Powderheadz.com heads to Whistler-Blackcomb, BC for some Summer Park Laps

Riding the Top of Blackcomb
Lower Half of the Whistler Blackcomb Terrain Park

BY POWDERHEADZ TEAM

Whistler Blackcomb, BC – Snowboarding isn’t technically over at Whistler-Blackcomb Ski Resort. Although the regular season at Whistler ended on April 23rd and Blackcomb ended on May 22nd, you can still get some turns in at the Top of Blackcomb Mountain. After a couple of weeks to set up the Terrain Park, Hortsman Glacier opened on June 10th and plans to stay running until July 16th, 2017.

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The park was built specifically to host a multitude of Ski and Snowboarding Camps throughout the short summer period. However, the Glacier is open to the public, albeit you should be advanced or expert rider to feel comfortable up there. There are two t-bars that give you access to two parks full of features (the top terrain park is closed off for the camps) and a couple of runs (The top half of Crystal Traverse and Blue Line). We were also able to ride down the Green Line from the Hortsman Hut back to Rendezvous at the end of the day to download back to the bottom of the mountain (which might not be the case as the summer continues). So if you’re desperate for snow like us, head to Whistler while you still can.


 

Glacier Summer Camp
Riding anything and everything at Hortsman Glacier

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Tips and Tricks


  • Operating Hours are from 12PM to 3PM, weather permitting. Public upload begins at 11AM at the Wizard Express Chairlift that is at the base of Blackcomb Mountain. Only camps are allowed to load before then. Last upload for Skiers and Snowboarders are at 1:30PM.
  • Lift Ticket includes a shuttle bus to and from 7th Heaven and access to the public lane that includes some Terrain Park features. Other lanes are reserved for Glacier Camps.
  • You must be an advanced or expert skier/snowboarder to ride, no exceptions. You also need to be able to use a T-bar as there are no chairlifts working during this time.
  • Definitely recommend getting there as early as possible, because you have to ride the Wizard Express, Solar Coaster Express, wait for a shuttle bus to take you to 7th Heaven before you get to Hortsman Hut. It can take up to an hour to finally get to the top.
  • Bring Sunscreen. It get’s pretty bright and hot up there and you are exposed to sun for extended periods of time. Many people leave with sunburns because they aren’t prepared.
  • Because it’s hot up there, you won’t need to bring as much gear as you would on a regular winter day. You’ll probably still want to wear a long sleeve shirt so you don’t get a weird tan. That being said, wear a helmet and practice safe riding.

 

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News: La Niña is coming. And with that, snow for the Pacific Northwest.

El Niño is dead.  Long live El Niña.

La Nina | Powderheadz.com
Photo Credit: NWS/Climate Prediction Center.

 

The 2015-2016 edition of El Niño has come to pass and La Niña has a 60 to 75% of making an appearance.  And according to the NOAA, a pool of cold water is materializing in the Pacific Ocean below a shallow mass of warm surface water.  La Niña is coming.

And if it does, the Pacific Northwest to Squaw Valley will see above average snowfall.  There is already more concrete evidence as Whistler gets its first snowfall of the season (about 3cm).  We should be seeing more action from La Niña in the late fall and through the winter.  Some of the best Ski Resorts in North America will get the benefit of the larger than average snowfall:


  • Lake Louise, BC
  • Whistler, BC
  • Mt Baker, WA
  • Mt Bachelor, OR

  • Mt Hood, OR
  • Sun Valley, ID
  • Big Sky, MT
  • Whitefish, MT
  • Jackson Hole, WY
  • Squaw Valley, CA
  • Steamboat, CO
  • Lake Tahoe, NV
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News: Vail Resorts Purchases Whistler-Blackcomb for $1.4 Billion

Soon your Epic Ski Pass gets you riding in the Great White North.


View of Whistler Blackcomb Ski-Lift
View from under Big Red Express. Whistler-Blackcomb, BC.

