I want – I got takes Vancouver and Whistler – Visiting Orb Clothing

Orb Clothing Fall Winter 2011 - 2012 Preview

During the Vancouver portion of my trip, I visited Orb’s Vancouver flagship store and headquarters. Orb is a Vancouver based women’s sport lifestyle clothing line that started in 2001. Orb is part of the Global Collective Design company, established by Vancouverites by Glenn Taylor and Leslie Lee in 1992. The Global Collective Design company now has two labels that they design and produce: Arson and Orb.  The two brands also have sub brands Orion and Orb Outerwear.

Orb is empowered. The intent of Orb is to inspire all to live empowered lives of generosity; creating and attracting brilliance, beauty and well-being. The Orb design triad of mind, body and soul represents an active, fashion-forward lifestyle, designed to enhance the momentum of people engaged in living purposeful lives – to live like you mean it!

Orb Clothing Spring Summer 2011

Orb is very big on corporate responsibility and have implemented ways of reducing waste in their business practices. You can read more about those initiatives on the Orb website. They also have manufacturing initiatives to reduce harmful chemicals. They also incorporate organic cotton, polyester from bamboo, and recycled polyester content in their clothing.

Orb Clothing Spring Summer 2011

I learned a bit about the company during my visit and got a tour of the new spring summer 2011 collection. Of course, I had to play a bit of dress up too. The collection is west coast style casual. Easy going, a bit girly and comfortable.

Orb Clothing Spring Summer 2011

This season is teaming with wearable, feminine fabrics, mens suit tailoring and gorgeous accents. We cannot wait for your feedback and are excited to support you as we all transition into the Fall season.
Mind: A collection inspired this season by mystical worldly themes. Mineral textured prints, tribal graphics and prismatic displays create a bright, bold, new and exciting silhouettes.
Body: This collection is designed after the athleticism and femininity of a ballerina. Two strong characteristics working together create a truly beautiful presence.
Soul: The romance and discovery come through in this vintage inspired collection. An elegance combined with modern simplicity echoes the excitement of finding a new place for thought, growth and exploration.(source)

Orb Clothing Spring Summer 2011

My favourite pieces of the collection were the jackets and hoodies. Actually, the blazer inspired modified fleece jacket called the Loft in the photo above has replaced my Wilfred Diderot Sweater as my most favourite comfy fleece sweater. Orb generously gave me the Loft sweater and Sonora slouchy t-shirt in the very on trend cantaloupe colour from their Spring collection.

Orb Clothing Fall Winter 2011 - 2012 Preview

Orb Outerwear is the technical outerwear component to the brand which revolves around snow sports of course. Their aim is to produce quality technical snow gear living up to Orb’s corporate responsibility standards. Snowboarding is the snow sport of choice and they sponsor several women riders each year. The Fall Winter 2011 collection was on the 2nd floor of the store and I got a little sneak peek at what’s to come in the next season.

Orb Clothing Fall Winter 2011 - 2012 Preview

Orb Clothing Fall Winter 2011 - 2012 Preview

The fall winter 2011 collection of outerwear continues to bring bright colours with a good number of neon pieces. Neon is the biggest trend I saw on the mountain this year. It wasn’t as popular during my last trip in 2008 and it’s exploded in 2011. I saw it everywhere and I really, really enjoyed it. I want bright and obnoxious ski outerwear now. I would even like to have neon equipment and be a bright beacon on the mountain. I bet you could even see me in the worst of whiteout conditions.

Whistler

Since it was a skiing trip, Orb also gave me an Esther jacket and Patrol base layer. The ocean green of the jacket matched with the magenta of my K2 pants perfectly. The jacket and base layer combined with other gear were a perfect combo. I was never cold or damn and sweaty. The only thing I didn’t like were the snap buttons. They were hard to close when you had gloves on. Eventually one popped off which surprised me a lot. It wasn’t in a real strategic location so I just shrugged and continued on with my activities. The Esther jacket wasn’t a very technical jacket as it was more street style designed. I’m very curious to see what their higher end technical jackets perform like next season. I think they’d be very good.

See all the photos from my visit to Orb in Vancouver

There are a few shops in the GTA that carry Orb, you can find them and some online retailers on the website.
See all my Whistler Photos on flickr.com and Videos on vimeo.com

I want – I got takes Vancouver and Whistler – ROXY All Star Snow Camp

Roxy Snow Camp

I wasn’t interested in snowboarding. I was a happy skier who didn’t really understand the appeal of these kids riding around on one plank and their feet strapped to it. Thanks to Seema Dhillon and Kelly Etsell of Roxy was provided the opportunity to learn how to snowboard with the ROXY All Star Snow Camp at Whistler Blackcomb.

Roxy Snow Camp

The Roxy Snow Camp is a two day snowboard and ski camp for legal age women of all abilities from absolute beginner to experts. The idea of the camp is to give women a chance to learn or improve in a women friendly environment. All the instructors are amazing women riders who are there to impart their wisdom to the attendees. It’s pretty cool to have these great role models to learn from and break the male stereotype of hardcore riders.

