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Whistler in December


JGU
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Hi everyone,

Does anybody have any riding experiences regarding Whistler/Blackcomb during the month of December. I was thinking of riding out there right before x-mas period. The mtn has has some decent deals taking place now. I didn't know if there was a quality snowpack during that time period...kind of afraid of no snow on the ground.

I've been out there during the late winter and had a blast. In December, would it be just bowl riding or do they typically have snow all the way down to the village.

Any experiences would be appreciated. Thanks.

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You're kind of rolling the dice. A few years ago at Christmas, it was bare (and raining) at the base. That was definitely not normal, but it's not out of the realm of possibility. I'm not really sure what you might get in a "normal" year - maybe some BC locals with more experience up there will chime in.

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Xmas at whistler (plus/minus a week) can potentially be quite decent 7/9 times, the 2/9 are anomolies ?spelling? but with global weather patterns potentially veering to the norm.

Generally speaking tho, snow pack will not be fully there for a few more weeks, be carefull in the trees lest you ding thine shins on the blow down, there will still be the odd rock exposed, there will be a lot of people up there. You should be able to ride to the village but the bottom third will be a bit sketchy still. Be prepared for the ubiquitous whistler fog. There is traditonally a few good snow dumps around Xmas, the nice thing about the wet heavy powder we get out here is it sets up into good base quickly so the whole disposition of the mountain can literally change in 48 hours.

Whistler has spent big money on snow making, and they still spend huge on grooming, they do quite well considering the west coast temps they have to work with. (I used to trash talk w/b till I had to leave it and make a new slope home,,, did know how good I had it)

As to that season a few years back that Dan mentioned I remember it well, of note whistler was the only mountain in the PNW that did not shut down, that was one craptacular season ( late march/april that year redeemed itself for powder).

Those are my observations from my 9 seasons up there, now because I have made predictions the weather gods will probably change their plans to make me look foolish.

Enjoy your trip and with any luck I will see you up there ( accomodations pending)

Do a search with "whistler" for tips on getting the most from the hill, I know I posted a 10-15 point hill utilization guide that I don't feel like reprinting, the other guys on that thread had some good tips also.

Mr Roboteye, C5 (Al from seatle) and a few other of the w/b regulars might want to chime in also.

Dave*

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What they said.

I like it there, but you need to be prepared for rain... you nearly always get it at resort level; the argument's over how high up freezing level is.

We've some shots from Powder Mountain (across the valley from the resort) from the last three seasons in December. 2004-2005 was the joke season at Xmas; the last two have been good, although the best conditions are later (it was always so at Whistler: it's the maritime weather..).

One slightly-unreliable gauge to the quality of the snow each year is the number of days the photogs were out... they need light as well as snow, but it's indicative of the trend. images

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The crowds are horrible. Over Xmas in any of the bigger BC resorts is just a b***h, just crazy busy. Whistler Blackcomb is a huge hill, but even the biggest hill has trouble hiding 40,000 people, and they all have to get around somehow - the base and green/blue run lifts get pretty packed.

I love Whistler and I can't wait to go back, but I wouldn't do it over Xmas. February totally, but December is still thin snow wise, and the people just drive me insane.

Maybe if you want to go to BC then pick a smaller hill - Apex, Whitewater, Red? You might dodge some of the crowds and they're in different weather systems which means the snow might be better. Or maybe look at Banff, Sunshine always has good snow cover at Xmas. I rode a foot of powder out there Xmas Eve 2005.

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Thanks for the advice everyone! It really helps to have the insider perspective. Last time I was out at Whistler was February 2006 and I just happened to get 4 days of straight sunshine with unbelievable snow. Truely epic conditions!

Have a great season! JG

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Dave* is right on in his comments...

I go up right before Xmas every year - a couple of those years have been dry but still have a good time eating and drinking a nice red wine at night. But most of the time we have great snow and great rides, if we didn't I would would reserve a condo each year around the 16-20th of Dec.

The village is not quite populated yet and the mountains are not very crowded - but then it is not the 21st yet which is when it will start to get busy this year

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