the whistler trip chronicles

Blackcomb from Showcase T-Bar

the yearly snowboarding trip is over, and this year it was a great one. over 20 inches (almost 2 feet!) of snow in 4 days made it a blast.

i’ve been taking a snowboard trip every year for at least the last 10 years. thanks to my wife for letting me go – she knows it’s the most fun i have each year and how important it is. also, I get to go on these trips with my closest friends – thanks to their wives for letting them go as well. since it’s been a long-standing tradition, it’s usually just accepted that we go each year. if we were to start this yearly trip now when we have mortgages, kids and a lot less disposable cash it likely would be a bit harder to convince everyone. 90% of the time, the trip is to Whistler Blackcomb, but sometimes we’ll mix it up and go to Austria or go heliboarding.

Whistler just has too much to offer since it’s so huge and always different. It’s my home away from home, one of the places I most spend time each year. and we always end up with accommodations within walking distance to the hill. lots of thanks to Nicole and her family for letting us stay at her place many times.

this year I was really looking forward to the trip for 2 reasons – the riding and the bro-time. with kids abound for all of us, I don’t get to see my friends as much any more and when I do, it’s usually quick chats between watching the kids run around. this trip would be days without kid interruptions.

this year i had considered going elsewhere (Kicking Horse for one option) since I thought it was going to be very crowded and overpriced due to the Olympics being held there. apparently, i wasn’t the only person thinking this way as it was very quiet before and after the Olympics. we talked to locals and they said it was packed during the olympics but when we were there a few weeks later, it was nearly empty. also, there were good deals to try to attract tourists. but for the most part, we chose to go back to Whistler because we’re lazy and cheap. we know the routine, we had airmiles to burn – we booked the trip within a day of discussing it. and this year it definitely paid off.

we flew out to vancouver on Thursday afternoon and flew back on Monday afternoon – typically we just ride 3 days, but for this trip we stayed to ride on Monday as well so we could get some extra time in the powder. before we headed out west, we were watching the snow reports and it was snowing constantly and big amounts. i kept thinking – “why couldn’t we be out there now?”. it was being advertised as the 3rd highest snow season on record and has since become the 2nd highest. thankfully, we got to experience a lot of that snowfall.

there was some fresh snow the previous 48 hours before we arrived and we ended up with a couple more inches our first day out. day 2 saw no new snow. but days 3 & 4 were legendary. we’d been watching the forecast and it kept getting better and better. on day 3 we woke up to 5″ of new snow at midstation and it was even more at higher elevations. a full day of riding and it kept dumping big snowflakes all day. on day 4, we woke up to good (or rather great) and bad news – the good news is that there was another 12″ of fresh new snow. the bad news is we only had 3 hours to ride it since we needed to leave at lunch to make it to the airport. so we rode and got buried and played in the snow as much as we could that day. snow days like that don’t come around that often, so when they do and you’re able to be there for it you have to soak up the experience – it could be another long while until you see it again. i kept telling myself as i was riding – “have fun, remember this, and live in the moment”

thankfully, I’ve got photos and video to remember the days. and you can experience a little bit of those days as well. check out the video. the real snow fun starts at 3:30 in the video.

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