words and photos: Mary Walsh
The first time I went to Whistler was only a year ago. I was there for just a few days but felt like I could immediately understand the migration that has brought so many snowboarders to this massive resort and caused them to never leave. The sheer size of the mountains, the amount of gnarly inbounds terrain, the abundance of Caesars and poutine…what more does a person need to sustain oneself?
Needless to say, I was extremely stoked when I booked tickets to head back to this magical area in early March. It’s no secret that the Northwest has been struggling with a light snow year, but when I arrived at Whistler I was happy to find that while the village was experiencing mild and comfortable weather, further up the mountain there was plenty of coverage, with perfect groomers and snow-blanketed terrain to explore. While it wasn’t the best year for getting off piste in the area, the trail riding was fun as heck and with the conditions as they were, the end result was fun turns on hill and ideal aprés weather.
I had arrived in Whistler for a weekend of Oakley Progression Sessions, an all-women’s snowboard camp that I coach a few weekends each winter. Christine Savage, my co-coach arrived with me and we met up with Marie-France Roy and Dom Vallee for the weekend. Once the camp was over, Christine and I stayed in the village a few days to meet up with Whistler’s Chelsea Moen, who showed us areas of the mountain we would have never found ourselves (the resort is just so massive). On St. Patrick’s Day, when the entire resort appeared to rival Boston in celebration, the three of us spent the afternoon taking laps under light gray skies.
The next day, we met up with Leanne Pelosi, who not only showed us some of the best places to eat in Whistler (thanks, Leanne!) but took us out on our maiden splitboard trip. Leanne was incredibly patient with Christine and I, since we seemed to forget a much-needed item every step of the way. We headed to another new-to-me area of the mountain for another really fun day of turns.
I once again left Whistler immediately wanting to return, buoyed further by the fact that I still have yet to experience the prolific powder the resort is known for. Thanks to Audree, MP, Chelsea, Leanne, Dom, and Marie for a great experience in BC!