Sep 26, 2016
number of runs
travel: go now
Just a decade old and still growing, Kicking Horse has been called “mini-Alaska” for good reason.
Thanks to recent efforts by the resort, including increased avalanche control and early-season boot-packing, you can now rip down Lake Louise’s 2,500-acre Powder Bowls.
We were skinning up to ski Blackcomb Peak’s DOA— a 1,000-vertical-foot chute that maxes out at 50 degrees—digging the spring corn far too much to make our business meeting on time. My partner plucked a phone from his pocket. “Bad news, Amber,” he fi bbed. “We ran into this Brit up on Spanky’s Ladder who was in way over his head. Looks like we’re going to be a bit late.” Amber, who works for WB, understood. She hears stories like this all the time. Who wants to talk shop when there’s 8,000 acres of world-class terrain, from high-alpine glaciers to giant hemlock forests, spread across two mountains plastered by a stable maritime snowpack? After plundering DOA, we fi nally made it to the GLC, Whistler’s best après patio, where Amber and beers were waiting for us.
Powder Day: When the dust from the dynamite settles, load the Harmony chair and lap 40-degree chutes lined with 20- to 40-foot cliff bands in Camel Back while you wait for the Peak chair to open. (It accesses Whistler’s hairiest terrain.)
Three Days Later: The locals mine every inch of Whistler, so be resourceful. From the Peak chair, head to Shale Slope Ridge and drop left for airy tree stashes in the VD Chutes. Stay high skier’s right for max freshness before exiting to lower Grand Finale.
Park and Pipe: The Nintendo Terrain Park is more than 1,100 feet long, drops 600-plus vertical, and features two playgrounds in one: Chipmunk has smaller hits and rails, while Bobcat has 20-plus big-daddy boxes and rails.
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Weather: Come in January, when cold air collides with moisture off the Pacific, creating record- breaking storms.
Après: Hang with the beautiful people at Dusty’s for beer-hosing and martinis with fancy fruit, or hit the Garibaldi Lift Company, above the Whistler Gondola. Kokanees cost C$6 a pint.
Fuel: Grab coffee at Moguls and head up the first gondola. At noon, stop by the Expressway, in the Roundhouse Lodge, for a proper lunch (C$10) and a sleeve of Canadian brews.
Up All Night: Check out Garibali Lift Company (GLC) lounge bar.
Digs: For deep beds and a heated pool try the Crystal Lodge, just stumbling distance from the Crystal Lounge, a favorite watering hole for grizzled locals (C$214–C$398 depending on season; crystal-lodge.com).