The real story from this year’s opener is the storm that’s currently wrapped itself around Whistler Blackcomb. Sure, its gusty arrival was one of the things that decreased stoke levels on Saturday, but the 25cms of pow that it dropped overnight sure pumped those levels back up for Sunday.
Yes indeed, Sunday was officially the first pow day of the season. Venturing off the groomed runs wasn’t exactly recommended, but early season froth got the better of reason and we did our best to link up as many pow turns as possible. The foot of fresh did its best to disguise the stumps, logs and boulders that threatened to end our seasons.
But as long as the terrain was smooth underneath, the pow was totally shreddable. I’m not gonna claim that it was a good idea, but there were even a few spots where you could let the dogs out a bit. Ahhhhhhh yes, it was nice to have that sense of normalcy restored to our Whistler existence, especially after an opening day that can be charitably described as………miserable?
As is the case every year, a handful of excitable characters camped in the lift line to claim the first gondy as their own. As a slightly jaded 32-year-old powderhound, there was something about people sleeping in the rain to ride rainy groomers that made me wonder where I’d gone wrong.
Why couldn’t I be that keen?
Anyways, I was keen enough to roll up there around 10 am on the Saturday. And really, it didnt matter what the conditions were like. The skiers were skiin’ and the boarders were boardin’. With the hill reporting a 25cm base of natural snow, the fact that there was any snowsliding going on at all was a feat in modern day snowmaking.
And hey, it couldn’t have been all bad because instead of going in after our first run and putting five or six jugs of Kokanee in our faces, we blasted a solid few laps on the nicely covered groomers before sprawling out for a slightly boozy lunch amongst old friends.
Hot Damn it was fun.
Sure, the haters are calling it one of the worst opening days of all time, but like I said before, the skiers were skiin’ and the boarders were boardin’. And that means that all the good things that go along with shredding are back too. Hilarious Chairlift rides, Ill-advised 'Powder Adventures", fresh mountain air and a brand new fleet of foxy daylodge staff.
And look at this:
It's impossible not to be jazzed about that.
Stay up to date on the conditions at www.whistlerblackcomb.com