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Thread: Whistler 22-23

  1. #126
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    I think I prefer it that way in the early season, tbh. Nice to be able to get a stroll and some relatively quiet laps in the alpine before the lifts are going up there.

  2. #127
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    Regarding the t-bars:

    There needs to be quite a bit of snow to push under the line, or all the skiers would be hanging in the air as they rode the T.

    It is a constant source of frustration that it can’t be open more.
    (Although I also love the early season hike only access)

  3. #128
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    Wasn't as cold as expected and snow didn't get wind affected. Many thanks to Whis patrol for quick AC to tourClick image for larger version. 

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  4. #129
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    Anyone able to confirm rumors that some of the alpine chairs will be open this weekend?

  5. #130
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    At least Crystal please!

  6. #131
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    Harmony Saturday. Something on Bcomb too but not sure which lift

  7. #132
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    Quote Originally Posted by knowsam View Post
    Anyone able to confirm rumors that some of the alpine chairs will be open this weekend?
    Harmony/Crystal

    Ski out is good to the village on Whistler, trying for Creekside.

    Still good snow again today in the alpine.

    Doesnít look like access to the old peak mid/surprise area is going to happen again. It was sketchy last yr and now it looks worse.

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  8. #133
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    Highway 86 is in. Snow still passable qualityClick image for larger version. 

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  9. #134
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    Whistler 22-23

    I feel like I ask this every early season but is there any way to find out what uphill routes / resort terrain will be open for touring the night before or in the morning before opening? I would have never guessed that patrol would allow skinning up to top of peak. Is there a number you can call or do you just have to ask patrol when you get to the mountain? My prep for touring and resort riding is quite different so would be nice to be able to do a bit of planning

  10. #135
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    Rolling into town to commemorate another trip around the sun, I'm reading conflicting info: Some say the ski-outs to the base are in, some say they're not. Somewhere in between?

  11. #136
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    Quote Originally Posted by raypruit View Post
    I feel like I ask this every early season but is there any way to find out what uphill routes / resort terrain will be open for touring the night before or in the morning before opening? I would have never guessed that patrol would allow skinning up to top of peak. Is there a number you can call or do you just have to ask patrol when you get to the mountain? My prep for touring and resort riding is quite different so would be nice to be able to do a bit of planning
    This is a pretty complicated question, and has a lot of if/then scenarios. In short, the answer is "it depends". There's always a way into the backcountry through the resort, it just might not be the shortest or most convenient way. This link explains most of the options:

    https://spearheadbackcountry.com/202...-access-route/

    For the sake of clarity, WB has an “open boundary”, meaning you can leave the resort and access the backcountry wherever you want. WB can and does control access to parts of its tenure for safety reasons, usually avalanche hazard. So WB can’t close access to the backcountry. What they can do is close access to its tenured terrain, which has the effect of closing the “easiest” accesses to the backcountry. I'll keep my scenarios to the Whistler side, but it's the same on Blackcomb

    Back in "the day" there were way fewer people touring, and there weren't designated uphill travel routes, it was a bit more loose. Most of the skinners were locals or S2S people, and people generally stayed out of closed areas. These days, with the number of people wanting to go touring, and how aggressively the crowd is pushing at all times, uphill travel is only allowed on designated uphill routes. Basically you can't just put your skins on wherever you want and start skinning up a ski run, even if the terrain is open. To avoid collisions and to keep it safe for everyone, you can only go uphill on the designated routes.

    If you call 604-905-2324, ext 1 is Whistler's boundary info, ext 2 is Blackcomb's boundary info, and ext 3 is the weather. Those extensions are recorded messages and will usually only give you what is open at the moment. Occasionally there will also be a hint as to what might open or close later, but the forecasters don't want to guess at what's going to happen, so they'll usually keep it to just what the status is at the moment. Also, you can always go into a patrol shack and ask. Don't call the emergency line and ask. That's bad form. Just walk in and politely ask what uphill routes are open at the moment, and if the plan is for stuff to open/close later. Some crusty old patroller will tell you.

    Also, you can usually take a pretty good guess based on the weather and forecast. If it's nice weather, and not the day after a storm, then "everything" will likely be open for hiking. So today (Saturday), the weather is good and the plan is for Harmony to open on Whistler, so its safe to say that uphill travel will be open from Harmony to the Peak, and up Flute as well. Keep in mind that there is no uphill travel in areas that have an open chairlift, so once Harmony is open, you can't skin up from the Roundhouse, you have to go to the top of Harmony and start from there. Same on Blackcomb. If a chairlift is open, there's no uphill travel in that area. If a chairlift is closed, the uphill travel route in that area will likely be open if there's no avalanche hazard.

    On storm days it depends on what the hazard is and what lifts are open. If it's been dumping all night, likely there will be no uphill travel in the ski area until avalanche control is done. Once avalanche control is done, uphill travel might open for a bit, but once the chairlift in that area is open, it'll close again to avoid uphill/downhill collisions. If avalanche control is done, and it's too windy for the chairlift to open, uphill travel will stay open in that area, until avalanche hazard builds to the point the control teams can't stay on top of it, then it'll close again. On Whistler on a storm day, the go-to route is to follow the Oboe Traverse from the bottom of Harmony Chair out to the Flute/Oboe Col. That never closes. Please don't use that route to access the bottom of the Symphony Chair. If the signlines are closed, and you skin back into the resort by the bottom of Symphony, you're in an avalanche closure.

