It's a horrible year for snow in California. The local mountains haven't
had a decent storm since January. Even Mammoth has been hurting, with only
a couple feet for January and February. It's a good thing we decided to
head north to Whistler-Blackcomb.
On the way to the terminal at LAX.

A few hours later, we're at the Vancouver airport.

Waiting in line at customs.

Proper ID is important. Keeping eyes open is not.

The next day, we were greeted by a very cold but sunny and calm day. Dan
and Massimo Tinto take in the view.

Massimo and I, ready to test out the Canadian snow.

The snow formations at the entry to the Whistler Bowl.

The view of the valley.

more view.

even more.

Blackcomb Mountain is visible under a thin layer of haze.

Looking over to the T-bar.

Piecing the last 5 pictures together gives a nice view.

Massimo and I explored under the Peak Chair and found some fresh powder.
(AVI, MPEG movie)

Massimo coming down through the powder.
(AVI, MPEG movie)

Just beyond the "cliff" signs, we found this nice little drop.
(AVI, MPEG movie)

My turn.
(AVI, MPEG movie)

Massimo making his way down the path to the start of "The Cirque."

The cornice above the trail was quite impressive.

Piecing the last two together.

Massimo rests at the end of the path, ready to head down.

Massimo Cruising toward the T-bar.
(AVI, MPEG movie)

Friday, our second day, was a bit different than thursday. Still cold, but
windier and cloudier. We tried the Peak Chair once and decided it was best
to stay lower on the mountain if we wanted to keep our fingers, toes, and
faces in working condition. Dan cruises toward me on one of our favorite
cruising runs.
(AVI, MPEG movie)

A hint of sun, looking toward the summit from near the Roundhouse.

We headed back up to the peak and went back to our favorite "cliff" from
the day before. I'm first to descend.
(AVI, MPEG movie)

Massimo Tinto's turn.
(AVI, MPEG movie)

Massimo shows us that when you go fast it's always more interesting.
(AVI, MPEG movie)

Marc heads to the top of a nice drop.
(AVI, MPEG movie)

And down he goes, into a field of white.
(AVI, MPEG movie)

Toward the end of the day, the clouds came back, with wind and snow. We
decided to try "The Couloir." Normally double black diamonds are
approached with some caution, but the Massimos just went straight down. Of
course, it is a bit difficult to do anything else when you're sliding on
your back.

A movie from the snowboard's point of view.
(AVI, MPEG movie)

Following Marc through the soft and consistent snow behind the groomer.
(AVI, MPEG movie)

Back at the base, the weather was warm and sunny. It's amazing what a
couple thousand feet of elevation will do.

The start of our third day. We had seen these two guys way too often on
our trip. With outfits like that, we guessed they were either really good
or first-timers.

We headed up to Blackcomb this day, after two days on Whistler. At the
base of the Glacier Express Chair, we saw this guy practicing his moguls
and jumps.
(AVI, MPEG movie)

Marc gets cocky and thinks he only needs one ski in the bumps.
(AVI, MPEG movie)

Massimo cruising down to the lift.
(AVI, MPEG movie)

Massimo cruising for awhile, until the crowd got too thick.
(AVI, MPEG movie)

The sun came out again around lunch and teased us with warmth.

Unfortunately, it didn't last. The snow started again in the afternoon.
Another movie of Massimo, showing his racing form.
(AVI, MPEG movie)

Earlier in the day, Marc came through here and flew off a bump like the one
on the right without even seeing it. Of course, Massimo and I had to
investigate the scene.

Marc coming down through the bumps.
(AVI, MPEG movie)

Massimo is looking a bit tired.
(AVI, MPEG movie)

Our fourth day on the slopes (third for Marc and Massimo). There was a
good amount of powder left from saturday and overnight. The conditions
were pretty windy and snowy. The upper lifts weren't even open early in
the day. When Spanky's Ladder opened up, Marc and I decided to climb up
and do a little backcountry-like skiing. Here, we look back up at the
way we descended (up to the right).

Another picture, panning a bit up and to the right.

Along the long traverse back to civilization.

It was a bit crazy, but Marc and I headed up into the snow and wind for the
chance to go down this nice chute. Getting there was difficult. I
couldn't even see the ground well enough to tell if I was moving or
standing still. Fighting the wind and snow and white-out conditions, we
eventually made it here to the top of the chute.

We can't see even see the valley below when the wind and snow start
blowing.

Marc is poised to descend to the barely visible valley below.

We went in for lunch, and when we came back out the lifts to the top were
all closed. We headed through the trees near the Jersey Cream Chair.
(AVI, MPEG movie)

Angie making her way down, under the lift.
(AVI, MPEG movie)

Heading down some more.
(AVI, MPEG movie)

I saw this drop and just couldn't resist.
(AVI, MPEG movie)

"Guys, is this the way, is this the AAAAHHHHHH..."...THUMP. I guess the
cliff warning signs are correct occasionally. As we see here, though,
Massimo survives his inadvertant cliff jump and skis safely away.
(AVI, MPEG movie)

I just don't know what happened here. Everything was fine, and then all of
a sudden everything went white.
(AVI, MPEG movie)

It looked like a decent jump, but none of us could get enough speed for it.
Massimo's attempt.
(AVI, MPEG movie)

Dan's turn.
(AVI, MPEG movie)

My turn.
(AVI, MPEG movie)

Marc cruising through the bumps near the bottom of the lift.
(AVI, MPEG movie)

Massimo's cliff.
(AVI, MPEG movie)

"No way, man! Not again."
(AVI, MPEG movie)

Marc finds a nice drop beside the cliffs.
(AVI, MPEG movie)

Dan drops in on the other side of the cliffs.
(AVI, MPEG movie)

Marc coming down through the moguls at the end of the day.
(AVI, MPEG movie)

Massimo and Marc heading back to the condo.

The Duck.

Oh, the pain we felt after so much skiing.

Time to watch other people. They set up a ring of fire and people jumped
through it. It's not easy to see with all the darkness, but the movies
give an idea of what happened.
(AVI, MPEG movie)

The Ring O' Fire.

More jumping.
(AVI, MPEG movie)

Attempting another picture.

Lot's of jumpers one after the other.
(AVI, MPEG movie)

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