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Whistler Blackcomb ordered to close

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
The iconic Canadian skiing resort of Whistler Blackcomb in British Columbia has been ordered to close by the provincial health officer, following a surge in confirmed cases of Covid-19.

Dr. Bonnie Henry announced the closure of North America’s largest ski resort at a press conference on Monday afternoon, following an outbreak of the P.1 (Brazilian) coronavirus variant of concern (VOC). The shutdown will be active as of midnight on Tuesday and Henry also confirmed that cases had been found in other communities linked to travel from the Whistler area.

The resort will stay closed until at least April 19th and people who have been in the area have been advised to monitor for symptoms of Covid-19 and get tested and stay home if they develop any signs that they may have Covid-19.
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Its a shame it has had to close, especially with all the good work the mountain has been doing.

I know "apre" is a big part of holidays but I think a better approach would have been to close all the bars and leave the mountain open. Then people could still enjoy the mountain but then would spend the rest of the day at home / apartment rather than the bars where it sounds like most of the cases are coming from
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Perhaps, although the business model of resorts like that do somewhat depend on the revenue from those other things, which is one reason why the "epic pass" thing works so well. It may feel "free" to the punters, but they're still spending money with all those resort-controlled enterprises. Coupled with that it's kind of late in the day for Whistler anyway. Other hills are available.
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Quote:

Perhaps, although the business model of resorts like that do somewhat depend on the revenue from those other things, which is one reason why the "epic pass" thing works so well. It may feel "free" to the punters, but they're still spending money with all those resort-controlled enterprises.


Yep, if they are not open the resort is going to be losing out on a big part of its income. That said, it looks like epic are going to have to refund some money on epic passes as this will count as a core season closure of over 7 days - so lifts closed may be even worse financially.

Not that the resort seems to have had any say in the matter, the closure was forced by government.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
If anyone hasn't skied a few days this late in the season, they'll be entitled to some refund. I think the bulk of pass holders had used their passes enough days to get zero refund.

(the Americans who couldn't use their pass would have long ago got their refund -- or at least qualified under the border closure clause)
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@abc looks like anyone that did more than 6 days will not be eligible. Lots of complaints by people with edge cards with unused days on their Facebook page.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Rob_Quads wrote:
Its a shame it has had to close, especially with all the good work the mountain has been doing.

I know "apre" is a big part of holidays but I think a better approach would have been to close all the bars and leave the mountain open. Then people could still enjoy the mountain but then would spend the rest of the day at home / apartment rather than the bars where it sounds like most of the cases are coming from


Agree. I think the mountain did a pretty good job, and worked hard to make it work. I think they could have been a bit stricter on what constitutes a mask - I believe at some European resorts it had to be a proper N95 equivalent mask, but generally tried to make the spacing and mask wearing and limited inside and reduced contact work.

It also puzzled me a bit as to why indoor restaurants, bars, and hotels were open, since the guidance is to stay outside, stay away from people outside of you household, and not travel far enough to need a hotel
I think the last few weeks things slipped a bit more and the Province is not blame free imho. They have been relaxing controls like allowing indoor religious services, and allowing groups of 10 - which looking at the bikers in the local trail parking lots you'd assume had been interpreted as "go back to normal", and saying things are heading in the right direction when they didn't, vaccines are rolling out, etc...
Clear and consistent direction seems a bit lacking.
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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!
@stuarth, looks like one restaurant at Big White blatantly broke the social distancing rules! https://globalnews.ca/news/7729920/restaurant-party-b-c-ski-resort/?fbclid=IwAR3ig_u73oJSEo9cnMvKhyqzrjX_yX_zRUMu3i_kX2Z6yG3Qyx1FBlERQIo
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boarder2020 wrote:
looks like anyone that did more than 6 days will not be eligible.

Exactly! How many people who bought a pass yet hadn't skied 6 days at the end of March? Puzzled Shocked rolling eyes

Quote:
Lots of complaints by people with edge cards with unused days on their Facebook page.

Edge Card has a different refund scheme if I recall.


Last edited by You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net. on Wed 31-03-21 17:07; edited 1 time in total
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@Alastair Pink, more proof that stupidity knows no boundaries. Hopefully the operator's liquor license will get pulled.
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Revelstoke is closed today due to covid incident.
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Scooter in Seattle wrote:
@Alastair Pink, more proof that stupidity knows no boundaries. ....
Well yes, but having a moron in charge of a country during a pandemic, for example, seems like rather more compelling evidence for that, should anyone remain in any doubt.
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Alastair Pink wrote:
@stuarth, looks like one restaurant at Big White blatantly broke the social distancing rules! https://globalnews.ca/news/7729920/restaurant-party-b-c-ski-resort/?fbclid=IwAR3ig_u73oJSEo9cnMvKhyqzrjX_yX_zRUMu3i_kX2Z6yG3Qyx1FBlERQIo


At least the article targets the bar owner not the kids who've been laid off and probably will never get to see that group of friends again after a winter spent working in probably difficult circumstances.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
joneski wrote:
Revelstoke is closed today due to covid incident.


