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Opinions on Whistleri and Blackcomb?


Vahur
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Hi!

As title says: how good is Whistler/Blackcomb area for carving in the beginning of February? How crowded it will be? Is there any good slopes for carving or just moguls? How does it compare to Aspen area?

From map seems like lot of trails are between trees, thus riding on overcast day won't probably be problem there?

Weather will be gamble probably (WSC in January 2005 was quite bad in this regard, IIRC), so I won't ask about it, one can just hope :D

One travel agency here is organizing trip to Whistler in next winter and I'm considering participation (taking it as warmup for ECS :P). It will cost me arm and leg, but what the h3ll, living only once :ices_ange

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Some of the locals will no doubt advise.

From my perspective, it's a good place. Much more like a european resort than anywhere else in North America. It's right on the coast, so the snow's much wetter than Utah, the Rockies of Colorado even. You really want to ride * in the storm * not after it, as the snow often turns nasty after a storm.

It can rain all the way up the hill; in fact watching the freezing level is key in deciding what to do/ where to go.

It's got lots of different terrain; moguls or flat stuff. It does tend to get crowded. The village has some excellent Sushi restaurants. The centre can be come unpleasant with and noisy with "night life" drunks late at night.

It's a good place, which is why all those people go there.

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I go there quite often since it is a short ride from Seattle.

Feb is a great month to go-- usually one of the best for weather and snow conditions..be sure to visit Prior factory and demo a board or two or three.

Blackcomb is a better mountain to play-- Whistler is much more crowded for some reason. Take the chair out of Blackcomb village -- the Blackcomb gondola in the Whistler villiage is usually a long line. There is so much terain and it is so varied in snow quality and conditions -- I am pretty sure you will love it if you have the expertise to handle it.

:biggthump

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Pure Boarding's package / World Carving Session

Yes, Aspen is good option, as it probably does not have weather issues due to its location and altitude.

If Whistler does not get better reviews ;) , then I might try Aspen once again (February 2004 trip with pureboarding team is worth remembering :biggthump ). One thing that puts me slightly off from it is dates, as they get quite close to my already half-planned trip to Zinal...

Anyway, I'm bored and tired from work and excessive heat and some daydreaming about nice trip over big pond doesn't hurt :D

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Carving at Whistler Blackcomb can be great, the mountain has lots of terain, HUGE vertical, and February through to March is the sweet spot of the season in terms of snow conditions.

The coastal snowpack is wetter than the rockies however, depending on the snowyear, it can range from awesome to crap- it's that variable.

I agree about the comments made about Whistler village- it is expensive, especially with the current Cdn dollar exchange rate, it is party central, and it is crowded- you just have to be aware of that going in and plan accordingly.

On the plus side, if carving is iffy during your stay, there is a ton of other terrain you can access without having to work too hard, and the mountain is sophisticated enough that you don't have to bring 4-5 boards with you to do it. Powder boards, freeride boards, and freestyle boards and boots can all be rented easily and reasonably at W/B. Powder runs, tree runs, extreme steep freeriding, all can be accessed in bounds here.

In fact the biggest challenge is the selection of carving boards. Fanatic , Mountain Riders and Prior are the only ones renting that kind of equipment now AFAIK, so bring your own carving set-up.

What I usually bring up is 2-3 decks, a 172-180 alpine race machine, a 164-165 alpine deck for crowded weekend carving, and a 162-164 alpine AM deck like a Prior 4WD for alpine freeriding in trees and steeps.

Get there early and you can get first tracks at 0700.

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I can not compare to aspen ( never been there ) but I have ridden a lot of W/B over the past years.

1st do a search on the threads for my previous comments/reccomendations RE whistler, I think they would be helpful for you, I am to lazy to retype.

Yup its expensive.

On the map a lot of the trails look like they go thru trees, check the scale of the map, like others have said W/B is pretty f@#$%^% big

Try to time your riding for mid week and away from any holidays.

The whistler side is generally 20-30% busier than the blackcomb side on any given day ( I checked with guest relations a year or so ago) possible reasons

-?family snow zone

-vancouver daytrippers going up via creekside

-new lift back of harmony

-locals parking under cover at creekside

-various secret stashes

-they groom the peak to valley groomer 2-3 times a week probably one of the longer runs you will hit all season, its great with a fresh buffing of corduroy ripple on top.

As to carving whistler there is a ton of good carving to be had on both sides with blackcomb being a bit more "fall line" just get up early.

Although the W/B propaganda site says lifts open at 0830, the reality is they start loading at 0815, that 15 minutes saves much time in beating the turista lift lines forming from 0835 to 0930 at the bottom.

One of the nice things about whistler is with 5000 feet of vertical you can ussually find a weather/visibility/temperature to suit your needs.

I believe they do the most acres of grooming per night out of any resort in north america, just watch for the odd grooming "whale" some of the groomers get into the BC Bud a bit much, overall decent grooming.

If limited to one board for whistler ie travelling I would take my Prior ATV or a 179 4x4.

If allowed two then a carve specific deck and the ATV (that was my ussual carry on daytrips from Vancouver last season).

All the previous posters have some very good advice as well.

Dave*

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I'll echo what Dave* said -- ( hey Dave - you still wearing the orange helmet this year? )

One thing i might add -- there are so many runs and so much terrain there in both big a** mountains that you will not have the time to ride them all unless you live there.

Also-- go to Whistler one day and ride Peak to Creek run.. over 5000 vertical foot drop - without stopping - betcha ya can't! :biggthump

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I just picked up a copy of the

"Ski and Snowboard Guide to Whistler/Blackcomb" by Brian Finestone and Kevin Hodder- it's a guidebook for the mountain that is organized like a climbing guide.

It shows the locations of stashes that are outside of the generic trail maps, and rates them according to snow aspect, level of difficulty, popularity, and survivability.

The one that I got was the advanced-expert guidebook, there's also another version available for cruiser runs.

Based on a quick scan of some of the local testpieces that I am familiar with, this is some good inside scoop....

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