Finding a Hidden Line in Whistler

January 8th, 2018
  


There’s something special about a blue-bird powder day.

Mountainwatch | Anna Segal
Whistler had a good early start to the season, but snowfalls were few and far between in December so when a decent storm set up a powder day on December 30, there was big crew on hand to find some fresh turns. Australia pro skier Anna Segal is into her fourth season living in Whistler and was part of the first-chair throng. The question was, where to go to lock in plenty of powder turns on the busiest day of the season?

The precipitation-procuring zone that surrounds Whistler has had an unusual start to the season. From record high opening day powder turns, followed by torrential rains, a high and dry spell, then freezing arctic outflows, it’s left us all wondering what’s next?


Nat Segal hooking into some fresh BC powder.

Thankfully, enough people used their Christmas wishes wisely. It paid off, with light champagne snow falling in buckets over Whistler Blackcomb, just prior to the New Year. Yes, it was peak season, but I wasn’t complaining. On December 30th, I happily made my way to Creekside Gondola at 7.00 am to stand in line for the goods.

Coming into my fourth season of living in this infamous mountain town, you’d think I’d have derived an exact plan of powder assault for days like this. But rather than mapping out a tactical route to fresh tracks, powder-panic clouded my thoughts, leaving my brain as a misshaped oval of mush. This was partly due to the responsibility I felt to show my partner in crime a good time. She had spent her hard-earned pocket money on a lift pass and I would feel guilt ridden if she had to ski chopped up chalk all morning. The deprivation of fresh snow wasn’t helping either; it was all I could think about. Obviously, the ski-town bubble was eating away at my grasp on reality, but at the time my desire for perfect turns was overwhelming my last remaining sensibilities.


Untouched powder fields under Whistler’s Peak Chair. It pays to get up early.

As we were one minute from the top of our second lift, I was in a state of distress. What would Deepak Chopra do? Probably guide me to find my inner-self. I tried remembering where to find my third eye, made some “ohming” sounds, and then, it came to me…. GOATS TRAIL!

“Pre-buckle your boots,” I whispered to my partner, “Cos we’re gonna be breaking trail.” And that’s we did – run after run – and we scored fresh tracks in Canada’s most well-known resort during one of the busiest days of the year. Deepak would have been proud.


A skier looking pretty small in an amazing landscape. Photo: Leo Demaggio – Coast Mountain Photography

Check out the video below if you don’t believe me.