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Whistler for Low Intermediate

compost

Certified Ski Diva
#1
I’m basically most comfortable on hard greens and easy blues. Life long fear of heights makes me less into anything that feels steep.

Myself and my advanced skier BF are going to Whistler this weekend and Sun Peaks next week. We have skied Sun Peaks previously so I’m fairly comfortable in my choices there, but Whistler is a different story.

If anyone can suggest some good runs and lifts to cycle that would be awesome. Ideal situation is to find lift that has some variety that would make me and the BF happy, we meet back up at the bottom of the lift after most runs. To get an idea of what I like, At sun peaks I like Morrisey best lots fun blues and blacks and double blacks for the BF.

We are staying at the Hilton which is in the main Whistler village I believe.

I’m also open to skiing some runs with any of you who are around on Sunday or Monday or if you’re at Sun Peaks Wednesday to Sunday. Always nice to make new friends and have fun.
 

Christy

Angel Diva
#2
The runs off the Emerald chair would be the main place for you, and your BF can ski the blacks that you can access from there like ratfink. But since that's where you will find lower-level skiers that have graduated from the true beginner area, you may not want to ski there all that much, especially on the weekend.

If the visibility is good, you can do the blue runs off of Symphony chair, like Jeff's ode to Joy, and he can take some of the routes that go into the bowl or glades down. These are some of the mellower blues at WB, besides the ones off of Emerald chair. But if there's a cloud hung up on the top of the mountain then don't do it. It's really tough to find your way around up there when it's in a cloud.

I think it's worth trying some of the blues off of Crystal Ridge chair; he can ski blacks there. Same with Seventh Heaven. (The top part can be tough in flat light or bad visibility at 7th, though.) Well for that matter same with Excelerator-- there are both blues that are fairly average for Whistler plus blacks.

Avoid Franz's. It's always scoured. It's basically the only blue down in that area so it just get so skied out.

If there's been some freeze/thaw or if you're just getting tired of the end of the day, there is no shame in downloading. It can get really crowded at the end of the day as everyone funnels down into the same runs, and of course if it's frozen and thawed at the lower elevations then it could be icy or slushy.

I've been to Sun Peaks but I don't remember individual runs or even areas so I can't compare anything to the one you mentioned. I'm really not sure how you will find the blues off of Crystal and Seventh Heaven. I think it all depends on what you're used to.
 
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Cantabrigienne

Certified Ski Diva
#3
Hey @compost - PM me, I should be going up next weekend too. I'm more of a Blackcomb side gal (that's where my sister's place is). If we don't meet up, my recs on that side would be to do a couple of laps of the new Catskinner chair - you can do Easy Out or Countdown your bf could do Bark Sandwich (black tree run) or Catskinner (black bumps run) and wait for each other to ride up. Over at Crystal, Ridge Runner & Twist + Shout are the nicest blues and there are plenty of black tree run cutouts for your bf to do while you stick to the main run. Avoid Rock'n'Roll unless you're good at bumps or if you see it groomed (I haven't seent it groomed in years, but miracles can happen I suppose)

The top half of Jersey Cream is a nice cruisey blue and your bf can take the Jersey Cream Wall down and/or stay high as he enters as there are a bunch of blacks on the far right of the bowl (Blowdown etc.) The bottom half is meh but it's like a giant halfpipe, so that takes away the fear factor to a large extent. You can also ski Wishbone ofrom of Jersey Cream too - that's the easiest blue on the whole mountain.

Agree with Christy about 7th Heaven. I find the top a bit daunting BUT you can always take the green road down for a few turns for an easier entrance Upper Panorama

I don't see much snow in the forecast so things are going be icy (by Whistler standards). But it's also going to be cold so the stuff I never ski in the bottom 1/3 of the mountain will probably be in very nice condition for a change. I have no opinion on Stoker/Grub Stake/Mainline although whatever way my nephew made me ski home (his route from ski school) was great and I realized that my laziness in always downloading from mid-mountain (I hate, hate, hate slush) meant I'd missed out on some nice terrain.
 

Cantabrigienne

Certified Ski Diva
#4
On the Whistler side, you could do Papoose to Pony Trail or Bear Cub while your BF does the Dave Murray Downhill, you'd have to meet up and take Expressway back to Garbanzo (which is totally worth lapping a few times, the Chic Pea is the best place to eat on the mountain.)
 

compost

Certified Ski Diva
#5
Thanks for the suggestions. I’m just arriving in Whistler tonight. Should be and interesting weekend artic winds and what not!
 

