Over the last week, winter has returned in the alpine of Whistler with a solid 55cm of new snow. There has not been much opportunity to shred powder in Whistler this year, so people came up over the weekend looking to get after it.
On Saturday, there was about a foot of fresh on the mountain. We rode Glacier chair and Spankey’s almost the entire day and had an awesome time. Some areas had windblown pockets making it feel even deep than it was. Of course this means that there were also some ridges and exposed small pitches that were really icy. The snow lower down, by the bottom of Spankey’s and Jersey was starting to get heavy later in the day.
On Monday we got another 7cm and the mountain was fairly empty in the morning. Most areas on the mountain were already skied out from the weekend crowd, but the little refresh kept some steeper and less ridden sections really good.
In the backcountry things are looking pretty sketchy. On Sunday a group of friends and I went out to a zone just North of Pemberton and saw three slides in one day. One was natural, one remote triggered, and the other was sledder triggered. I also heard about a kilometer wide slide in the Brandywine, south of Whistler, that occurred on the same day. The slides were occurring on the top foot or so of new snow that fell, and dropping to the prevalent facet layer below. Be careful when going to the backcountry as this layer propagates really well.