One Last Carve: Whistler Blackcomb Closing Weekend 2016

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Birds are chirping as the morning-sun burns off what fog remains around Whistler Village following yesterday’s rainstorm. The temperature is rising fast. Parked in Lot 4, my partner in crime, Freddy, and I watch as dozens of mountain bikers pedal towards dirt trails, and hoards of skaters flock to the concrete park. It’s only 10 a.m. and my car’s thermostat already reads 70 degrees Fahrenheit at the mountain’s base—what better conditions to inspire a snowboard trip?

Some would say we’re crazy to still be fighting to ride this late in the season, and, well, they’re right—we are. Obsession is a powerful thing, and we consider ourselves addicts for sure. Luckily, this addiction is healthy (mostly), and we’re not alone. Hundreds of riders and skiers are here to get their final fix before the lifts stop spinning and summer inevitably sets in.

We ride the Wizard Express from the base of Blackcomb with our jackets open, enjoying a comfortable breeze that dances off of the grassy slope below our dangling feet. But by the time we reach 1,500 vertical feet on the succeeding lift, the Solar Coaster Express, we start to wonder what we’ve really gotten ourselves into. A nasty grey cloud encapsulates the chair and whiteout conditions temporarily take over. Expecting springier conditions, I’m wearing only a windbreaker over my t-shirt and snowpants without liners. It’s cold.

“Why am I here?” I silently asked myself as the chill starts nipping at my arms, cheeks and nose. “Do I really need to still be boarding this late in May?” I think about the bikers and their dirt and the skaters and their concrete, all of them enjoying the warmth of the sun while we sit in the midst of this hanging precipitation. We exit the chair and rally towards the park. I strap in and look up at the first few features, a properly manicured flat tube followed by a smooth down bar, and my plight is answered with another rhetorical question: Where else would I possibly want to be right now? Nowhere.Module: gallery_album
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As I’ve learned a hundred times before, I was taught again this day to never trust the forecast. Those of us who ignored the report and braved the morning’s clouds have been rewarded with midday sunshine, slushy snow and party vibes in Blackcomb’s Nintendo Terrain Park. Mother Nature came through for us in regards to powder throughout the season, and she has stayed consistent in her grace with providing ideal conditions for us all on the mountain’s closing weekend. As snowboard addicts jonesin’ for that last carve, jib or jump before the snow is gone, we really can’t ask for more.

Thank you to Chelsea Moen, park staff, and the rest of the Whistler Blackcomb crew for an incredible 2015/16 Season. We can’t wait for next year. And for anyone who can’t wait for the main lifts to start spinning again, there’s always riding to be had up high on the glacier.


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