Whistler 2016/2017 reports

gortonator

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Was up at Whistler for US ThxGiving. It was a slow start snow-wise but just before the lifts opened, it started snowing. Ended up being one of the best ThxGiving's we've had up there (from 12 I think!). Epic deep snow, especially by Saturday.

Lots of pics here

We're heading up again in a week - with Edge Cards we ski free until December 16th. Nice deal - sure Vail will screw that one up next year!
 
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ausbob

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OK, to keep this ball rolling. I have organized a boys week in Whistler for February there is 26 of us geriatrics going. Any suggestions would be appreciated,from dinner to good ski runs. I myself would like any suggestions on any good tree runs, I will however appreciate any knowledge as I have never been. Only 64 days 1 hour and 30minutes until take off. :thumbs:
 

gortonator

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OK, to keep this ball rolling. I have organized a boys week in Whistler for February there is 26 of us geriatrics going. Any suggestions would be appreciated,from dinner to good ski runs. I myself would like any suggestions on any good tree runs, I will however appreciate any knowledge as I have never been. Only 64 days 1 hour and 30minutes until take off. :thumbs:

Hard to know where to start. I'm going up there again this weekend so my memory may be jogged. Could start with tree runs on Blackcomb like Bark Sandwich and if you like those, head out further along the road and take you pick :)
 
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Sno4WA

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OK, to keep this ball rolling. I have organized a boys week in Whistler for February there is 26 of us geriatrics going. Any suggestions would be appreciated,from dinner to good ski runs. I myself would like any suggestions on any good tree runs, I will however appreciate any knowledge as I have never been. Only 64 days 1 hour and 30minutes until take off. :thumbs:
Lots and lots of tree runs to keep you occupied - Arthurs Choice off Crystal Chair is my favourite but there are heaps to choose from. Ditto for restaurants - all depends on your taste and budget. I love Japanese so Sushi Village is a favourite and the Mexican next door is good too. Also when skiing over at Crystal have lunch or morning tea at the Crystal Hut - have to try the waffles.
 
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jgm

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As a general rule, ski Whistler in the morning and Blackcomb in the afternoon to make the most of the sun. Harmony and Symphony areas have bowls, steeps, and glades down low and will keep you satisfied for days on Whistler. If you are looking for glades on Blackcomb, there are heaps of trees on the east side of Crystal Ridge and on the west side above Sunset Boulevard.

If you are lucky enough to have Dave Murray Downhill open ALL the way, you can ski the olympic/world cup downhill course - one of the best groomed blacks anywhere. Unfortunately they usually have a break between the upper and lower runs.

Dining options are virtually unlimited, in terms of cuisine, class and price. There are 11 pages of locations on the website.
 

gortonator

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Sushi Village is our traditional ThxGiving dinner location :)

Avoiding crowds is a trick there. Get an early gondola and head high to get runs in before the drunken hordes head out about 10. Then ski the mid mountains, grab lunch at 11.30-ish, out by noon to ski while the fat bastards eat, and normally after 1pm crowds die off reasonably quickly. Different on a pow day, but this general rule works most days.
 

bomber

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Always like being near the front of the line when the gondola opens. A few runs before everyone comes.
 

absentskier

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Sushi Village is our traditional ThxGiving dinner location :)

Avoiding crowds is a trick there. Get an early gondola and head high to get runs in before the drunken hordes head out about 10. Then ski the mid mountains, grab lunch at 11.30-ish, out by noon to ski while the fat bastards eat, and normally after 1pm crowds die off reasonably quickly. Different on a pow day, but this general rule works most days.
Good advice right here.
 

Chowder11

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Sushi Village is our traditional ThxGiving dinner location :)

Avoiding crowds is a trick there. Get an early gondola and head high to get runs in before the drunken hordes head out about 10. Then ski the mid mountains, grab lunch at 11.30-ish, out by noon to ski while the fat bastards eat, and normally after 1pm crowds die off reasonably quickly. Different on a pow day, but this general rule works most days.
110% correct.
And if your in Whistler for a decent stint that will include rest days, structure those rest days around weekends.

The difference bettween the crowds Mon-Thur vs Fri-Sun is crazy.
Unless its a pow day, then its always crazy
 
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Sno4WA

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Keep an eye on the grooming report for when they groom upper and lower Peak to Creek. This is an iconic run from Whistler Peak to Creekside - I think it's the longest blue run in North America. Lower Peak to Creek can get thin and icy and they only groom it when conditions are good so that's a sign to get over there!