Closed for the season now. Though not sure how much longer they planned to run for. WB would have been open until end of May, but now they have binned that and focussing on the bike park
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Canada ski resort linked to largest outbreak of P1 Covid variant outside Brazil. Sad
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@Alastair Pink, this P1 variant could turn out to be bad news. Lots of reports from Brazil of people with previous Covid getting re infected & seriously ill. Not sure what the story is with current vaccines, but not encouraging.
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Province decided today to vaccinate all adults in Whistler straight away, so guess they are pretty concerned.
If it knocks the P1 thing on the head that's a good thing, but also causing some disquiet over the appearance of Whistler keeping hotels and everything open and attracting visitors from all over, then having issues.
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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?
Steilhang wrote:
@Alastair Pink, this P1 variant could turn out to be bad news. Lots of reports from Brazil of people with previous Covid getting re infected & seriously ill. Not sure what the story is with current vaccines, but not encouraging.
I think the example of Manaus in Brazil is quite sobering. They had a terrible rate of infection during the first wave, with estimates of up to 75% of the population infected before the number of new cases significantly tailed off. There was an assumption that herd immunity had been reached through natural infection, and there would be no further significant transmission of the virus. However, they have had a second wave of infection, with the P1 variant thought to be the cause, taking up the attack rate to an estimated 85% with plenty of examples of reinfection.
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stuarth wrote:
Province decided today to vaccinate all adults in Whistler straight away, so guess they are pretty concerned.
If it knocks the P1 thing on the head that's a good thing, but also causing some disquiet over the appearance of Whistler keeping hotels and everything open and attracting visitors from all over, then having issues.


The problem is a physical and demographic one re ski resorts in general and WB in particular. Housing is very tight which means lots of young people being forced to live in very close proximity such that effective separation indoors is all but impossible. Plus they are young and with the best will in the world won't act in the most conservative way and as the job is low paid without the social life there would be very few takers.

Perhaps it will expose the veneer around the travel industry that upmarket things, hotels, cruise ships etc are "better" because they cost more when that really translates to a need to operate at high occupancy and with more low paid staff to serve you.
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I'm not convinced that there's any evidence that "young staff" are (a) stacked at higher density; or (b) more "party" oriented than young guests. The opposite may well be true. Formal "staff" accommodation at least is managed to legal requirements, and many staff live out of the Village. If you're looking for illegal densities, then guests exceeding accommodation capacity for the short term is much more likely where you'll find it. Ditto partying - guests can burn harder because they're not burning for quite so long.

Housing in Whistler isn't really "tight". Compared with European resorts the space in Whistler for guests and staff is manifestly massive.
I thought this was a joke when I first heard it.

Both of these things sound like stories which some people would like to be true but which seem to fail at even a cursory examination.



sh wrote:
Province decided today to vaccinate all adults in Whistler straight away, so guess they are pretty concerned....
causing some disquiet over the appearance of Whistler keeping hotels and everything open and attracting visitors from all over, then having issues.
With this stuff it seems like not locking down soon enough or hard enough is always a bad thing.
Whistler's the last place in BC I'd want to be in a pandemic simply because it's busy; social distancing is hard in ski lifts and restaurants; and young people think they're immune.
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@philwig, My reference to "tight" was not necessarily physical space but lack of availability which puts people on mattresses in storage cupboards and garages etc. Euro resorts are similar at least back in the days of TO provided bunkrooms.

I don't want anything to be true. Like everyone else I'd rather we didn't need to think of the vectors of disease around one of our favourite activities. And I'm sure guests are just as adept at letting their hair down/ hard partying/sleeping around/working out hard in a confined gym when the opportunity presents as staff. But if we travel to such places and take all the precautions we like we're only as "protected" as the weakest link in the chain among those we come into contact with.
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Dave of the Marmottes wrote:
But if we travel to such places and take all the precautions we like we're only as "protected" as the weakest link in the chain among those we come into contact with.

The biggest "if" is traveling!

The staff wouldn't be infected with P1 until a guest brings it there. (Or unless they travel elsewhere AND mingle with people infected with that variant).

All this talk about how people behave while IN the resort is only relevant when people travel from infected area to uninfected area. The more people travel, the longer the distance they travel, the higher the probability of the virus traveling with them!

Other ski resorts stayed open all season long without the outbreak amongst staffs, because no one brought it in to seed it locally.
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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!
abc wrote:
X

All this talk about how people behave while IN the resort is only relevant when people travel from infected area to uninfected area. The more people travel, the longer the distance they travel, the higher the probability of the virus traveling with them!



I think this is nonsense. There is nowhere in the world that you would want to go that doesn't have/hasn't had the virus. And people will keep reimporting it into areas that are popular destinations not recklessly or carelessly but simply because they don't know that they have it at the time. The alternative is all those destinations close down to outsiders completely for a few years.

Distance people have travelled is largely irrelevant bar the chances of acquisition en route, it's a binary state of affairs when you arrive in Whistler , you either have the virus or not in a transmissable state whether you've come from Vancouver or St John's.
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@Dave of the Marmottes,

Not entirely.
Visitor from Vancouver has no need to go to a bar or restaurant. Visitor from St John's is going to be staying in a hotel, going to need to get food, is "on vacation", etc....
Indoor is clearly higher risk.
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@stuarth, Sorry should have said Vancouver staying overnight.
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@Dave of the Marmottes, but Vancouverites don't have to stay overnight (unless they so choose, which I doubt they would currently). St John's HAVE TO.

So perhaps distance isn't the best marker. Still, the longer one travels, the more interaction one has to do along the way. A Vancouverite can be a self-sustained, isolated visitor until he/she gets out of his car. Someone from Calgary can't be.
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