Every winter, snow forecasters try to predict what the winter will bring. They form educated guesses about specific areas and the long term forecast. The talk for the Coastal BC Range in Canada was that El Nino would bring another warm winter, leaving skiers to constantly check freeze and rainfall levels in the valley. Some decided to not risk another poor winter and headed north or to the interior mountain ranges. Others waited, crossing their fingers waiting for winter to hit.
Max Moffat and I piled into the truck and started the drive from Calgary, Alberta to Whistler, BC. Our goal was to to spend the week shooting in Whistler with Liberty Skis Athlete Joe Schuster. As we arrived in Vancouver, we were greeted with a heavy rainfall warning. Still optimistic, we continued past Vancouver to Whistler. As we pulled into town, the sky was filled with large, light snowflakes.
The storm cycle from the previous evening had left 15 inches of fresh and dry snow. Whistler and the Coastal Mountains are not known for super dry snow, but rather large dumps of heavier snow, so we were stoked. As the morning sun broke through the windows, we quickly packed up the truck and headed to the base of Blackcomb. The lift line was filled with smiles and high fives. Whistler, like many great ski destinations, is not the resort where your friends are willing to wait if the conditions are good. There is a certain feeling on a resort powder day. You feel as if others would do anything to get the good snow before you. The competitive, aggressive atmosphere makes the ski hill feel similar to a battle field, but we just concentrated on all the fresh snow waiting for us.
Max Moffatt was the rookie on the trip. Being brought up on the East Coast, he had very little opportunity to ski pow. Don’t let this Canadian National Team park skier fool you though, he can ski, and is not afraid of going fast or big. He smashed pillows, dropped cliffs and skied lines without hesitation. He was able to keep up with local legends that had spent their whole lives skiing Whistler.
The storm just never seemed to stop. After four days of deep powder skiing, we had to head home. Sharing stories of tomahawks and face shots, we left Whistler in the rear view mirror.