En Route Sled BC

Sled-Accessed Whistler backcountry with Nimbus Independent.
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Sled-Accessed Whistler backcountry with Nimbus Independent.
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Got 10 grand lying around? Buy a snowmobile. If ever there was an argument in favor of owning a high-octane depreciating asset, the third installment of the webisode series En Route by Nimbus Independent would be it. En Route Sled BC follows Eric Pollard, Andy Mahre, Chris Benchetler, and the rest of the Nimbus crew into the backcountry around Whistler, British Columbia. Using snowmobiles, they access some of the most mouth-watering terrain on the planet. Having already taken viewers to Japan and Austria’s Arlberg, season five of En Route ends on a high note with “Sled BC.” Between the storm-day pillow skiing, and the heli-caliber lines in the high alpine, it showcases the silly-fun skiing of the Nimbus crew. And if you do end up buying a sled after watching this episode, we suggest carrying some duct tape, a hack saw, and a pack of chewing gum to fix the damn thing when it breaks.

Want more? Check out some of Alex O’Brien’s beautiful still photography from the trip, and grab the December issue of Skiing Magazine to read the full story.

En Route Sled BC from NIMBUS INDEPENDENT on Vimeo.


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?

Craig DiPietro, Somewhere between Keystone and Breck

The Hillbilly Haute Route

Who can afford to ski the real Haute Route during a recession? What we need is a domestic version, a tour connecting, say, nine ski areas in Colorado. It’s out there for any mountain yokel willing to hoist a heavy pack, bribe snowmobilers, and break trail where trails aren’t meant to be broken. It starts in luxury and ends with nearly rotten mayonnaise—conditions permitting.

Hit hard with a strong Pacific front, Revelstoke Mountain Resort has been hammered with nearly 15 inches of snow in the past 48 hours. Recent southerly winds have left North Bowl and Greely Bowl feeling like they have even more fresh powder than that.

Inside Line: Revelstoke, BC

Following Revelstoke’s grand opening last winter, first-time visitors identified a series of problems that the resort’s developers had failed to anticipate when they created a ski destination integrating 500,000 acres of cat- and heli-skiing with North America’s longest lift-served vertical. Among the quibbles: (1) The runs are “too long.” (2) There’s “too much powder.” (3) The absence of lift lines “prevents skiers from resting between runs.” This may sound like a joke, but these are actual complaints logged by management—and they underscore the stunning enormity of Revelstoke’s terrain. Our advice: If you aren’t prepared to go huge, don’t go at all.