Destination Big Mountain: Blackcomb, BC - Ski Mag

Destination Big Mountain: Blackcomb, BC

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"To start, I head up the 7th Heaven chair and then down Chainsaw Ridge. My line depends on what the wind's been doing, but usually I hop the cornice and head straight down the fall line. From there, it's down to the Glacier Express. At the top of the lift, I go left and follow the boot-pack up Spanky's Ladder. Ski the fall line for a while before heading skier's right toward Diamond Bowl, where you can open it up for some big turns.

"Take the Excelerator chair to Glacier and hike Spanky's again. This time, head skier's left and drop into Ruby Bowl. There's a rock line down the center that drops down into Sapphire Bowl. Look for a little chute tucked between the rocks; it's usually fresh. "Once Spanky's is tracked, take Crystal chair and follow Crystal Road to the Chimney and then into CBC trees—if you stay skier's left, you'll avoid the sections that the patrol keeps closed. After that, it's about time for lunch.

"Most afternoons, I'll take Glacier to the T-bar, up to the wind lip, and then go right to do the little hike to DOA, which is on Blackcomb Peak. It's out-of-bounds, so avalanche gear, backcountry smarts, and a partner are must-haves."

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Whistler/Blackcomb, B.C.

Inside Line: Blackcomb, BC

With the 2010 Winter Olympics around the corner, all eyes are on Whistler Blackcomb. The masses will descend on Whistler Mountain, where the official events will take place. Which means Blackcomb will be the place to ski. Locals know that Blackcomb outperforms its better-known neighbor when it comes to off-piste terrain and jibbing. Plus, Blackcomb’s lift lines are shorter, its park and pipe bigger, and its backcountry steeper. And with the new Peak-to-Peak gondola—a record-setting 2.73-mile-long feat of engineering—now connecting the two mountains, you can easily zip over to the big W. But with Blackcomb’s terrain, why bother?

You'll be hard pressed to find "Climax" on the official Whistler Blackcomb trail map. Sources from the resort haven't heard of it, and think that it might be a local's nickname for the Sylvan chute. Either way, it is being kept under wraps for a reason: it's scary.  The red-headed step-child of the Chainsaw ridge just below Blackcomb peak, Climax is the most difficult run at the expansive resort. The chute drops for an initial 300 feet at 50 degrees then gets to a 45 degree angle for a short few turns before bottoming out into the bowl.   Rumored to have been named from several "themes" in the 1985 porn, "The Wizard of Aahh's" (precursor to Greg Stump's "Blizzard of Aahhh's") many of Blackcomb's steeper runs have dirty names. Perhaps this chute is the ultimate conquest.

Guide to Blackcomb

With the 2010 Winter Olympics around the corner, all eyes are on Whistler Blackcomb. The masses will descend on Whistler Mountain, where the official events will take place. Which means Blackcomb will be the place to ski.