This program is designed for women over the age of 19 in all skill levels from their first stages of skiing to those who like to dabble in the park. This is a warm positive environment that will help you get to that next level. You’ll get great coaching from top level female skiers to help you along and the après is a riot, complete with your new friends, a few prizes and lots of the day’s triumphs to share. Meet in the morning and start the day with coffee and muffins. Plus special shopping benefits at the Quiksilver Store in Whistler, BC.(source)

Roxy Snow Camp

Day 1 was led by Nina a 10+ year snowboarder. She was only 22. Nina let me know that the Roxy instructors were warned of my (the blogger) arrival and that they must be awesome. I was a little surprised to hear this but I laughed. I guess my reputation is going to proceed me in certain situations. This could be a good thing. There were three girls in my group which was perfect. We learned some of the absolute basics like board terminology, how to use the bindings and the difference between goofy and regular foot. We learned some basic movements in the morning like proper snowboarding stance, heel edge & toe edge slides. After lunch we worked on how to do toe edge and heel edge turns individually. Once we got the two parts down, it was time to string them together into a complete movement of heel to toe edge turning.

Roxy Snow Camp

Nina was an amazing instructor. She was articulate when describing what we needed to do with out bodies and when correcting our mistakes. It’s really helpful when learning when your instructor knows the mechanics and can describe them in a way that is easy to understand and emulate. By the end of the day, I was able to put the turns together without falling too much. Day 2 would see us get on a chairlift and do some longer and steeper runs. The hardest thing of Day 1 wasn’t the falling or learning the movements; it was sequesterment to the bunny hill and magic carpet. Eric came to visit me and laugh at my turns towards the end of the day. He also rubbed in that it was puking up top and the conditions were awesome.

Roxy Snow Camp

Snowboarding and skiing couldn’t be anymore different. The easiest analogy I can use to describe it to skiers that have never touched a snowboard is that Snowboarding is all about letting go and skiing is more about holding on tight. Of course the there are the differences in equipment: a single board and way, way more comfortable shoes. No poles to worry about and only single edges. Upper body movement and pressure on the lead knee is how you steer in snowboarding. You swing your upper body and the board follows. This requires a degree of trust that your board will follow that isn’t present in skiing. Both require a lot of leg strength and snowboarding works the knees like crazy. If your legs are straight in snowboarding you are in trouble which explains the relaxed, slack snowboarder stance. The stand, turn and sit principle applies to both sports with a major difference being that in skiing you want to keep your shoulders and upper body facing down the mountain as much as possible for control. You legs absorb the bumps and you use lower body leaning to catch edges for turning. If your shoulders are facing down the mountain in snowboarding you probably picking up a ton of speed and might be in a wee bit of trouble if you can’t initiate a heel or toe edge turn. One of the biggest fears to get over in snowboarding is letting yourself point the board down the mountain during turns. As a beginner, turns would go from an edge (heel or toe depending on how you are starting) to the board being flat to another edge. Trying to skip the flat board transition often resulted in catching an edge at the wrong time and a major faceplant or butt fall. You can see some of my wipeouts from this incorrect transition in my videos.

I think snowboarding is easier to learn than skiing. You don’t have all the equipment to worry about. Progress comes more quickly in snowboarding than skiing. I remember my first lessons as a child, we didn’t touch poles until we got our snowplow down. Once we graduated to poles there was all the instruction in learning how to turn with legs together. I definitely didn’t pick it up in over two days. I spend many years in lessons to get to the level I’m at now.

Roxy Snow Camp

I awoke for day two without any major body parts hurting. Even my butt was fine. I was stoked for learning how to navigate a chairlift on a board and getting some longer, steeper runs in. My day one mate, Sarah and I moved to Myia’s group on day two as we were ready to head up the lift for more challenging practice. Myia, like Nina, was amazing. She was very articulate, enthusiastic and supportive. Sarah and I learned a lot from her on Sunday. Our first foray on the Magic chair was successful and no one fell the first time. We wouldn’t be fall free that day but as Eric said to me, everyone falls. We did a few longer runs practicing out turning and control before Myia proclaimed that we could head up the Wizard chair for more difficult and longer green runs. As the day progressed my fears eased and I got a lot more aggressive with my turns and speed. That aggressiveness caused some wipeout but I learned from each of those. After few more green runs, Myia saw that the group was progressing enough to tackle some blue runs. It was intimidating a first and I bailed a lot on the first blue run we tackled. As the fears eased the blue runs became easier to manage and falling became less of an issue. It was great to finally experience more of the mountain on a board.

