Whistler Blackcomb, B.C. Report: EPIC January + A Rainy Feb.

Peter Craigen | | Conditions ReportConditions Report
January in Whistler was flippin’ AWESOME. Photo: Craig Barker

 

Whistler just capped off one of the snowiest months in recent history. 

With over 400cm of the good stuff falling in the month of January alone, the base and snowpack have finally caught up to historical averages. So far, over 670cm or 265 inches of snow has fallen in the 2019/2020 season.

Whistler’s snowfall totals in 2019/2020. Credit: Whistler Blackcomb

 

Pillow poppers in early January. Photo: Craig Barker

Although the snowfall totals are catching up to a typical season in the Coast Mountains, this winter has been anything but typical. Last week almost 100mm of precipitation fell in the Sea to Sky Corridor with rain reaching up to approximately 2000 meters. Most of the mountain has been decimated by rain crust but a very small portion above 2000 meters remains unaffected.

Unfortunately, particularly spicy avalanche conditions mean the upper alpine terrain still exists in a highly precarious state right now. This year’s challenging snowpack has affected everyone from backcountry users to resort skiers.

Read More: Pique News Magazine – Expert panel calls for culture shift in Whistler backcountry this winter

Jonas absolutely ripping into some firm chalky snow in the pipeline on February 3rd. Photo: Peter Craigen

Even with challenging conditions, if you are willing to go find it, there is good snow to be had!

Jonathan Penfield dropping in! Photo: Peter Craigen
Pillows under the Crystal Chair are hard as rocks. Don’t worry, we took the groomers down. Photo: Peter Craigen

We spent our morning lapping top to bottom runs from the top of the Crystal Chair. Starting at 1827 meters in elevation all the way down to the base at 675 meters elevation was quite the leg burner. The mid-mountain was icy but below 1000 meters had some fun turns under the snowguns!

After that, we decided it was time to get into the alpine. When 7th Heaven Chairlift cracked, we headed straight over to see what we could find up high. Rumors of massive avalanche debris in Saudan Couloir and a horde of skiers at the drop-in made us re-evaluate to a chute near secret bowl.

Whisky Jacks on the Seventh Heaven chairlift have been especially friendly recently. Photo: Peter Craigen

The snow was firm and chalky but it skied well. It was clear on the bottom half our descent we were skiing the bed surface of a recent slab avalanche bombed by ski patrol.

The boys are stoked to finally ski a decent line! Photo: Peter Craigen

After chatting with Patrol and making sure to obey all signage, we were lucky to have access into this zone.

After a few more laps to the bottom and we decided it was time to hike the Chimney. Our last lap of the day we scored untouched, boot deep pow. Everyone was surprised and stoked at how well it skied.

Looking at the Sarah Burke Memorial at the top of the Chimney on Blackcomb. Photo: Peter Craigen
Lauren makes her way up the chimney searching for some elusive powder on the upper mountain. Photo: Peter Craigen
Of course, no day is complete without some apres at RMU Blackcomb. Conditions in the bar were definitely firing. Photo: Peter Craigen

Skiers on the Coast are looking forward to a reset soon but for everyone that skied hard in January, there was a lot of snow to be had.

Photo Tour

January in Whistler: Photo: Colin Williams
Hard not to be stoked: Photo: Maddie Lafleur
The Gang at the top of Glacier Chair after hours. Photo: Peter Craigen
Jersey Cream
Uploading wait times have been challenging with such limited alpine terrain open this year. Photo: Peter Craigen
The lower mountain pillows have been decimated by the February rain.

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8 thoughts on “Whistler Blackcomb, B.C. Report: EPIC January + A Rainy Feb.

  1. 160″ is one of their snowiest months in history? That’s cute compared to when Squaw got 215″ in February of 2019.

    1. Hey way are you sqawguys always trying to one up every snowfall Whistler is so much more of a mountain then squaw it , Way nicer people everyone at squaw thinks her a local or a bad ass or owns the mountain And when someone claims to gets good snow squaw says should’ve been at my mountain SQUAW SUCKS

    2. Thanks for the comment! 160 certainly isn’t the snowiest month Whistler has ever had but it is definitely a big one. Looks like Squaw has hit about 207″ for the season so far this year. Hope you are getting out there!

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