th of December 2014. Some more photos are available in the December 2014 album.

Photos taken in the Alpine

Harmony Horseshoes

Flute Bowl

Little Whistler

Photos taken in the Valley

Lower Dave Murray

Sewer

First Dump of the Season

24hr Snow 26 cm 7 Day Snow 72 cm Snowbase 76 cm
Alpine Temp 0 °C Village Temp +3 °C Conditions Wet n Sticky

The snow had been falling for a few hours by the time I went to bed last night, and my fingers were crossed hoping for it to continue. I knew the freezing level was expected to rise, so if I was going to get some good skiing in, it would have to be first thing in the morning. Woke up to the news the mountain had recorded ~20cm of new snow – Yipee!! Unfortunately the freezing level had indeed risen, so by the time the lifts were loading, the snow had become ‘wet and sticky’. Being a skier, I hate it when my skis want to go different directions all the time.

So, the skiing was average, but it’s good base building snow at least. In fact, the mountain ‘looks’ a lot better already – but the cover is obviously still slim. This system is expected to bring a LOT of precipitation, most of which will fall as rain, but hopefully we get a bit more of that wet slop to fill in around the rocks and trees…..

Some photos taken while riding Red Chair

Upper Insanity - 1

Upper Insanity - 2

Upper Insanity - 3

Jimmys Joker

Fisheye and Little Red Run

2014/15 Season Begins

24hr Snow 19 cm 7 Day Snow 46 cm Snowbase 57 cm
Alpine Temp -3 °C Village Temp +2 °C Conditions Man Made

Welcome back to Whistler Snow Report!

I have been a little slack updating this website the last few years, but hopefully this season I will get back into it. In the meantime however, I recommend you join the Facebook group, as I will be updating that on a more regular basis.

Anyway, Whistler Blackcomb is now open for the 2014/15 season :) Unfortunately we haven’t received much natural snow, so the base is extremely low. There are only a few runs open, thanks to snowmaking being able to make enough snow for the grooming department to push it around and cover the ground.

I have been up 3 days now, and skiing is always fun – even if it is just a few green groomers. The coverage of the open runs is fine, virtually no rocks to be seen. Anything else is a completely different story. I did one hike into the alpine, and skied ‘The Saddle’. The top pitch was excellent, nice snow with seemingly plenty of coverage – the second pitch is a different story however, as we had to pick our way around the rocks……

Below are some photos showing the coverage and a short video of my first run of the season.

Riding Emerald Chair

Upper Jolly Green Giant

Upper Dave Murray

Below corner of JGG and Cougar



Big Powder Day on Blackcomb

24hr Snow 7 cm 7 Day Snow 93 cm Snowbase 166 cm
Alpine Temp -6 °C Village Temp +1 °C Conditions Deep

When Whistler gets snow, boy does it get snow! This report is actually for yesterday the 11th but I was too tired to do it. We had 49cm of snow overnight and another ~20cm fell during the day. Gotta love it!!

The new snow was excellent to ski and it really helped build the base. I now declare Whistler’s 2013/14 season officially open :)


Welcome 2014 – Bring us some Snow!

24hr Snow 8 cm 7 Day Snow 23 cm Snowbase 120 cm
Alpine Temp -6 °C Village Temp +2 °C Conditions Fresh!

Blackcomb Glacier

All the photos in this post were actually taken on the 3rd of January. The video was taken today.

Goodbye 2013 – as far as snow for Whistler goes, you were a bad year. Adding the numbers up, we only received 738cm total snowfall during the year (Jan – Dec). Compare that to our seasonal average of around 1150cm, and you can see it was a lean year. Yes I know seasons are not calendar years, but 738cm is nothing! (besides the numbers should average out close to the same over the long term)

Whistler Mountain

Onto the current snow report…..

Normally no news is good news, but in the case of this blog the opposite is true. I have been lazy about updating due to a lack of snow coverage, which has resulted in me not bothering to ski much. While technically most of the mountains are open, there are plenty of exposed rocks (even on the normally safe groomed runs). There are also a lot of runs behind ‘marginal’ or ‘temporary ski area boundary’ signs. For good reason too….

Anyway, all that is about to change! I hope…. We just had a few light snowfalls, which have been fun to play in (see video below) but the really good news is that we are expecting our first real ‘dump’ of the season. It may be middle of January but it’s never too late to dump snow on Whistler. So c’mon Ullr how about letting the forecasters get it right for a change! (Forecasts are calling for around 25cm tonight and another 20-30 by the end of the weekend)

Blackcomb Mountain

If you want updates more often, join the Facebook group as I post to that more regularly. Here is a video from today, hope you enjoy!