Whilst waiting for patrol sweep on Blackcomb a couple of days ago, the view of Fissile Mountain was breathtaking. It has been an amazing winter at Whistler Blackcomb this year, as a result, it really has been the winter that keeps on giving. The snow continues to fall, the skiing continues to be epic. Spring occasionally pokes through for a day as if to tease us. As much as I love snow, powder and face shots while skiing, I am ready for some sunshine and spring skiing. On Monday we received such a tease. Without a doubt, it was a gorgeous sunny day. The skiing was amazing and the weather delightful. As the clouds began to roll in, the shadows on the surrounding mountains were incredible. This included Fissile Mountain, an epic peak a few ridges over from Whistler Mountain.
We are now back into the midst of yet another storm.
Without a doubt, one of my favourite things about ski patroling is early mornings that make for a moody Blackcomb. As the sun rises and the golden light begins to hit the slopes it is always a dramatic and breathtaking sight. It doesn’t seem to matter if the sky is void of clouds or wild storms are rolling in. In previous posts, I have mentioned (and hopefully demonstrated) the beautiful clear sky mornings witnessed as the sun first touches the earth. Simply add a few rolling clouds and fast moving skies to the mix and suddenly it is a different world. Shadows streaking down the slopes, glacial canvas’ dabbed gold and peaks poking through paint-worthy scene.
It is this real-life artwork that makes it easier (if only slightly) to get out of bed before 6am each day.
Another day, another dollar, another priceless Whistler Blackcomb sunset.
Without a cloud in the sky, the mountains on the horizon are engulfed by an indescribable sheet of pink and purple. Like a steppingstone towards the crystal clear velvet sky of night, the transition is smooth and tranquil. I could be gazing at a piece of art, a pastel coloured canvas.
It’s yet another unique and breathtaking finish to the day that was on Whistler Blackcomb. It’s yet another pinch to ensure that this is, in fact, reality.
I truly thought this place could not surprise me anymore. And then, one morning I head up Solar Chair to work and setting across the valley is an incredible full moon. The sky had the most amazing shades of blue, pink and purple. As we, the patrollers, commenced our day with the sun, the moon and the groomers completed their night. It was such a surreal experience, I couldn’t believe that what I was looking at was real. I took my camera out of my bag and for several moments I forgot that the temperature was far below zero. It’s moments like these that help me wake up at ridiculous o’clock and head to work every day.
Watching the sun rise and set each day on top of Whistler Blackcomb is always an unforgettable experience. Add a setting full moon, a well-timed snow cat and breathtaking hues. And what do you get? One hell of a view.
It’s truly incredible how the time flies. It seems like only yesterday I was in Australia photographing the milky way and the amazing Aussie night skies. Although the milky way season is over, a new season as begun; a season full of views and skies just as epic. A Whistler winter is hard to beat. So far, this year it has been one of the best starts to a winter season that I can remember. Deep powder, frozen lakes and indescribable sunsets are just some of the treats we have been blessed with. One of the biggest perks of my job with Whistler Blackcomb is standing on top of the resort watching the sun rise and the sun set. Whistler winter 2016/2017 has not disappointed thus far.
I have been on a bit of a hiatus from posting on this forum however over the next few days until the new year I will be sure to catch you up on the start to my winter. This will include snorkel deep powder days, -24°C overnight cabin stays and a full moon/sunrise combo. Stay tuned, it will be worth it.