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Whistler Off Piste recommendations

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi

I'm heading to Whistler for a couple of weeks in March with a couple of friends (We're all Boarders)

Has anyone any experience or recommendations for guiding or guides?

I know Whistler has a lot of "in bounds" off piste and there's legendary routes like Spanky's Ladder and the Flute Bowl accessible relatively easily to most competent punters.

However has anyone had a day out with a guide accessing in bounds routes or perhaps some side country just outside the boundary?

I obviously know there's Heli and Cat options locally but also wondered about hiring a guide and getting shown round the spots accessible with a lift pass and/or short hike.

It goes without saying, even with differing attitudes to avi control and what is deemed in off piste in Europe vs North america, all necessary safety precautions will be taken

Cheers
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@0xley, check out extremely canadian , http://www.extremelycanadian.com they do a variety of in and out of bounds courses and adventures , great quality of instructors/guides , other one to look at is corvus http://corvussnowboarding.com/our-story/
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
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Iíd do a day with whistler heli, especially if you havenít heliskied before. Itís not the same experience as a private heli lodge but it is still very cool. I think youíll find plenty of lift served, Avi controlled terrain inbounds such that you donít feel the need for a guide
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Iíve used a couple of guiding companies in Whistler, however both were related to ski touring rather than boarding, unless you are split boarding.

http://whistlerskiguides.com/

https://www.mountainskillsacademy.com/

One thing to be aware of is that any new snow fall is referred to as powder, rather than new snow. Also, any new snow that falls doesnít last long, due to both numbers and snow type. Typically anything inbounds will be tracked before mid day. I guess that is one of the reasons they quote total season snow fall, rather than current snow depths like European resorts.

When I was there in March 2015, the village was bare of snow, mountain bikes were being hired/ridden, and the bottom third of the mountain was slush in the afternoon. You will almost certainly be rained on in the village, even if it snowing higher up.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Extremely Canadian employ good local people, although I think they're owned by the resort now.

I know these guys from my mis-spent yoof: http://altusmountainguides.com/

https://powdermountaincatskiing.com/ is owned by washed-up professional snowboarders with whom I've some connection. Their guides all board (although they will usually ski if most of the customers are skiers). They run both cats and heli. The other operator is owned by the resort. You do get Extremely Canadian customers out there, sometimes with their guides, although that's over the top in that all heli/ cat parties have guides etc. The disadvantage of heli here is that you have to pretty much wait until the snow stops falling, but in whistler the snow's best whilst it's falling. If you're fussy like me.

Like any major resort Whistler gets a lot of traffic and they track things out quickly. If you want inbounds untracked, then you need a small family resort which the wannabes ignore. I know a few, and I'm not telling. On the other hand Whistler is coastal, so the snow's best pretty much as it's falling, so you do want to get it whilst it's fresh.

...wondered about hiring a guide and getting shown round the spots accessible with a lift pass and/or short hike.
It's been a while since I bothered, but when I rode at the resort with my local mates, they took me to precisely those places, so I think that's worth a look.
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"I know these guys from my mis-spent yoof: http://altusmountainguides.com/ "

corvus are part of altus but for boarders , my son has been doing some shadowing with these guys this winter and says they're very good guys

@PowderAdict, the resort is defiantly not tracked out in half a day after new snow , you just have to know where to look wink

@0xley, so a guide or local knowledge is very useful to explore the hidden gems and the near backcountry options that abound in whistler
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Thanks for the tips people.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Get the advanced guide:
https://www.quickdrawpublications.com/product/advancedexpert-ski-and-snowboard-guide-to-whistler-blackcomb-2nd-edition/

You will probably find there is enough in bounds off piste to keep you occupied, especially if you know where to look (see guidebook). For example spankies alone is 3 bowls each with numerous lines, flute has plenty of lines. Then there is lots of other short hike to terrain e.g. opal zone, excitation and exhilaration, ladies first. That's without all the inbounds lift serviced stuff, which includes plenty of expert terrain.

From blackcomb glacier there is some out of bounds hikes but they are rather long. Out of bounds on whistler there is some slack country (khbers,million dollar ridge) but everything else (musical bumps) you would really need a split board. By the time you've hired a guide and avy gear its not worth the money for what is likely to be 1 or 2 runs.

Its true the obvious stuff gets tracked out quick. If you know where to look not hard to find nice snow though. The idea that the whole resort is tracked out after half a day is laughable.
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Did the cat skiing today, simply awesome. Once you've done that you will be able to do the inbounds stuff yourself. Just get it booked.

Mix of boarders and skiers, but ample chance to go your own way / follow if you wanted.

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I would second the suggestion from boarder2020 that said get the advanced resort guidebook, and do your own exploring - there is a huge amount to keep you busy, but there are some very serious lines in there so do the research and look before you leap. This book covers a huge amount of terrain that in Europe we'd probably consider "slack country".

If you do want to go backcountry, then I can strongly recommend Keith Reid - he is the lead guide at Extremely Canadian, he took a group of us for a day on some basic backcountry routes off Blackcomb glacier, Husume etc. The group included some who had never ski toured (and one split boarder) before, as well as some more experienced, and Keith was the best I have seen at teaching and managing the group in this situation. The best backcountry touring is in the alpine accessed from Blackcomb, so really it requires a clear day & stable snowpack to get the best out of it. If it's dumping, explore the trees in the resort.

Enjoy!
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
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These maps are flipping handy too. https://www.ullrmaps.com
No data required just works on GPS so does not drain the phone
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
I second (3rd? 4th...?) Extremely Canadian.

My understanding it's a combination of guiding to "extreme" terrain, with instruction to prepare the "competent punters" for what will typically be encountered in those terrain, including specific tactics most applicable for the situation.

(I knew a few people who had taken the clinic, and an instructor )

One example mentioned by a former student: the group repeatedly practice jump off small cornices, progressing then to bigger and bigger ones as the day went by! Shocked
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