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Banff or Whistler

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
boarder2020 wrote:
Quote:

You don't need to be "shown" every single line though. They do try to move about to give you a taste of the different POSSIBLE lines you can later tackle on your own.


Yes but in the book or using ullr map you have (pretty much) every line to do at your pleasure. I've had people show me around mountains, and it's hard to take everything in even with the best guides. Whistler is such a big area I just think it would be hard to cover in 2 days - even with weather and snow conditions playing ball.

It's not a dig at extremely Canadian, most people love them, and doing their two day course is not a bad idea - in fact it would be a great intro (although probably want a couple of warm up days finding your ski legs first).

I think you miss the point for most holiday skier, even those with advanced skills. You won't have time to do the whole of Whistler in a short holiday anyway. So instead of going all over the whole resort, you want to be shown a few "sectors", which you can go back on your own. The 2 day introduction is perfect for a week to 10 days of self-exploration.

Keep in mind out of those 10 days, not everyday the high alpine is open.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I guess I'm the kind of person that likes a map/guidebook and to feel like I've covered everywhere, but I always do long stays so maybe a different mindset to what's best for a short visit.

I think with 10 days you can tick off quite a lot, of course not every line. Was trying to work out where I'd take someone to show them WB over 2 days. Figure one day per hill.

Blackcomb - upload and straight to 7th heaven. Warm up groomer lap down 7th on panorama. Then two laps of 7th one skiers left towards lakeside bowl area and one and one skiers right in the glades. Back up 7th and backside to secret bowl/pakalolo/cougar chutes. Up glacier and spankies to diamond bowl. Few laps of crystal maybe let's say fraggle rock for one and outer limits/Arthur's choice for another, but lots of fun stuff in that area. Another trip up spankies for sapphire bowl. Up crystal and ski down via in the spirit. Would be a good day but lots of places missing, no couloir extreme, chainsaw ridge, blackcomb glacier etc.
Whistler seems a little more difficult for a day. Would probably just lap harmony to begin - horseshoes, gun barrels, boomer bowl. Then excitation. Up peak chair to West bowl. I guess you "have to do" either Dave Murray or peak to creek. Maybe symphony or even flute too,although it's a bit of a trek out there and I find symphony area a bit flat and a super flat cat trail back. Tend to avoid whis bowl as it's always bumps, although cutting skiers right to surprise or shale slope is usually good or traversing really far left to Christmas trees so maybe one of them just to show whis bowl.

Not perfect but not a bad intro.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Quote:

I think with 10 days you can tick off quite a lot

Those 10 days might be half socked in (or the high alpine closed for avi control)...

Your "tour" is to see the mountains. But that's not what Extremely Canadians do. They only focus on stuff that you can't see from the chair!

On the other hand, they don't spend the entire day doing scary stuff. They HAVE TO evaluate the clients (to break up into similarly skilled groups). And because the idea is to "push the envelope", some runs will be done to work on skills specific for the terrain they're taking the group to.

Of the two days (which turned into 3) I did with them. One of them the high alpine wasn't open till like 2pm! We ended up spending all 3 days in Blackcomb because Whistler was slow to open after the storm. So that gives you an idea of what a "tourist stay" in WB is like!

On my previous visits, I skied Symphony and Harmony on my own. Bumped into a few locals here and there pointing out a few routes. But since I stayed at Blackcomb both times, I end up skiing Blackcomb a lot more.
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Other than excitation/exhilaration, spankies and West bowl I can't think of that much that's not at all visible from a chair. Do you remember the names of the steeps you did with them?
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
boarder2020 wrote:
Other than excitation/exhilaration, spankies and West bowl I can't think of that much that's not at all visible from a chair. Do you remember the names of the steeps you did with them?

Well, that's pretty much what we did! Smile

Multiple trips up and down those, doing different parts/lines.

But given those are lines *I* couldn't see from the chair, that's kind of the whole point TO ME!

