Whistling in the . . . Sun
Whistler-Blackcomb, BC
February 11-16, 2002

Where to this year? Alta was high on the list, but empty slopes coincided with full hotels. Jackson is still suffering from questionable snow. Fernie was a bit too much travel. So, when in doubt, go for stable, deep, maritime snow. You won't get chest-deep fluff, but you'll get a solid base through all sorts of weather. And we indeed saw all sorts of weather, starting with Pacific powder, mellowing to spring corn, and finishing with a little storm skiing.

Really, I can't believe how nice the weather was. It's like a little bit of California followed me north.

BC Coast Range

All kinds of snow, from powder to slop, can be found over 5,000' of vertical. The crevasse in the foreground marks the point of separation between the Piccolo snowfield and the ridge extending east of Whistler Peak.

Earn Your Turns

Susan scales the Blackcomb Glacier headwall. A boot ladder set by many seven-foot-tall skiers made for extra work.


Phat skis like steep lines.

Ruby Bowl

The sun sets behind some fine terrain.

The Telepus

The Octopus goes along for the ride on Blackcomb Glacier.

Phat Skis Leave Phat Tracks

The SkiVT-L Edition Voelkl Explosivs track up fresh snow on Piccolo. A few inches of snow the night before was enhanced in the lee of the ridge, providing a cornice to huck and wind-packed snow to carve.

Dropping In

A short climb from the groomed track lets me phloat the phats in a few hundred feet of steep, untracked powder on the Blackcomb Glacier headwall. Thousands of skiers passed below, but only a few people seemed interested in the goods.

Huck Your Meat

Susan gets into the spirit on a warm, sloppy day at Whistler.

Line Choices

Susan selects the lesser of many evils on the Garnet Bowl headwall (she's at the upper-right corner of the rocks).

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