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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Photos taken in the Valley