Report from Monday, March 9, 2020
We’ve been at Whitewater Ski Resort in British Columbia for three days now and every run we’ve taken since we got here has been a powder lap.
I shit you not.
The storm finally cleared yesterday afternoon gifting Whitewater with a 15 inch storm total.
Today was absolutely gorgeous.
Blower pow and bluebird.
What more could you possibly want?
“We don’t get a lot of these bluebird days often, so enjoy it,” said sales and marketing director of Whitewater Peter Lonergan.
This was not hard to do at all, especially after braving the tempest for the past couple of days.
The morning started off by us having to negotiate with our very tired and very angry legs.
It took many mellow morning laps in the trees off of the Glory chair and loads of stretching to get them limbered up.
Once we had some runs in us, it became time to hit a tour up to Prospector through one of Whitewater’s backcountry gates.
Little did we know what he had in store…
Touring up through the snow ghosts in the high alpine was something else.
These entities are peaceful.
Snow ghosts are something of an enigma — peculiar, yet stunning.
They are silent giants.
As we toured through the snow-blasted forest, we didn’t hear a single sound.
No other skiers.
As we came out of the forest to the top of the next summit, we were greeted with quite the surprise.
A slack line had been put in place over a couloir and a woman was walking on it, some 100 feet above the slope below.
What in the hell?
A photographer there told us that the woman on the slack line was Mia Noblet — a professional slack liner, ski tourer, and world-record holder.
We had no idea this was going to pop up on the skin track.
And it only got better.
When we got there, there was a man with his skis on peering over the edge of a cornice that was situated on top of a very large cliff.
After watching Mia do the slack line for a while, we start to see this man side-stepping back up above the cornice like he was about to drop it.
Next thing you know, the photographer’s drone starts flying.
A radio chirps:
“Hey, you ready up there?”
We knew exactly what was going to happen next.
Mia was balancing on the slack line when you hear the skier up above yell,
Then, with the smoothest, slowest possible rotation, this man floated a massive 360 off the cliff into the very steep landing below.
We held our breath while he was in the air, which felt like forever…
Then BOOM! He stomps it and rides off clean.
Everyone on the cliffs above were screaming with excitement.
“What the hell did we just witness?” I asked my touring partner.
We left behind the slack line with Mia still balancing 100 feet up in the air and continued our tour.
We found our line.
Being new to the area and the region’s snowpack, we chose a relatively conservative descent.
But one that still had a dramatic cliff at its entry that you could send off of into bottomless powder.
We were inspired by the show we had just witnessed a few hundred yards back.
Now it was our turn.
I sent the cliff into what could have been some of the best turns I’ve made all season.
Sure, they would have been better if I could’ve actually seen through the powder cloud that was trying to drown me.
But I wasn’t complaining.
Next, we found another pillow that you could send off of into more powder.
It was about 15 feet big, more or less.
My touring partner Devin sent it only to exhibit the best tomahawk I’ve ever seen in my life.
He probably cartwheeled a full five times before coming to a halt.
Well done, Devin.
After he recovered his skis, we went down to the Summit chair.
We took it up and came right back to the same skinner — we had to get a little more of that action.
We hit a quick tour up to the first ridge and went scouting for some more pillows.
I found a fallen over tree covered with snow that had my name written all over it.
It was the perfect takeoff.
So I popped it into a field of untouched powder and got my fix.
All smiles after that.
Today was one for the books and I still cannot get over how amazing the conditions were.
We really got lucky with how we timed this trip.
Bluebird powder days are not the most frequent thing to come by here.
Either way, Whitewater is a hell of a place, I’ll tell you that much.
Tomorrow, we set off for Big Sky, Montana for stop two on our powder pilgrimage…