I bet some people read the title of this and gave a mental, ha ha Finestone blew it, he meant to say Calm before the storm - but you would be wrong. I actualy meant Clam, as in the Geoduck (Pronounced Gooey-duck) Clam. That’s right a Park report about giant Pacific party clams. The Geoduck know how to party, they can live as long as 168 years and have a tongue 12 times longer than their body! Geoduck Clams sense big Pacific low pressure systems knowing the storm is going churn up some good eats, so they stick out their party tongues and rage during the storms. If that is not a recipe for a party then I don’t know what is.
Right now out in the Pacific they are catching up on some sleep because any day now they are going to get that feeling and then it’s on, and when they party - we party!
In the meantime we are making snow and it is sunny. Blackcomb is firing with 14 jibs and 4 jumps with changes coming for the weekend. Whistler Park is still small with 6 jibs getting refreshed constantly until we can move back down to our usual footprint and get the 27 jibs in the ground and build some jumps.
The Holidays will be upon us pretty quick, so get some before it gets crazy in town. When it starts to storm stick out your tongue and party like a clam. See you in the Park. BF
Hey Park riders here is a quick update on the state of the Park Nation at WB. Whistler continues to offer a six pack of jibs at the top of Emerald Express while snowmaking efforts take advantage of cold valley temps and work towards production of a ski-out to the valley. Once we get more natural snow, we are primed to get the Whistler Park set up with a mix of old and new jibs for the season as well as some early season jump features.
Blackcomb opens on November 28th and with the help of some added snowmaking fire power will offer a full Park on Choker. We will start dropping rails in the ground on the 25th and the goal is 8 to 12 jibs plus the drop-in jump, Shack Right and two other jumps spots. If the piles are as big as we think they are, we are hoping to make the aforementioned 25’ and 40’ respectively.
The weather looks bluebird for the next little bit so come on up, get those old tricks back and start stacking footage for your 2-14 edit. See you in the Park. BF
October / November have to be the most painful months of the year. Last season is a distant memory and this season seems to come on so slowly you can feel your beard grow. The buyers’ guides are out, teasers and premiers for all of the shred flics are dropping, none of which make the waiting any easier. The old locals start to speculate on what the season will be like with big snow in their forecasts because of such things as the height above ground the wasps built their nests, the amount of pinecone litter the squirrels are making and my favorite, the quality of the salmon run this fall.
Whatever happens, we will be ready. The plans for the Parks this winter are much like last year with all lines firing as soon as we can get them built. Our fleet of 90+ rails are all tuned up and staged on the hill and the snowmaking crew start blasting early next week. As usual we will have a small offering of rails for opening on Whistler with the plan to offer a bigger spread when Blackcomb switches on the following week (largely due to snowmaking availability).
Being an Olympic year and with the inclusion of both Slopestyle ski and snowboard in this iteration of the Games, we are excited to get our HL Park line setup for the Canada Snowboard national team for a training camp in early January. The team had a number of successful camps here last season and the jumps were perfect for dialing in their new tricks. The plentiful snow and coastal snow conditions will also mimic those of the Olympic venues. Come and check out our team live before they head off to do battle at the Games.
In the meantime do some squats, tune some gear and grow that beard, we will be back in the Parks in (almost) no time! - BF
The Horstman Glacier is now closed for summer skiing and riding, but don’t worry, it will be winter before you know it. Official opening day for winter at Whistler Blackcomb is Nov 28th 2013.
Be sure to check back here for Park updates as we wait for the snow to fall.
We are happy to announce the development of an increased amount of Public Features available today for the 2013 Horstman Glacier Summer skiers and riders.
In addition to our existing Jib Line, we have built 2 medium sized table top jumps which are sized 20’ in table length and marked as “Mediums” . Additionally after these 2 new tables we have a gap to down rail feature, marked as “Medium” in size.
These new Park Features are located in Lane 4 Horstman, which is on the far sk. Left next to Camp of Champs fence line. Please come on up and enjoy some new jumps…..hope to see you there.
Our grooming and operational teams are hard at work preparing the Horstman Glacier for an exciting upcoming skiing and riding season. Our snowcats have been pushing since May 30th stockpiling snow, regarding the race lanes and t-bar tracks, winching up roads and getting the glacier prepared for it’s summer transition.
Once this initial glacier preparation work is complete, the private camps arrive prior to opening and direct their lane builds. This entails regarding areas, building jump lines and rail tables, and transporting and installing their assortment of tubes, rails, and boxes into their freestyle lanes. Some of our private camps will be hosting a number of national mogul, 1/2 pipe, aerial, and slopestyle teams preparing for the 2014 Winter Olympics. We expect to see a number of the world’s best winter action sports athletes up there honing their tricks to compete at the Olympic level.
