Thursday, December 3, 2009

Whistler and the record snow fall of '09

So, after getting ourselves (and the 7 dogs) thoroughly satiated with a Thanksgiving meal, it was time for a different Thanksgiving tradition: Whistler! As a matter of fact, Theo and Tina, being clearly much more hardcore than any of the rest of us, drove right up there Thursday night after dinner. Chris, Amanda, Tanya, Lott, Mara, and I joined them up there the following day, after taking a somewhat more leisurely drive Friday morning. Upon arriving, we were introduced to some astounding statistics:
- the Whistler resort opened this year a week before Thanksgiving, which is their regular opening weekend
- they opened so early because by November 20th, the mountain had already experienced over 500cm of snowfall!
- I can't remember what the previous record for November was (or what it was for any month), but Whistler set a new record for snowfall for any month before Thanksgiving
- in fact, the 520+ cms of snow they had received by the time we showed up was already more than half of the average annual snowfall that the mountain receives!

So, we were, understandably, pretty excited! To celebrate, we grabbed a few drinks and all climbed into the outdoor hot tub, naturally... Well, first, we made dinner, actually, where Mara discovered a rather amusing label on a Canadian carton of milk:

Homo Milk for the win!

I don't have any pictures from the hot tub, and I really can't see how pictures from that hot tub would've ended well for the cameras, so we'll just skip to the following morning, when we all woke up a little groggy at 7 in the morning, but were quite pleased to be greeted with the sight of even more fresh snow outside:

First thing I saw out the window in the morning was, well... snow!

And more snow outside...

So the build-up was quite exciting. The day on the mountain itself didn't turn out quite as well - it was nice to ride through the fresh snow, but unfortunately, a lot of the mountain was closed due to the high winds at the top, and in a lot of places, the fresh powder was covering over frozen ice underneath. However, Whistler is a huge mountain, and you can have a lot of fun no matter what, so maybe it could've been a little more perfect, but I can't complain:

Lott carving through the fresh snow in the morning

Theo being one with the terrain park

After lunch we got on the new Peak2Peak chair to cross over from Whistler to Blackcomb, watching the gondolas almost get lost in the low clouds before emerging on the other side

Some of the gondolas have a hole (well, window) in the bottom. We waited for one of those and got some pretty views of the snow-covered trees underneath

And then disaster struck!

Well, disaster is admittedly a pretty strong word. What actually struck me was more of carelessness when I took the picture above, put my camera away, and went off for a ride through the terrain park. Yes, things have a magical way of going wrong in the terrain park, but that didn't happen. What did happen was that I missed a step - the one about zipping up the pocket after placing the camera there. And all of a sudden, at the bottom of the run, I discovered that I no longer had a camera, so carelessness! We went back up and took the same run again searching for the camera, and finding absolutely nothing... But! There are pictures in this post, so the camera wasn't lost forever! I had actually already gone ahead and ordered a replacement camera, when I got a call from Whistler informing me that my camera had been found! So, a day later, I had my camera back, and we get this post with lots of pictures. Admittedly, some of the pictures you're actually seeing are from Tina's and Amanda's cameras... So, after all that crazy excitement, a couple more shots from later on Saturday:

Having a drink after the day on the hill. Tina told us all to be ninjas... This is as close as we get.

After dinner later that evening. Most sporting funky scarves...

And after all that, Tina, Theo, and I headed back down to Seattle. Everyone else stayed around for another day, which worked out amazingly well for me as the camera showed up on Sunday... So, a few more pictures from the trip:

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