Melella

Diva in Training
#6
Sorry to hijack your post. I'm also going to Whistler in a couple months and am an intermediate skier as well, but am accustomed to the European rating system, where I'm comfortable with solid blues and easier reds, which I realize don't exist in North America. What would be the equivalent in N. America and do you recommend the same slopes as you did for compost? Are there lots of moguls on the blue runs? Because in France where we skied, by mid afternoon many blue slopes would be littered with tightly packed moguls, which make it much more difficult to ski. I will be going with my 10-yr-old daughter for the first time, who is around the same level as me.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
#7
I'm also going to Whistler in a couple months and am an intermediate skier as well, but am accustomed to the European rating system, where I'm comfortable with solid blues and easier reds, which I realize don't exist in North America. What would be the equivalent in N. America and do you recommend the same slopes as you did for compost?
Welcome! Just stopping by to tag @santacruz skier and @SkiBam because they have experience skiing in Europe. I know @SkiBam has skied at Whistler.

I will be going with my 10-yr-old daughter for the first time, who is around the same level as me.
Have you traveled anywhere in Canada before?
 
#8
Sorry to hijack your post. I'm also going to Whistler in a couple months and am an intermediate skier as well, but am accustomed to the European rating system, where I'm comfortable with solid blues and easier reds, which I realize don't exist in North America. What would be the equivalent in N. America and do you recommend the same slopes as you did for compost? Are there lots of moguls on the blue runs? Because in France where we skied, by mid afternoon many blue slopes would be littered with tightly packed moguls, which make it much more difficult to ski. I will be going with my 10-yr-old daughter for the first time, who is around the same level as me.
The blue groomers certainly get skied out; I wouldn't really call what remains "moguls" but it can get pretty chopped up/bumpy, particularly if there has been new snow. There are true mogul runs but I think they are all black. A lot of it depends on how busy it is. On weekdays it won't get as skied out of course.

You sound like a solid or even high intermediate and in that case, WB is your oyster. There is so much there for you. You might consider doing one of the free mountain tours. One nice thing about that is that since WB is so big, conditions can be different around the mountain, and the guides can give you tips on what is good right now.

Am I right that you prefer groomers? As long as visibility is good, plan on doing some of the iconic runs. The Saddle; the blues in the Seventh Heaven area; the blues in the Symphony area. The Dave Murray Downhill was the first black I ever skied--it's wide and not too steep, for a black, and is fun because they had the Olympic men's downhill course here. But there are many other great intermediate areas, like the runs off of Crystal.
 
#9
I recall the Dave Murray downhill as not being that steep. I actually thought it was blue. Just got home (then nasty flu with high fever) from skiing Switzerland. The Alps are hard to compare with anywhere else I've been as it's so vast and one run may take 45 minutes to get down. Or longer. As far as the ratings go, it really depends where you are. If you can ski reds, you'll be fine on WB runs unless really bumped up. I found the blacks in St Moritz, Davos, and Klosters to be not much different than the reds, which are not that different than blues-easy blacks in Tahoe. The big difference is you are skiing for miles and miles and everything is wide open and so vast , it's hard to get a reality check on whether the run is steep or not...... It snowed a lot while I was there and visibility was definitely a challenge at times in unknown terrain. You just have to go for it.
For you Stockli fans, I tried the AX and another one called Gamma for the week in St Moritz. Could not find a ski wider than 78 for the life of me. In Davos/Klosters skied a Nordica Astral 78...... also my boots went for a week long ride on the train without me so rented boots - Atomic Hawx Ultra Prime or something like that - at least a size too big. Okay I digress - back to topic.
 

Melella

Diva in Training
#10
Thanks everyone! Although I can ski the easier reds I definitely prefer to stick with the solid blues, so does my daughter, so I'm not sure if I can qualify myself as a high-intermediate ;)

The free mountain tour is a great idea for us to explore the mountain a bit with ppl who know the area well. I'll also try out the slopes you have mentioned, greatly appreciate the info :smile:

Is it true that North American slopes are better groomed than their European counterparts? I've skied in Big Bear & Lake Tahoe before (a long time ago though), and I don't remember ever seeing that many moguls on a blue run before. I was in Morzine/PDS earlier this month, which I loved, but past 3pm almost every single blue run down the mountain were packed with pretty good-sized moguls (there was plenty of fresh snow), which made the ski down much more challenging than expected.
 

