Friday saw the first big storm of the season and it plowed into Vancouver dropping lots of rain and sprinkling a little snow to our local hills.
Saturday was also the opening day of Whistler-Blackcomb Resort, meaning I was staying as far away from that hurricane of people as possible. So we went touring. This season has had a noticeably slower start than previous years. The powder maker in the sky hasn’t quite turned on. So the recon continued. I always like to hit each of the major areas before December to observe early season snowfalls and better gauge options when the storms roll in mid-December.
The west side of the Sea to Sky region tends to receive double the amount of snowfall as Whistler on the east side. When Whistler reported 15cms, we expected to see a fresh 30cm in the alpine. Being familiar with the area we were bound to get some decent skiing.
The truck rallied up to 1000m with minimal snow on the road. Unfortunately the ride was the easy part, as we then proceeded for two hours bushwhacking on foot. With the blue sky shinning, we thought to score at least some mellow alpine laps. As the day progressed they fog ascended the valley and we were wrapped in a cloud which scuttled our ability to make a linked turn.
Having followed our skin track down we were faced with a whiteout land mine field of rocks and ice. We had seen one more party above us when the weather approached. It was likely they were heading for a headlamp exit; not something we were prepared to do. With a relatively easy boulder hop we made it back to the car for some well deserved suds.
I always enjoy traveling in the mountains with a crew of very experienced people as the ability to move quickly and efficiently is heightened by the miles of travel we have put on in the mountains together over the years. The coast will now have to wait two weeks as I am heading east to see if we can’t find some early season Selkirk and Kootenay pow!