Another tip for Sushi Village - lines are crazy every night but you can make a booking if you have more than 6 people. Also I second Teppan Village for great Teppanyaki and very entertaining chefs.
 

NeoSamurai

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If I retrace my steps I can probably find it.
110% correct.
And if your in Whistler for a decent stint that will include rest days, structure those rest days around weekends.

The difference bettween the crowds Mon-Thur vs Fri-Sun is crazy.
Unless its a pow day, then its always crazy

???
My daughter and friend have been at Whistler since just after the big 'dump' on Nov. 23rd. Arrived 25th and left for Lake Louise yesterday. She said it's been really quiet on the slopes/queues including both weekends. Virtually no crowds whatsoever. (Perhaps they've been skiing on the 'wrong' side of the mountain to see the crowds?) She even sent many pictures which evidently showed the slopes/lifts virtually abandoned.
 
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absentskier

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???
My daughter and friend have been at Whistler since just after the big 'dump' on Nov. 23rd. Arrived 25th and left for Lake Louise yesterday. She said it's been really quiet on the slopes/queues including both weekends. Virtually no crowds whatsoever. (Perhaps they've been skiing on the 'wrong' side of the mountain to see the crowds?) She even sent many pictures which evidently showed the slopes/lifts virtually abandoned.
It's super early season still. Never consistently busy before the middle of December.
 

Chowder11

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My daughter and friend have been at Whistler since just after the big 'dump' on Nov. 23rd. Arrived 25th and left for Lake Louise yesterday. She said it's been really quiet on the slopes/queues including both weekends. Virtually no crowds whatsoever. (Perhaps they've been skiing on the 'wrong' side of the mountain to see the crowds?) She even sent many pictures which evidently showed the slopes/lifts virtually abandoned.
Must be the time of the year then.
I was there for 2.5 weeks Feb this year and that was how I observed it.
Was my 5th time back to Whistler, have always been there Jan-Feb timing, never before New year.
 
Fun drive up this afternoon from Van :eek: plenty of snow on the road and some patches of black ice.

Been snowing all day pretty much. Not sure how much they've had up here. Looks like it's top to bottom now - groomers were out on Lower Cruiser as we walked home from the Village at 5.00pm

@NeoSamurai - lift lines were pretty insane here on opening weekend - some people waiting 45 mins on Whistler. I reckon the longest line we waited in that weekend (Blackcomb) was about 10 mins but I wouldn't agree with no crowds whatsoever. Opening weekend there was no "wrong side" to ski as there were limited lifts / runs open. So, whilst the runs were not crowded compared to AUS, lift lines were still busy. Last weekend not so much as more and more opens.

This weekend looks like another ripper. @gortonator - if you're around, I'll be skiing Blackcomb tomorrow (Sat) with jnr miss LTB - would love to say hi!
 
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gortonator

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???
My daughter and friend have been at Whistler since just after the big 'dump' on Nov. 23rd. Arrived 25th and left for Lake Louise yesterday. She said it's been really quiet on the slopes/queues including both weekends. Virtually no crowds whatsoever. (Perhaps they've been skiing on the 'wrong' side of the mountain to see the crowds?) She even sent many pictures which evidently showed the slopes/lifts virtually abandoned.

It's not really busy until Xmas week. Opening weekend was an anomoly with such limited terrain and huge storms. Today our longest line was 2 minutes and skiing was very fine with 3-5 new inches of fresh. Things will change in 10 days. And I'm still skiing for free - 5th free day today :)

Love edge card deal.

Vail will kill that one quick enough :mad:
 

Sno4WA

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We have noticed a big drop off in crowds after the New Year once the North American and European holidays are over. Then spikes again for the Martin Luther King long weekend in mid-Jan.
 

sly_karma

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Sushi Village is our traditional ThxGiving dinner location :)

Avoiding crowds is a trick there. Get an early gondola and head high to get runs in before the drunken hordes head out about 10. Then ski the mid mountains, grab lunch at 11.30-ish, out by noon to ski while the fat bastards eat, and normally after 1pm crowds die off reasonably quickly. Different on a pow day, but this general rule works most days.

This concept works at pretty much any western resort. Be there for first chair and go hard, everything you can get in before 10 is golden, because that's when everyone shows up, drops off kids to snow school and then groups head out. By 11 ish you go in for a coffee and/or food, before heading back out at noon. The crowds will magically part right then, American and Canadian skiers seem to be unshakably convinced that lunch be taken at 12:00 sharp. All day race/freestyle/ski school programs usually break for lunch then, so the parents come in as well.