    WB used to let people travel up Encore Ridge to get out to the Musical Bumps on a storm day, but so many people used it as a way to ski Flute/Lesser Flute instead (an avalanche closure where bombs are being thrown) that it was shut down.

    Sorry for the wall of text. It's a complicated question with no easy answer.

  12. #137
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    Nov 2014
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    Thanks for the detailed response cs! I know about the standard bc access routes which are clearly posted on the wb site, itís just touring in closed resort terrain that I always seem to get wrong. Like Iíve been shut down trying to tour up to top of peak a couple times when avy danger was very low cause they were prepping to open I guess, and Iíve also been given the yes by patrol to tour into harmony up pikas traverse only to have the lift open a few min later and have skiers riding down on us. But in general sounds like just asking patrol the day of is the way to go.

  13. #138
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    No worries guy. Generally the only reason you’ll get shut out of hiking up harmony/peak early season is if the avalanche control work isn’t done. Even if the hazard is low, and the terrain isn’t open via chairlifts yet, avalanche control work still has to be done for liability reasons. That sometimes stretches out a couple of days early season due to lower staffing levels. Once the control work is done it usually opens. Patrol doesn’t generally care if people are skiing around while the fences and run marking are getting put out. You definitely can get unlucky and be hiking up when the lift opens. And yes asking a patroller on the day is the best way to get up to date info

  14. #139
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    Somewhat related, Iím making my first trip to Whistler December 17-20. Iíll be solo, but interested in uphill travel if available. Will an AT/skin setup gain me much access that a downhill/boot pack setup wonít? Not planning any serious tours (unless invited here).

  15. #140
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    Unless you line up a touring partner, you’ll be fine with just an inbounds/boot packing set up. Bring your transceiver anyway. I wear mine everyday around here. Especially if it’s dumping!

    There’s lots of sweet nearby tours if you have a touring setup. If space and weight aren’t an issue, you might as well bring it, you might find a mag willing to show you around.

    Are you coming from Minnesota? I skied Lutsen a bunch back in the day when I lived in Thunder Bay.

  16. #141
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    Quick note to confirm that ski out to Blackcomb Base is also good to go.

  17. #142
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    Will try to bring a better camera tomorrow. No secret glaciers took a beating last summer. The Overlord Glacier middle rock fin that was barely exposed 2 years ago is quite a bit bigger now.
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  18. #143
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clownshoe View Post
    Unless you line up a touring partner, you’ll be fine with just an inbounds/boot packing set up. Bring your transceiver anyway. I wear mine everyday around here. Especially if it’s dumping!

    There’s lots of sweet nearby tours if you have a touring setup. If space and weight aren’t an issue, you might as well bring it, you might find a mag willing to show you around.

    Are you coming from Minnesota? I skied Lutsen a bunch back in the day when I lived in Thunder Bay.
    Thanks, flying from Minnesota so I'll probably keep it to just the alpine setup(s). Hard to haul the whole quiver.

    Lutsen's always a great time, In Pursuit of Soul 2 gave them some love too.

  19. #144
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    nice morning on harmony, also good turns off the Peak...definitely very thin in some places. Skied out to Creekside, kept skis on until below timing flats. also rolled down to them putting the first 3 cabins on Creekside line. Shuttle works well currently, 50% off at Dusty's too was also nice.

  20. #145
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    Better camera for state of the glaciers

    Overlord Glacier - Fissile - Refuse Pinnacle

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    Tremor - Trorey - Decker upper section

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  21. #146
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    I was up over the weekend and I thought conditions were pretty good overall. Lots of terrain can be skied with care. I managed to be in the right place at the right time and loaded Crystal Saturday before the crowds descended. So at least I got in one run with some soft snow. I can say that Tokum and Bear Paw should be avoided. That was the only place I skied that I really wish I hadn't!

    Lift lines were pretty long at times. I went over to Harmony Saturday afternoon and probably had to wait 15 minutes or so even in the singles line. Crystal was busy, too, but the singles line always worked well for me there.

  22. #147
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    Quote Originally Posted by The AD View Post
    I was up over the weekend and I thought conditions were pretty good overall. Lots of terrain can be skied with care. I managed to be in the right place at the right time and loaded Crystal Saturday before the crowds descended. So at least I got in one run with some soft snow. I can say that Tokum and Bear Paw should be avoided. That was the only place I skied that I really wish I'd avoided.

    Lift lines were pretty long at times. I went over to Harmony Saturday afternoon and probably had to wait 15 minutes or so even in the singles line. Crystal was busy, too, but the singles line always worked well for me there.
    Patrol closed the hike to tbars behind me on Saturday morning, was informed it was about 20 minutes to opening, got the short hike in, skied some nice boomer bowl pow and then skied straight onto harmony spinning and got a quick 3 laps in before it started to get busy. Hiked Peak, gingerly skied down to west bowl, only do it if you hate your bases, haha. West Bowl was great though.

  23. #148
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    Dang itís ugly out there.

    Donít Swill gonna be a full in chute in a couple yrs.

    Gotta boot pack through rocks to get to Spearhead Col


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  24. #149
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    Oct 2010
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    Really looks like the Hourglass on Tremor may not get ridden much anymore. Is it just me or did the height of that glacier used to come much much higher, and thus make the choke fill in easier.

  25. #150
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    The really concerning thing is the last couple winters have seen above average snowfall, yet the glaciers still seem to be retreating fast. It's just too hot and dry in the summer now.

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