More over, there's also that "how do you get there?" part even when the lines are visible from the chair! Connecting the visible line with the specific entrance is 90% of the game! Make a left instead of a right may sent one down a rock band instead of a perfectly powdery chute looking so sweet from the chair!

Another important point, for "tourist" who're only there for a week or 2, how much time does one want to spend "hunting" for lines in a particular day? Guessing the conditions based on the day's weather? With the Extremely Canadian course, those 2 days are sort of taken care of. And if the rest of the stay are similar in condition, it's a good starting point to expand from.

(while they emphasize the 2 day course, there's also a one day option, which is largely touring with no instructions. Most first timers don't know about it, and took the standard 2 day course. The 1 day course are usually for return customers)
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Hate to agree with @abc wink but I too think that if you are new to the area, you'd find a lot more good stuff skiing for a couple of days with Extremely Canadian than trying to find it on a map, and though you can perhaps at least partially see most inbounds steep runs from some chair or another (Spankies, West ridge. West Bowl excepted), finding how to get into them, knowing you are actually good enough, conditions are good enough, or generally not dying (literally Skullie ) is another thing altogether
Ironically I was just talking today about several random people I've came across and had to guide out of some quite precarious places due to the fact they tried to find some run or another themselves with no idea where they were going - this approach I would highly not recommend! Madeye-Smiley

@boarder2020, You can see Excitation and Exhilaration from the Peak or Red chair, maybe you were thinking of The Cirque which you can't really see, or perhaps the Glacier Couloir or West Cirque where you can't really see the entrances (often the harder bit!) from a chair?
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
I didn't think there was a particularly good view of excitation and exhilaration from peak chair, but I have not been to Whistler for a few years so maybe just how I remember it,you are probably right. Yes cirque should be added to the list of runs you can't see. I guess chimney grey zone on blackcomb are pretty hiiden too.

I'm not disagreeing that extremely Canadian is not going to result in 2 days better skiing than you would get using the guidebook for 2 days. But then what for the next 10 days? As good as that stuff is there is a lot more to Whistler (especially for when the alpine is closed or visibility not good). For example, I barely skied West bowl as while it has awesome terrain and usually good snow, it's quite a boring ski out followed by at least 2 chairs to get back up to the alpine. On the other hand I could easily spend a day lapping crystal or 7th chairs with all the different glades and fun areas.

Thankfully there's no reason op can't do both. I mean if you are paying for a big trip and some days with extremely Canadian the $20 or whatever it is now for the guidebook is not going to hurt too much.
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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!
boarder2020 wrote:
I didn't think there was a particularly good view of excitation and exhilaration from peak chair, but I have not been to Whistler for a few years so maybe just how I remember it,you are probably right. Yes cirque should be added to the list of runs you can't see. I guess chimney grey zone on blackcomb are pretty hiiden too.


They all look very different from the top anyway! Shocked Madeye-Smiley - though the book description of standing on West Cirque and imagining a fall will end in the village was fairly accurate description of how I felt the first time I skied it!


boarder2020 wrote:


Thankfully there's no reason op can't do both. I mean if you are paying for a big trip and some days with extremely Canadian the $20 or whatever it is now for the guidebook is not going to hurt too much.


Agreed, it is a really good book anyway, and if you can get hold of it in advance, then great to get a bit of a feel for the place
I was actually trying to find my copy today to explain to MrsH the intricacies of the runs round Winky Pop and Surfs Up, which is where I found one of the aforementioned random people who was unknowingly straying towards it - or worse still, not exactly towards it! Shocked

You're right about west bowl and the lengthy run out, though it can be made a little less boring by traversing right across at the bottom of Christmas trees and hitting up the bits underneath west ridge and then across again to under VD trees (known as Grandmas Kitchen I believe). For me I'd say it's worth it as in good conditions Christmas Trees is probably my favourite run on the mountain, and you can precede it with West Cirque which makes for an awesome lap on a powder day.
Alternatively can be an end of day run and big thigh burner down to Dusty's - there are better ways down in good pow, but not somewhere on the map or that Extremely Canadian will be able to go snowHead
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boarder2020 wrote:

I'm not disagreeing that extremely Canadian is not going to result in 2 days better skiing than you would get using the guidebook for 2 days. But then what for the next 10 days?

