Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Couloir Not-so-Extreme

It's a couple of days into the Whistler trip and the whole family is in a random internet cafe, checking in with our "real lives" to make sure nothing is burning down or otherwise disastrous. No pictures right now, because my brother and I have been having too much fun. Also, the light hasn't been great. Except when we were having too much fun. We started on Monday. Bad visibility, questionable snow surface, but Zach and I did some good runs in the top bowls and off the Harmony ridge line (for people who really want to follow my adventures, the Whistler web site has a map.) We also did a couple of nose runs down incredibly steep pistes, stuff I wouldn't have attempted on my own on my board, even though I don't feel quite as strong on my skis, which were the weapon of choice that day.

On Tuesday, we decided to check out the Blackcomb side. It was windy, but visibility was excellent. Zach and I wanted to do either the glacier or the 7th Heaven area, but the glacier lifts opened first. The wind was so strong that it constantly renewed the glacier, so it was a relatively dense run, but still with the feel of powder turns. I found it much harder to do the traverse at the end than the run itself, which has been a theme with the re-learning skiing experience. After a couple glacier runs, Zach decided it would be a good idea to do Blowhole, which is pretty much what it sounds like, so we did that twice, and then a run through some high bowls near the glacier. Blowhole is another run I might not have attempted without him there to overcome my better judgement.

Today was a fresh day. I started on skis, because it was only about five inches, not enough for me to consider it a true powder day. I got a couple really nice turns in the smoother, less tracked stuff but as soon as Zach and I got shunted back onto the main route I decided that it was deep enough and choppy enough for me to want to be back on my more familiar equipment, so I switched and we reconnected at one for lunch. On the board, the moguls were still unpleasant but I could get through them and I had a lot more fun in the choppy snow that was left of the fresh stuff. The day culminated with a run through Couloir Extreme and a run through Jersey Cream Bowl. Zach has decided that if he can do a run, it doesn't deserve to be called "Extreme." I was proud of my descent of Jersey Cream Bowl because it had some really good powder turns and started with my first drop over a cornice angled at more than 90 degrees from the horizontal. Zach points out that I went down with my board perpendicular to the fall line and it doesn't count, but I say it still does. It just wasn't good. Tomorrow...

It's raining out down here at the village level, but with a vertical mile to play on, I think that things should rock up on the mountain.

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