Vancouver Ready to Go, Except for Snow - Ski Mag

Vancouver Ready to Go, Except for Snow

Despite record snowfall in the region, Cypress Mountain doesn’t have enough snow for freestyle events.
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The Dave Murray Downhill and Women's Downhill are open until January 25. When they close, head to Blackcomb’s Solar Coaster chair, where you can get a bird’s-eye view of Olympians training below.Heather Roberts at Whistler

The Dave Murray Downhill and Women's Downhill are open until January 25. When they close, head to Blackcomb’s Solar Coaster chair, where you can get a bird’s-eye view of Olympians training below.
Heather Roberts at Whistler

The official party line in Vancouver the week before the Olympics is that snowfall received by Whistler Blackcomb this season has nearly matched the average annual haul of 33 feet. Intrawest, the owner of Whistler Blackcomb, cheerfully reports the resort received 32.5 feet of snow by the end of January, the most to fall on the mountains by this time since the 1979-80 season.

But the word on the ground is that early dumps haven’t guaranteed a winter wonderland for the Olympics. ESPN reports that a lack of new snow and temperatures too warm for snowmaking have left Cypress Mountain, the site of freestyle skiing and snowboarding events, skiercross and boardercross on the north shore of Vancouver, somewhat bare. But with the better part of a decade and a budget of two billion dollars invested in the Olympics, VANOC isn’t going to cross their fingers, do a snow dance, and hope for the best. Instead, the plan is to use wood and straw for the base of ski cross and snowboard cross courses. The New York Timesreports that snow-moving equipment, dump trucks, and even a helicopter will bring in artificial and natural snow stockpiled at higher elevations.

So never fear, says Peter Judge, chief executive officer of the Canadian Freestyle Ski Association. As he told ESPN, “At the end of the day it’s all going to come off, it’s going to be white and it’s going to look good.”

Related

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.

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?

Nothing to see here but free concerts, free outdoor theater, and huge screens broadcasting all 17 days of Olympic events. The official parties last until 11:30, culminating in a nightly “fire and ice” show, but count on late nights, especially given that some restaurants are expected to be open around the clock. Whistler’s official Olympic website, whistlerblackcomb.com/olympics, has all the info you’ll need.The mountains may be empty but when you ski back to the village, expect the same kind of pulse you associate with a vibrant city. Other than the media and medal-presentation areas, the village is free of security barricades. You can walk, mingle, and party with the world. There's a reason Whistler was voted Best Nightlife in our 2010 Resort Awards.

An Olympic Guide: The Best Après Spots in Whistler

So you’re heading to the Olympics in Whistler. Be prepared for deep snow (they’re already reporting one of the best seasons on record), world-class terrain, sporting, and revelry. Whether you’re celebrating an American victory or kicking up your boots after a day on the hill, Whistler’s watering holes elevate après to an Olympic level. Here’s a guide to the best après spots in Whistler.

No, that’s not a typo. The Games are notoriously poorly attended. For 2010’s events, just 12 of Whistler and Blackcomb’s 200-plus runs are closed. Better still, Whistler insiders told Skiing that January bookings are lagging, meaning for several weeks leading up to the Games you won’t be fighting for first tracks. Lucky you. Plus, Whistler won our Best Overall Resort in our 2010 Resort Awards.

7 Reasons to Ski Whistler During the Olympics

Unless you live in Whistler, you wouldn’t know that a certain segment of the community is opposed to hosting the 2010 Winter Olympics. Some locals have decided to leave town for two weeks, rent their houses to “some rich Americans,” and go surfing in Mexico. Let them. Here are seven reasons why the 2010 Winter Olympics are the perfect time to hit Whistler.

A native of Ontario, Canada, Jorgenson moved to Whistler in 1993 at the age of 17. He began taking pictures of the local skiers and mountain bikers he associated with and was soon published in magazines all over the world. In 2008, he opened the Blake Jorgenson Gallery at the base of the Westin Hotel in Whistler Village, a modern-contemporary space displaying his own work and hosting international touring exhibitions, receptions, and special events.You can purchase his book at www.blakejorgenson.com.

Blake Jorgenson Gallery

On Wednesday, Whistler-based ski photographer Blake Jorgenson celebrated the release of his new book, called Blake Jorgenson Photography: Whistler British Columbia 1999-2009, at the Westin Hotel in Whistler village. The coffee table book features scenic mountain vistas and action shots of some of the world's best freeskiers and mountain bikers. Here are few shots from the book.