But you totally missed my point!

Someone like yourself who proclaimed to be a self motivated route finder would simply follow the back of a guide without observing the surrounding? And ONLY know the one and only one line you were led down and nothing else?

But perhaps due to your dislike of group outings you never learned to ask or listen to gather information from your guide on lines in the vicinity?

But you would much prefer to read a book to get that same information instead?
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charlie26 wrote:
Thanks for the replies I won’t have a car we are both advanced skiers but in our fifties so wild apres is not required but we do like a good drink they both sound great the ease of skiing into the village of Whistler seems to be favourable less travelling more


If you were going for two weeks, it might possibly count. If you're going for "a season" as you stated initially, I'm not sure if it's so relevant.
And I'm in my early fifties but certainly not an advanced skier, and as mentioned above the coach ride back from LL is great for forty winks and being refreshed for the evening, when you're no longer a bionic 19 year old.

An extra thought - how much could the question be "where should we be based"? Maybe it will cost more but you could even take advantage of being over there and going from one to the other. If you base in Whistler - which I think I'd prefer for the larger and colder part of the winter, from what I hear - you could then grab a couple of weeks in March when its warmer and lift tickets are cheaper and it's lower season, and try two weeks in Banff.

I put a trip report in my signature, with as much guidance as I could fit, and I have another one from a couple of years' before (but sigs are now limited, I couldn't fit that one too). See if they help you at all.

But I think someone had it above, answering Which One - "Yes" Very Happy
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Quote:

Someone like yourself who proclaimed to be a self motivated route finder would simply follow the back of a guide without observing the surrounding? And ONLY know the one and only one line you were led down and nothing else?

But perhaps due to your dislike of group outings you never learned to ask or listen to gather information from your guide on lines in the vicinity?


Actually I nearly always do the free tours when I get to a new mountain, ask lots of questions to the person guiding and try to suss things out. Always been a good experience, I'm not against groups or guiding at all. In fact I keep saying extremely Canadian come highly recommended, so I'm not sure why you get that idea?! It's one thing cruising around on some groomers at a fairly relaxed pace while someone points something out, but I think I would struggle to take as much in while being pushed towards my limit. Also from what you say extremely Canadian is focused on steeps more than showing the whole mountain. It's great if you only want to ski steeps, but I'd rather be shown a wide range of runs (your preferences may vary), as like I say some of my favourite areas don't really feature steeps..

Quote:

But you would much prefer to read a book to get that same information instead?


I like doing things at my own pace. Forecast low visibility tomorrow - let me have a read through the guidebook of the gladed runs. No snow in a while - let's look at the flute bowl section. Sometimes I want to ski steeps, sometimes I want to relax on some groomers, some days I even change my mind halfway through.

The guidebook also covers the whole mountain, not just the steeps which is nice.

Of course a day with an experienced guide is going to result in a better day than a self-guided day with even the best guidebook 99.9% of the time. Some of us don't have the money for guides everyday. The guidebook was absolutely invaluable for my season there. For those that are just visiting for a weekend of course get a guide to get the most out of it.

Quote:

If you're going for "a season" as you stated initially


I'm not sure they are going for the season. It can be read both ways, so I tried to cover both with my replies.

Quote:

Christmas Trees is probably my favourite run on the mountain


Definitely up there for me too.
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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.
@abc I just reread back a little. You said extremely Canadian focuses on the stuff you can't see from the lift. I said there's only really spankies, excitation/exhilaration, and West bowl. You're reply "that's pretty much what we did doing laps up and down those, different parts and lines".