Vail Resorts Inc’s $1.4 Billion friendly takeover of Whistler Blackcomb aims at making skiing and snowboarding cheaper for everyone.  The proprieter of 13 resorts across the world just added the biggest gem to its collection with Whistler and on Monday, August 8th, they entered into an agreement to acquire them.  This makes Vail Resorts owner of half of the 10 busiest ski areas on the North American Continent with Whistler Blackcomb, Vail, and Breckenridge being the top 3.

This deal comes only months after the British Columbia Provincial government approved of Aquilini Investment Group’s plan to build a $3.5 billion Ski Resort in Garibaldi Park at Squamish, BC, which is about at 45 minute drive south of Whistler.  Also, Vail Resorts plans on honoring Whistler’s $345 million investment plan, the Renaissance Project, to create more offerings of additional four-season, weather-independent activities to make Whistler Blackcomb a better, more expansive year-round resort.


And What It Mean’s for You.


For now?  Nothing yet.  As of right now, the Season Pass for Whistler Blackcomb is still valid for 2016/2017 and the current 2016/2017 Epic Pass from Vail Resorts (which includes Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, Park City, etc.  Visit www.snow.com for more info.) does not include access for Whistler Blackcomb.  However, Vail Resorts has confirmed that the Epic Pass will include Whistler-Blackcomb for the 2017/2018 season and that it has no intention of drastically raising its rates for the very inclusive Epic Pass.

For reference, the Whistler Season Pass for 2017 is regularly priced at $2049.00 CAD while the Epic Pass for 2017 is priced at $809 USD.  So come Winter 2017/2018, Americans will gain a giant resort for the taking and Canadians will see a drastic price drop to their season pass.  Snow for Everyone!

 

Snowboarding Destination: Whistler-Blackcomb Mtn., BC.

Whistler Blackcomb
Overlooking Whistler-Blackcomb Resort

Located two hours north of Vancouver in the spectacular Coast Mountains of British Columbia, Whistler Blackcomb is not just Canada’s favorite ski-resort, but according to 2016’s Telegraph Ultra Awards and Ski Magazine, the number 1 ski-resort of the world.  There are two colossal mountains, Whistler and Blackcomb, connected with the longest continuous lift system, the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola, with a combined 8,171 acres of accessible terrain serviced by 37 lifts for skiers and riders across the world.

Also known as North America’s largest ski resort, these two massive mountains offer more than 200 marked trails that include perfectly groomed trails, secluded glades, powder-filled bowls, in-bounds back country riding, and wide-open glaciers available deep into the summer months.  Freestyle Skiers and Snowboarders will find six terrain parks ranging from beginner to insane, including a 22 foot Super Pipe. Averaging 462 inches of snowfall each year, there’s something for everyone at Whistler Blackcomb.

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How to Get There


The best way to get to Whistler is by flying into Vancouver International Airport (YVR), grabbing (renting) a car and driving through Downtown Vancouver, across the Lions Gate Bridge and onto the Sea to Sky Highway:

 

 

From Downtown Vancouver to Whistler usually takes around 1.5 to 2hrs by car, depending on traffic. However, if you plan on going to Whistler just to see the sights, there are plenty of other stops along the way that you should definitely consider:

  • Horseshoe Bay – A quaint, picturesque waterfront village on the North Shore that is home to the Horsehoe Bay Ferry Terminal, which gets you to How Sound, the Sunshine Coast, and Vancouver Island.
  • Britannia Mining Museum – A former copper mine in Howe Sound that has been converted into a museum that preserves the history of British Columbia’s Mining Industry.
  • Shannon Falls – The third highest falls in BC composed of a series of cliffs rising 335 meters above Highway 99.
  • Squamish – Considered the halfway point between Downtown Vancouver and Whistler and is known as the Outdoor Recreation Capital of Canada.
  • Alice Lake – This Provincial Park is a group of four lakes surrounded by towering mountains, dense forests and grassy areas.
  • Tantalus Lookout – One of the most spectacular viewpoints along the Sea to Sky Highway.
  • Brandywine Falls – A 70 meter waterfall and park that provides opportunities for picnics, hiking, and mountain biking.

For those without a car, Whistler offers a shuttle bus that can pick you up from either Vancouver International Airport or Downtown Vancouver.

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