I’ve just had my espresso and am driving into the village. There’s 45cm of fresh and while I’m excited at the prospect of shredding some new snow this fine morning, my heart rate is slowly ramping up because I am now facing one of Whistler’s greatest questions:
Should I ski Whistler or Blackcomb today?
This is a big question, and despite debates in the valley about which patrol gets their shit sorted faster with control work each morning, it goes deeper than just what alpine lift opens first.
As I pull into my secret free parking spot in the village, I am overcome with an anxiety only a rich kid deciding between a Porsche and Lambo could relate to. Do I brave the sweaty Whistler gondola and fight my way through the fresh-tracks breakfast idiots to see if I can get a lap in the VD’s or off Garbo before they crack the Peak? Then wait in the snowball fight line of Peak chair and hope I can drop into the glacier couloir before anyone’s the wiser?
Or do I head to the Wizard Chair at 730 and wait in line with Bobby the tugboat driver and the few others who are there everyday? Maybe I can get a lap on Jersey or Crystal before they open the Ladder. Hopefully the timing works out and I arrive at Spanky’s just in time to drop into my favourite line somewhere in the direction of Ruby Bowl.
Tough questions indeed, but questions I am happy to face. While I don’t have ironclad rules about where to go, I do have some general guidelines:
– If it’s shitting the bed and stormy and cold, Whistler is where it’s at. Endless treeskiing and oodles of spots to drop into that you don’t know about, both within and beyond the ski area boundary. And if the alpine opens, that’s just a bonus. With so much to ski down low, you can’t go wrong.
– If it’s an epic sunny pow day, forget Whistler; too many idiots tracking everything up and asking for directions to the Symphony chair. Go to Blackcomb. Waiting in line at Glacier Express and then the Ladder is worth it for that one deep, beautiful, orgasmic descent into heaven. After that it won’t matter what happens because all will be well in the world.
Either way, deciding between the two sickest places to ski on the continent is a good problem to have. And it sure beats waiting in line at KT with all those obnoxious, short-poled-huckwads who want to be on the next cover of Powder.
What’s your decision on a powder day?