Interesting that you did all them, when only one is on blackcomb and you say they didn't take you to Whistler. It's almost like in 3 days you didn't take much in as you clearly don't know where you skied. Maybe an argument for the guidebook after all. snowHead

Quote:

there are better ways down in good pow, but not somewhere on the map or that Extremely Canadian will be able to go


Million Dollar -> kybers could be whistlers worst kept secret. Yet people still end up in cakehole
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
boarder2020 wrote:
@abc I just reread back a little. You said extremely Canadian focuses on the stuff you can't see from the lift. I said there's only really spankies, excitation/exhilaration, and West bowl. You're reply "that's pretty much what we did doing laps up and down those, different parts and lines".

Interesting that you did all them, when only one is on blackcomb and you say they didn't take you to Whistler. It's almost like in 3 days you didn't take much in as you clearly don't know where you skied. Maybe an argument for the guidebook after all. snowHead

Sorry, I didn't bother to go look at the map to refresh my memory.

What we did was different sector off Spakies and then off the back side at top of 7th Heaven. We did go up Whistler but got turned around due to some sort of rescue going on. (that's why we got "comp'ed" for a 3rd day, which in effect was still a 2 day course). But we got shown the lines we didn't ski. I would remember it when I look at a map (which I don't at the moment and not too keen on dicking for one).

Of the 12 (or 13) days I was at WB, Whistler high alpine was only opened 2 days (Blackcomb about 5-6). The best study of the guide book wouldn't have given anybody a better knowledge of Whistler side!
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Whistler is the crown jewel of Canadian Skiing.

The drive to Whistler is worth the trip on it's own.

The Apres at Whistler is worth going for as well.

I've often said, the best day at Whistler cannot be beat anywhere.

Thing is, you don't always get the best days at Whistler....but I'd always take the chance. I've done about 50 days at Whistler, and I'd say 10 of them weren't great. 20 were beyond spectacular. The other 20 were great.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
boarder2020 wrote:


Quote:

there are better ways down in good pow, but not somewhere on the map or that Extremely Canadian will be able to go


Million Dollar -> kybers could be whistlers worst kept secret. Yet people still end up in cakehole


You keep mixing quoting me with@abc - so I keep missing replying to them! Smile

Cakehole tends to sucker people in who have no idea what lurks below - despite the signs indicating what is likely to happen!
I am not a great example of flawless navigation either! Madeye-Smiley Even though I have skied Khybers and Million Dollar Ridge quite a bit, somehow I have still managed to get carried away and end up in Khybers having intended to do a quick run down Million Dollar Ridge to Peak-creek (which though not exactly a big deal, does make it quite a bit more substantial and further from civilization!) Embarassed

Here's a guide to where really not to go
https://unofficialnetworks.com/2012/03/07/khyber-pass-adventure-wrong-common-mistake-whistler-area/
and more advice for places not to go:
https://whistlersar.blogspot.com/2016/11/how-not-to-get-lost-in-whistler.html
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
just my two pence worth , the guide book is a great read and gives a very good overview of each zone on both mountains and some great beta of what to ski and when's best to go whilst also giving very good warnings of the pit falls , if anyone interested in the resort " off piste " whistler/blackcomb " has to offer it sets the scene very well . great for revision or first time info

I always book a couple of days with ex can to get back into the groove but worth bearing in mind they only able to work within the ski boundary so there's a limit to how far they can and will show u the goods .

last couple of years skiing with locals has opened my eyes to just how vast the place is and how many "secret spots " there are , but also just how easy it is to get into trouble with the smallest wrong turn .

a perfect holiday in whistler for me would be a blend of ex can course / backcountry guided adventures / and days of exploring with friends , added to that blasting out quiet weekday groomer laps

but for the OP a trip to either LL or WB won't disappoint and then just try the other one when they return the following year
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