Terrain preference has a fairly easy to understand pattern at most resorts too. As things start revving up at 10 am, most people jump on the first lift they see and ride it for a few laps before heading further afield. So the rule for avoiding crowds is go as far as you can, as soon as you can. Take 3 lifts straight to the tippy top, or go to the resort's back side area if it has one (weather permitting of course). Then as the crowds eventually arrive in the areas you've been enjoying pretty much alone, you drop back or down to the areas you bypassed in the early morning. If your resort has lifts that are mainly there to provide access to accommodations, go back and ride them in the early afternoon because they'll be largely deserted. (examples would be Morrissey chair at SP, Silverwoods at SS). Now of course this is all generalisation, there will be nuanced application of these time and terrain concepts for each separate resort.

Sun and shade are important factors too; obviously an area that mostly faces east and north is best ridden first thing in the morning (eg, the Putnam or back side of SS). North facing slopes will hold better quality and quantity of snow if there hasn't been any fresh for a while, south facing slopes will have their surfaces affected by melt/freeze during periods of mild weather.
 

ausbob

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Thanks for the information. Another question, being Australian, what's the protocol on tipping, what % ?
 

oreo

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Had to come back to Vancouver on Friday from Rogers Pass and had the weekend to ski somewhere. Couldn't face the Crowds at Whistler or the Sunday afternoon traffic from Whistler to Vancouver, so headed down to checkout Mt Baker. Really great small ski resort they have down there, didn't hurt that it snowed 75cm over the weekend.
 
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gortonator

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This weekend looks like another ripper. @gortonator - if you're around, I'll be skiing Blackcomb tomorrow (Sat) with jnr miss LTB - would love to say hi!

Sorry - missed this somehow. Was on Blackcomb too Saturday and the morning esp was great with viz and new snow. Fun in trees on 7th Heaven, Pakalolo and the Blackcomb glacier.

Was foggy up high today but mostly deserted on Whistler so we high speed lapped various runs off Big Red and Garbo, and rolled out by 2pm. Some new snow and it snowed all day. Loadsafun!
 
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robbo mcs

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This concept works at pretty much any western resort. Be there for first chair and go hard, everything you can get in before 10 is golden, because that's when everyone shows up, drops off kids to snow school and then groups head out. By 11 ish you go in for a coffee and/or food, before heading back out at noon. The crowds will magically part right then, American and Canadian skiers seem to be unshakably convinced that lunch be taken at 12:00 sharp. All day race/freestyle/ski school programs usually break for lunch then, so the parents come in as well.

Terrain preference has a fairly easy to understand pattern at most resorts too. As things start revving up at 10 am, most people jump on the first lift they see and ride it for a few laps before heading further afield. So the rule for avoiding crowds is go as far as you can, as soon as you can. Take 3 lifts straight to the tippy top, or go to the resort's back side area if it has one (weather permitting of course). Then as the crowds eventually arrive in the areas you've been enjoying pretty much alone, you drop back or down to the areas you bypassed in the early morning. If your resort has lifts that are mainly there to provide access to accommodations, go back and ride them in the early afternoon because they'll be largely deserted. (examples would be Morrissey chair at SP, Silverwoods at SS). Now of course this is all generalisation, there will be nuanced application of these time and terrain concepts for each separate resort.

Sun and shade are important factors too; obviously an area that mostly faces east and north is best ridden first thing in the morning (eg, the Putnam or back side of SS). North facing slopes will hold better quality and quantity of snow if there hasn't been any fresh for a while, south facing slopes will have their surfaces affected by melt/freeze during periods of mild weather.

This works exactly the same for Australian resorts. The trick is to work out what the majority are going to do, when they are going to start, where they are going to go, when they are going to eat, and then you do exactly the opposite. ;) Most start late, warm up close to home lift, then wander out to the further lifts, before taking lunch 12-1ish. Therefore as Sly says, start at first lifts, head as far away as you can, then take an early lunch, and hit the slopes again when everyone else comes in for lunch.
 

gortonator

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Had to come back to Vancouver on Friday from Rogers Pass and had the weekend to ski somewhere. Couldn't face the Crowds at Whistler or the Sunday afternoon traffic from Whistler to Vancouver, so headed down to checkout Mt Baker. Really great small ski resort they have down there, didn't hurt that it snowed 75cm over the weekend.

Baker is fun. Was it busy?