Melella

Diva in Training
#11
I recall the Dave Murray downhill as not being that steep. I actually thought it was blue. Just got home (then nasty flu with high fever) from skiing Switzerland. The Alps are hard to compare with anywhere else I've been as it's so vast and one run may take 45 minutes to get down. Or longer. As far as the ratings go, it really depends where you are. If you can ski reds, you'll be fine on WB runs unless really bumped up. I found the blacks in St Moritz, Davos, and Klosters to be not much different than the reds, which are not that different than blues-easy blacks in Tahoe. The big difference is you are skiing for miles and miles and everything is wide open and so vast , it's hard to get a reality check on whether the run is steep or not...... It snowed a lot while I was there and visibility was definitely a challenge at times in unknown terrain. You just have to go for it.
For you Stockli fans, I tried the AX and another one called Gamma for the week in St Moritz. Could not find a ski wider than 78 for the life of me. In Davos/Klosters skied a Nordica Astral 78...... also my boots went for a week long ride on the train without me so rented boots - Atomic Hawx Ultra Prime or something like that - at least a size too big. Okay I digress - back to topic.
I'm also sick coming back from a ski trip, not fun. Portes du Soleil was huge (& cheap), with supposedly over 200km of slopes. If skiing leisurely only via the blue runs, it literally takes almost an hour to ski down from the top to the bottom without stopping. Does Whistler compare in terms of size?
 
#12
There's nothing in North America like the biggest resorts in Europe. But Whistler is very big for North America. I have skied down from the top from Blackcomb glacier or the Peak, but not without stopping LOL… I would guess for a good skier ski time would be about a half hour? maybe a little more?

I'm never skied in Europe so I can't give you a grooming comparison, but different resorts in North America will have a different emphasis on grooming. Some resorts are known for great grooming and others aren't. It's generally done right after the mountain closes for the day, so if there is snow overnight, it's not generally going to get groomed in. The less snow a resort gets, the less chance that you're going to have those chopped up, skied out runs. Whistler gets a lot of snow, so unless you're there during a dry spell if you're going to deal with that in the afternoon at least.

If you are really wanting to ski groomed slopes that are as smooth as possible, look for a resort that doesn't get as much snow as Whistler and is known for its grooming. Two places that come to mind are Sun Valley and Beaver Creek. Of course when you talk about resorts that get less snow, then you're talking about the increased chance that it will be hard packed conditions.
 
#13
I'm also sick coming back from a ski trip, not fun. Portes du Soleil was huge (& cheap), with supposedly over 200km of slopes. If skiing leisurely only via the blue runs, it literally takes almost an hour to ski down from the top to the bottom without stopping. Does Whistler compare in terms of size?
No Whistler doesn't compare in terms of size. I have skied Champery (Portes du Soleil) several times as had friend with chalet in Champery. Portes du Soleil is massive. There must be over 300 lifts... have done several "circuits" that take a full day and skied to other "stations" - chatel, super chatel, avoriaz, morzine etc. Have been to Whister/Blackcomb probably 6-7 times and it's huge but can't compare to anywhere I've skied in Europe.
As far as grooming, I've found ski resorts in the Alps love to groom their pistes and in North America, not every run is groomed and there are many areas with "blue" runs that may even have big bumps...
Think someone mentioned doing the mountain tour at Whistler and think that's a good idea. Let the host know your comfort zone and usually they break into groups of similar want/ability.
Hope you're feeling better. That was a nasty flu that I got the day after I returned home. Knocked me out as 102 1/2 fever that finally broke day before yesterday. Nurse friend said drink lots of water and keep drinking it. Guess it worked.
 

Cygnet

Certified Ski Diva
#14
I'd really recommend this book - https://www.quickdrawpublications.c...ki-and-snowboard-guide-to-whistler-blackcomb/. It gives details of every Intermediate run at Whistler/Blackcomb and makes it possible to choose where to go and, more importantly, where NOT to go! I have found the descriptions reliable. It includes the Dave Murray Downhill and another couple of blacks. There's also an advanced version....!

Also check out the grooming reports every day. The info is available on line and, I think, displayed by the main lifts.

I don't know the Blackcomb runs as well as the Whistler ones but some of the Whistler blues (eg The Saddle, top of Peak to Creek, bottomof GS going to Harmony Chair) are probably comparable to hard reds/easy blacks. Some of the greens have their challenges too. Pony Trail has a steep section and Pony Cub a very narrow part.

You can easily down load at the end of the day if the snow quality lower down is horrid.

When are you going?
 

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