With a spare weekend up my sleeve and snow falling like crazy up in the mountains over the past week, Jordan and I decided that it was a good time to get up to Whistler Blackcomb and activate our respective passes. So with an early morning surfacing, I made my way out to Jordan’s place where he picked me up and we drove to his brother Wes’ place where we swapped cars and headed towards North Vancouver and the mountains beyond.
The drive up to Whistler isn’t exactly what I would call wildly scenic, but it certainly is an easy drive and it seemed like we were up there in no time. First task was securing our photo ID passes. Dom (my boss at work) was generous enough before Xmas last year to purchase a Whistler 5-day “Edge Pass” which basically gives me 5 days lift passes, and discounts on any further lift passes and selected other products and services over the course of the rest of the season.
It became all too apparent what everyone goes on about with Aussies basically running Whistler during the Ski season. I think every accent I heard in the pass collection area was all-too familiar and sure enough the young woman I spoke to was as “occa” as anyone you will ever meet from back home. She did, however, almost give me a heart-attack when we misunderstood each other with one of the questions she asked regarding residency. Thinking I was an out-of-towner just shooting through, she began to tell me that I wasn’t eligible for that type of pass. I quickly informed her that I’ve been an 8-month resident of Vancouver now and that I am well and truly eligible. A couple of laughs later and we were back on the same page.
By the way, avoid “toque hair” (close cousin of hat hair) when you can. It makes for horrible ID photos! Eek!
With all of that cufuffle out of the way, we headed off to the foot of Blackcomb mountain (on the left in the map above) and began our ascent via a network of linked chairlifts. The plan was to knock the cobwebs out with a few blue runs before heading up to the Blackcomb Glacier (top left hand boxed area on the map above) to tackle some better quality, faster runs.
I don’t know what happened (I was blindly following at this point), but somewhere along the way Wes led us up to the infamous double black-diamond run “Spanky’s Ladder” (see right) in practically zero visability conditions for like our 4th run of the day. Wasn’t exactly what I would call fun considering you couldn’t see where you were going. We had to use the “WARNING – Cliff Edge” signs as our guide, but I will be heading back there for certain on a nicer day as the actual run layout itself was fantastic and the ungroomed powder up there is plentiful. And we all know how much I love the “pow-pow”!
Anyway we spent the rest of the day attempting to cover as much of Blackcomb as we could spending a fair bit of time around the famous “7th Heaven” and of course the Glacier. Apparently the Glacier is visually spectacular when you can actually see it but we kind of got stuck in low level cloud all day so I’ve not yet been lucky enough to experience the views. For the same reason my camera didn’t come out all day so there’s no photos of my own to share from the trip this time around.
Needless to say no matter what the weather conditions, Whistler Blackcomb is an amazing resort – up there with the best I have ever been to, and we had a fantastic day regardless of the weather conditions.
To tie the day off we sank a few pints at “Black’s” one of the local waterhing holes, before making the journey back down the hill and into Vancouver. Today actually doubled up as another major day on the calendar due to the rare face-off between the Canucks (Vancouver) and Habs (Montreal Canadiens) in the NHL. It was a particularly important game for me as Mel and I have been verbally clashing about the potential outcome for weeks in the lead-up and let’s face it, there was goign to be some pretty serious bragging rights up for grabs.
Our original plan was to be back down in town to be able to watch the game with some of the rest pf the crew, but the comfy couches we used as real estate for our butts back in “Black’s” poo-poo’d any chance we had of meeting that agenda so we were left listening to scratchy radio coverage of the first amazing period during which Vancouver clocked up an amazing 6 goals, three of which were in the space of like 2 minutes or something. I was all smiles and judging by the colourful words that were contained within the text messages I was receiving from Mel… she wasn’t.
GO THE CANUCKS!!!