FYI Whistler Sunday was mostly deserted and drive back at 2.30pm to Vancouver a breeze :)
 

ausbob

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my default is 15%. Up or even sometime down depending on experience. Or at a bar, 1 dollar per drink.

Tipping is a ridiculously complex topic. Do you tip on total? total - tax? Tip on take-ways? There's a 100 nuances ...

I really hate the tipping system. I understand the original concept was to improve service from the staff but now it has become part of the bill regardless of the service. I would rather just have an up front cost than I know what I am paying at the start and not have to decide 15% or 18% (in fact how do you calculate 18% anyway). If the service isn't any good I don't go back, fairly simple. Sorry for my rant, but thanks for the info.
 
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sly_karma

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In western Canada the standard for restaurant meals is 15%. To make it easy, use a card to pay. The machine will have handy tip prompts set at 10%, 15%, 20% etc. Or you can choose dollar amount if you want. I go with 15% almost always, 20% for a well above average experience.

Other random notes re tipping:
  • If you're in a group of 6 or more, the tip might already be added to the bill - read carefully or ask the server so you don't end up tipping twice. There should also be a notification of this policy on the menu.
  • take away food, zero tip
  • delivery food, $2
  • it's very common to ask for separate bills, just mention it when the server first comes to the table so the he/she can get organised
  • hotel bell boy or shuttle bus driver, $1-2 per bag
  • cab driver, "keep the change" or 10%
  • hairdresser/barber/manicurist, 10%
  • coffee shops have tip jars, amount is discretionary. $1 per drink is reasonable.
 

Chowder11

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Had to come back to Vancouver on Friday from Rogers Pass and had the weekend to ski somewhere. Couldn't face the Crowds at Whistler or the Sunday afternoon traffic from Whistler to Vancouver, so headed down to checkout Mt Baker. Really great small ski resort they have down there, didn't hurt that it snowed 75cm over the weekend.
Jealous
Baker has a real cult following.
Gets crazy snowfalls, and has some pretty crazy inbounds terrain also.
 

gortonator

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Jealous
Baker has a real cult following.
Gets crazy snowfalls, and has some pretty crazy inbounds terrain also.

Inbounds terrain is not that crazy actually. Fun but not crazy and it's a pretty small area. i've skied some of the out of bounds stuff which is huge fun, but dangerous on a pow day unless you are experienced and have gear. I am not and don't, so only skied OOB in very safe conditions.

Treewell death at Alpental yesterday. Poor dude - sounds very unlucky. Eisfallen is a nice run, hardly hidden, trees not too dense, and he was with a partner. Be careful folks.
 

oreo

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The terrain in bounds is pretty good for inbounds terrain, plenty of cliffs and drops. Not a huge amount of vertical but not many people either.
 

ausbob

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Here's another question. I'm thinking of doing a Heli Ski out of Whistler, does anyone have any recommendations. I suspect there will be 6 or 7 guys in the group that are keen.
 

Zimboo

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Have not done the Heli, but can highly recommend "Powder Mountain Cat Skiing".
Was a great day.
 
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Gumbo

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Here's another question. I'm thinking of doing a Heli Ski out of Whistler, does anyone have any recommendations. I suspect there will be 6 or 7 guys in the group that are keen.

Did whistler heli in 08 was spur of moment and had amazing blue bird and cold after 2 weeks of fairly solid snow. Was worth every cent. I know people on here will say there are better heli ops but we had a ball.
 
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The Lunatic

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Last 2 days up high have been good. First few runs today were very good. Knee deep in parts this morning. Def noticed it getting heavier down low toward mid station. Hopefully they open the alpine lifts tomorrow. If there is a way to post pics from your phone, pls let me know
 
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1m in the past 7 days. Raining in the Village the last couple of day apparently but was only around 7-9C in Van today so freeze level has dropped. Good social media video reports today. Would love to hear from anyone on the hill. We are heading up after school tomorrow. I think tomorrow will be a great day up high. It will be nice to have the mountains freshened up but not sure how much will be left on Sat for us weekend warriors #firstworldproblems :D
 

Chowder11

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1m in the past 7 days. Raining in the Village the last couple of day apparently but was only around 7-9C in Van today so freeze level has dropped. Good social media video reports today. Would love to hear from anyone on the hill. We are heading up after school tomorrow. I think tomorrow will be a great day up high. It will be nice to have the mountains freshened up but not sure how much will be left on Sat for us weekend warriors #firstworldproblems :D
Alpine lifts have been closed due to wind I think I read, Also making avi work hard.
Weekend warriors might nail timing with the opening of the Alpine.
 
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