All media obligations aside, I was PUMPED to go for my first rip up Blackcomb’s new Crystal Chair. It was kinda like a whole section of my home just got renovated and I was trying it out for the first time. On our maiden voyage, after being serenaded by a duo of cold-handed minstrels in the line-up, my friend Charles and i cracked a couple cold ones to properly christen the new vessel.
Make sure she's seaworthy...
Not everyone's as jazzed about the upgrade as Charles and I, Fraggle Rock lovers in particular. But I’d say that Fraggle’s status as a “stash” was revoked sometime in the mid-80s. And now that there’s a lift going up it, it's become one of the best places in the world to hot dog under the chair.
Reputations will be made and lost on that lift line!
Rowdiest new lift line in the West! Well, once we get a bit more snow....
It’s so cool to get an aerial perspective on that whole area. We’ve been shredding there for years, but we’ve never seen it from that angle. It's definitely a lot easier to sopts lines now, so it will be sad to see more traffic in some of the more bonafide stashes.
But for every secret zone that goes discovered, an old one gets forgotten.
And strangely enough, my first run off the new chair took me to a corridor through the trees that I’d never hit before. And it was pow top to bottom, which was both unexpected and awesome, all in the same go.
This shot of Tommy Beck is from a week ago, but it gives a sense of the Crystal soulshredding vibes that we've all come to love.
It was also sketchy. Early season conditions continue to prevail, which may explain why the trees were still so fresh at the end of the day. But the groomers were in good shape and even the runs that haven’t seen a tiller yet were soft and rippable. There’s also a decent train of side hits up there right now.
Jumping has been a rarity so far this season so it was nice to hit a few three foot airs without being worried about shattering my femur.
Speaking of sketchy landings, people will be both sad and relieved to see that the mountain blew up that blind roller at the intersection between the Rescue Road and Lower Ridgerunner. Hitting that thing was like having unprotected sex after a Wednesday night at Buffalo Bill’s….so good, yet so so very dangerous.
I’m just glad they blasted it before anyone got seriously hurt (maybe Bill’s is next?)
Anyways, I can’t wait for the first pow day that we have on that chair. It’s so nice to take advantage of that whole fall-line without having to cut it short by traversing back to the old chair or doubling up with the Accelerator chair.
Long laps, mate.
Here's another old beaut from The Crystal Zone...Photo: Callum Jelley
Not much else to say, really. It’s the same rad zone that it’s always been. There’s just a speedier, longer new chair there, which means more shredding for everyone involved. We're definitely gonna miss the soul vibes of that vintage old chair. But this sexy new lift is here to say, so you may as well embrace the change and take her for a ride.
And I don’t want to alarm anyone, but it looks like we may get our first pow day off the new chair this Thursday.