Today marked the first day I could make it up Whistler Mountain. Its been open 2 days so far and I just expected that it would be barren, cleared of ANY powder to speak of.
But before I could test that theory I had to get up it, without using the Whistler Village Gondella, which had broken down. Arse. 11000 people expected today and it was broken. Thankfully Blackcomb was also open, taking the load off. Shuttle busses were laid on for free relays to Creekside, where the Creekside Gondella was working. That makes my5th time in Creekside since I’ve been here, theres only Joey Chans and Dustys there, and a gondella.
So I get to the top and look for some green runs to warm up on, and found the most delightfully powdery lines to tear up. Harmony and Marmot (which is more challenging than it looks) were shredded easily, so I went for more of a challenge in the bowls (for non-skier/snowboarders THOSE ARE GLACIAL BOWLS). Up there the powder was nearly untouched, quite a new experience seeing as I’m used to having a firm ice layer below me. My first fall of the day came when my tips dug into the snow and I went forward, landing still in my ski possition.
More people were arriving now and the powder was clearing with it. Some of the blue runs wern’t helped by snowboarders EDGING THE WHOLE WAY DOWN THE STEEP BITS. Made them nice and icey for those who were convinced they were going to die on the run.
Lunch was my beloved mountain top chilli.
Unfortunatly though, I never really got back in the saddle afterwards. True I could do any green run without problems but whenever I went out of the comfort zone and did a more challenging blue I would struggle a bit. I eventually decided at 2 that I had had a good day and it was best to end it unhurt.
The route I took back to the Gondella was Pony Trail. This sounds like a sweet and innocent green run with sweets on the side and cuddly bears on the corners to catch you if you fall. Not so. Infact it is an unforgiving ice covered catskinner, not helped by snowmaking canons which I swear spit out water. When going down it turning is pretty hard and the snowcanons are so loud you need ear defenders and the snow is so corse on your cold face you need a knights helment. I counted 12 ski patrol on it, 4 of them round a fallen skier, with a helocopter in earshot.
Anyway, fast forward a bit. I spent 2 hours waiting for Tranzeo to sort out the Wireless Internet login here (lets see, I’ve been paying for it for 24 hours now, I’ve had 13 hours conectivity and made 20 phone calls, 6 of them answered). I decide to take a look on Wikipedia about WhistlerBlackcomb. Quite an intresting read, most intresting is this at the bottom.
The project codename for Windows XP was Whistler, where design retreats were held. The next version of Microsoft Windows is Windows Vista, which was codenamed Longhorn after the Longhorn Saloon, a popular apres bar at base of the mountains. The successor to Windows Server 2003 is codenamed Windows Blackcomb.