Sea to Sky to Ski

The winter season in the lower mainland of British Columbia is absolutely incomplete without a trip to the Whistler Blackcomb ski resort. On Family Day (Canadian provincial holiday in February) this year I took a trip up the Sea-to-Sky highway on what turned out to be a gorgeous day for skiing. Every ski trip to Whistler starts with an early morning McDonald’s breakfast in Squamish, because how could I┬ápass up a McDonald’s with this view from the parking lot:


The rock face to the right is the Stawamus Chief Mountain, a popular hike during the summer months.

For those unfamiliar, Whistler Blackcomb is a world class ski resort with skiing available on two adjacent mountains, named Whistler Mountain (same name as the town that houses the ski resort) and Blackcomb Mountain. On this day I got started on Blackcomb, taking the gondola from Whistler village up one third of the mountain, then immediately taking a chairlift up roughly another third, a short ski horizontally across the mountain, and then up one more chairlift to get to the top. At which point I am above the tree line with a clear view of Whistler mountain ahead, and the dark comb-like peaks of Blackcomb beside me.


Whistler Mountain as viewed from Blackcomb Mountain


A view of Blackcomb Mountain after a short ski down from the highest chairlift on the mountain.

After a few runs down the upper slopes on Blackcomb, I took the peak-to-peak gondola between the mountains to spend the remainder of the day on Whistler Mountain. Once again, the few of the opposing mountain was magnificent.


Blackcomb Mountain as viewed from Whistler Mountain

With the end of the day drawing near, there happened to be a power outage that shut down the entire ski resort, while myself and many others were on a chairlift. While the 30min wait hanging in the chairlift was not exactly great, it did mean that the slopes were particularly empty for the trip down once the chairs did get moving again. Here is a photo from just that point in time showing only one other person on this run during a pretty busy day at the resort.


And finally, Whistler Mountain has the benefit a south-facing viewpoint that was unbeatable on this clear day.


The soft rolling snow on the mountaintops coupled with the texture of the mountain peaks and the famous Black Tusk peak was fantastic. Truly a great day outdoors.




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