Monday, February 14, 2011

Sled Skiing in Whistler

Quite a sight atop the Rutherford glacier.

At the end of January I wrapped things up with the 'Run Around' crew and took a road trip to Aspen with Rachael Burks to catch the 2011 Powder Video Awards. After a night of schmoozing and drinking with other skiers that I admire as well as other fun industry people, I promptly made my way to Denver to catch a day of SIA mayhem. Following the whirlwind weekend I made my way back to Salt Lake City to catch the snowstorm that was coming through. I managed to get in a few days of skiing and photos in the ridiculously freezing -25 F temps before I was on the road once again. My ultimate destination was Whistler, but I routed myself through Tahoe for a 24 hour pit stop since I hadn't been home in about a month. Total time spent in a car in one week: 51 hours.
I arrived into Whistler with perfect timing. A fresh storm was finishing up and it popped blue the very next day. I was thrilled to say the least. Like Jackson, I have never really skied in Whistler and it's always been on the MUST SKI list. I headed out to the Rutherford glacier the first two days of blue with Cody Townsend, Jeff Thomas, and Bryn Hughes, and boy was it deep up high! We definitely had some issues with the stability in the snow pack, but we managed to find a few fun things to ski. It was almost a little overwhelming trying to soak it all in, there is so much awesome terrain!

Cody catching a bit of air. Actually A LOT of air. He landed down in the sun-shadow line!

After few days on the Rutherford we headed out to Sprout's in search of a better snow pack at a lower elevation. We found it and thoroughly enjoyed our bell to bell day of skiing. After 3 longs days of clear skies the weather rolled in and allowed us to recuperate. As we waited for the next slaughtering of BC pow, KC Deane rolled into town. Once the wet and heavy storm let up we headed out to a zone filled with an abundance of pillows. We had a great, adventurous day, but it was one of those sledding days that was consumed of sled-digging. We snowmachined for 9 hours and only got in 2 ski runs! The problem was the snow was really heavy and wet at lower elevations, and as we climbed higher to get to the better snow it just got deeper and deeper which made for some pretty tough sledding. Nonetheless, the group stayed positive and we were stoked on the 2 lines we did get to ski. Needless to say my trip to Whistler has exceeded my already high expectations. I think I just might have to head back as soon as possible...

I'm just having a ball!

A view of the Tantalus Mountains.

Nose butter time for Cody.

Catching a flight through a chute.

The snow was as magnificent as Cody makes it look.

Cody getting spinny.

Trying to catch the last bit of light of the day.

KC Deane playing in the extremely deep snow.

KC having fun in the pillows.

Deep. Deep. Deep.

Lining up a run of fun.

Enjoying life is an understatement, even if we spent 6+ hours of sled-digging to get to this point.