We also are underway constructing the ever popular Public Terrain Park down on the edge of the Horstman Flats areas. This area is available for public skiers and riders for the duration of the summer season. We have collected and transported up some of the more popular winter park features which our guests love to ride and jib on. Here is a sample of what we potentially will be offering in our summer park:
- Towers (2 x 20’ and 1 x 16’)
- Long Goal Post
- Bank Box
- Flat Box
- Down Box
- Skinny Hand Rail
- Down Flat Rail
- Short High Box
We hope the sun is shining on all the glacier skiers and riders and good times are had by all. See you up there, opening date June 22nd.
Ah the signs of spring; bags of fert, goggle tans, and the appearance of the sled shreds in the Park because the backcountry is cooked from all of the heat.
This week alone saw Mark and Craig McMorris, Sean Petit, Marie France Roy, Leanne Pelosi, Simon Chamberlain, JP Walker, Geoff Brown, Matt Belsile, and a stack of other shreds lapping the Parks in the sun.
With the World Ski and Snowboard Fest on the horizon those ranks wll no doubt grow as the circus pulls into town to live by their slogan “Party in April - Sleep in May”.
Our plan is to keep the pipe open right through the fest with no closure for rebuild this year. The HL line will be built into the slopetyle course but the plan is to offer it up to everyone to test out before it get the closure for athlete training.
The right line, Choker (blue) Park and all of Whistler’s lines will stay open through the end of WSSF so there are 100+ features for your riding pleasure.
Most hills are shutting down and we are just getting started! Come get those edits finished, the snow won’t be around for ever! BF
Wikipedia has this to say about Pineapple Express “a non-technical term for a meteorological phenomenon characterized by a strong and persistent flow of atmospheric moisture and associated with heavy precipitation from the waters adjacent to the Hawaiian Islands and extending to any location along the Pacific coast of North America. A Pineapple Express is an example of an atmospheric river, which is a more general term for such narrow corridors of enhanced water vapor transport at mid-latitudes around the world.”
What that means to us is a warm wet weather event that dumps meters of thick heavy snow in the Parks. Although riding (and digging) can be unpleasant in the storm cycle, the net result is mounds of deep building and patching material that will keep us going through to the end of May.
This week expect jib lines to be pulled and jumps to be closed until we can groom in all of this new snow. Once the storm clears the crew will be resetting all lines and jumps for fresh new flow into the end of the month and beginning of April. BF
As Canadians we are not overtly prone to wave the leaf and beat the chest proclaiming our National Pride. Heck our population is smaller than the state of California so our talent pool is really more of a puddle when held up against our southern brothers and sisters. We do however excel at winter sports and I am proud to congratulate local shred Spencer O’Brien on her win at the US Open Slopestyle last week. A second congrats goes out to Mark McMorris for his US Open win and World Slopestyle Tour overall title clench for the year!
How did these talented riders get so good? They worked hard, one could say harder than all of the others on their bag of tricks. Where did they do this? They did it by starting at their local hills lapping the Park for days, then they followed it up with riding Whistler Blackcomb Parks where they could push those tricks to world class levels on our every-day-is-x-games sized lines.
If you want to enjoy the view from the top of the podium some day, come stomp some tricks in the WB Parks, we are currently refreshing all of our lines with new layouts after digging out from last weeks snowpocalypse. BF
Largest Public Jump Line in the World! Our HL jump line; “Shack – Chair – Zilla – Kong” are the biggest they have ever been at 65’, 60’, 70’, 75’ respectively. What does that mean? It means we are still pushing the boundaries of Park building so athletes can progress their sports. The old quote from Shoeless Joe “If you build it, they will come” has proven true yet again with jump slayers showing up and learning new double and triple corks over the last few weeks. It is worth a visit on a sunny day just to watch the show.
If 60+ is not your cup of tea we still offer 30 other jumps in six other park lines ranging from 5’ to 50’ in the form of step-down, step-up and step-over to help you take tricks to new levels.
If you are into heavy metal we currently have over 80 features in the ground, flat, kinked, gaps, rounds, walls, culverts, tires, logs, you name it we’ve got it.
If pipe is your thing the 22’ Global ditch is in prime shape as well as the Snowcross Course.
Parks take months to reach their maximum size and we are just hitting our stride now with three and a half months left of park riding season. Get some!