I was ecstatic. Here I am, someone who has never touched a snowboard before, taking on intermediate runs. I was getting hooked on snowboarding. The feeling of putting those turns together isn’t something I can describe. It’s like catching a wave on a board and once your hooked like a crackhead always chasing the next fix. I was beginning to understand these snowboarders and why people give up skiing to board. I was slowly being converted to the darkside. Thoughts of buying boarding equipment were entering my mind. I could use the horrible skiing in Collingwood as a snowboarding training ground for my next trip to Whistler. I want to be a mountain renaissance woman who skis and snowboards with ease. How freaking cool would that be? The weather conditions would dictate whether I ski or snowboard that day. People who do both tell me that they leave their skis at home on deep pow days as snowboarding is really like surfing on those days. The thought is like a virus slowly taking over my brain. I couldn’t drop snowboarding after these two days and return to skiing; it has to continue.

Roxy Snow Camp

Myia and Nina were both really impressed with my progress over the two days. I never did tell them that I was a former athlete and pick up sports pretty quickly. My friend Andrew has called me an amazing natural athlete, which is a major compliment from him.  Soccer, field hockey, basketball, track and volleyball were my sports in high school. I went to Junior nationals for Long and Triple jump back in my university days. All that training and body awareness helped me in picking up snowboarding so quickly.

Roxy Snow Camp

The Roxy Snow Camp is really for all ages. I figured I’d be the oldest but at après I met women in their 40s learning how to handle the jumps in the snowboard park. It was inspiring. I would recommend this camp to any women who are in Whistler and are looking for instruction. I got so much out of the camp that I’m giddy about it. I went into the camp with a goal to be able to turn and ride green runs without falling all over the place. The excellent teaching from Nina and Myia blew my goal out of the water. I never expected to board intermediate runs from the top of the Jersey Cream chair.

The camp is great value of the money. You get amazing instruction for two days in small groups. There were some women who got one on one instruction because there was only one person in their level. Private instruction at Whistler Blackcomb runs around $700/day including lift ticket and rentals. The Roxy Camp is $265 including a lift ticket and $199 without. Season’s pass holders get $50 off and the Edge Card gets you $35 off. There is a cool Roxy All Star Snow Camp hoodie for each camper and a little après ski with snacks and beer. You really can’t beat the camp in terms of value. Rental equipment if needed isn’t included in the camp fees. There are two more Roxy Snow Camps this year (March 18 – 19 and April 9 – 10, 2011) and they are filling up fast.   The camp is very popular with good reason.

Roxy graciously provided me access to the Roxy Snow Camp free of charge.
See all my Whistler Photos on flickr.com and Videos on vimeo.com

I want – I got takes Vancouver and Whistler – Skiing Whistler Blackcomb

Whistler Peak

My first 4 days in Whistler were spent skiing, sleeping and eating. I kept up with the blogging a bit. I tried to keep up with the fashion weeks unsuccessfully. Once the craving for sleep got to me the blogging dropped off. I usually ski 4 or 5 days in a row while in Whistler. This trip I did 7 days. Two of those days were spent learning to snowboard at the Roxy Snow Camp. My body is hurting.

Whistler Peak

I did a lot of skiing alone this trip. My friend Eric came out a few times but had to work. He’s a local and has a season’s pass so he gets out a lot. I’m very jealous of his lifestyle. Eric likes to tease me with text messages about the conditions while I’m sitting at my desk in the Financial District. It’s absolute torture. I was hoping to meet up with my friend Mo who took me on my first double black diamond runs that last time I was in Whistler. Our paths weren’t meant to cross this trip and we didn’t get to meet up. It was a shame since I knew he would push me to try other double blacks I could handle. To be safe I didn’t get to some of the runs I wanted to. One of the first statements of the Alpine Responsibility Code is to ride with a buddy.

7th Heaven on Blackcomb Mountain

Flute Bowl is a part of Whistler Mountain that taunts and tempts me every season. It requires a 20-30 minute bootpack up the Flute Ridge (find correct name). The bootpack I’ve affectionately dubbed the death march. The death march, it looks like hell but the rewards are amazing. The death march really deters people from riding the Flute Bowl which means pristine conditions and deep pow. On my list was Spanky’s Ladder which leads into the Gemstone bowls (Garnet, Sapphire, Ruby and Diamond). I skipped out on doing a lot of crazy stuff I wasn’t familiar with at all when alone. I still had an amazing time. I rode favourite areas of both mountain like 7th Heaven, Blackcomb Glacier, Peak to Creek, Symphony and Harmony.

Whistler Day 1

The last time I was in Whistler they were building the Peak 2 Peak gondola that would link Whistler and Blackcomb mountains. It’s the only gondola of it’s kind in the world.

Spanning the distance between Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains, the new world record-breaking PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola is a breathtaking, 4.4-kilometre journey to infinite possibilities. Redefining the Whistler summer experience by creating limitless new ways to get up-close-and-personal with the mountains, this engineering marvel breaks three world records.

  • Longest unsupported span of 3.024 kilometres
  • Highest lift of its kind at 436 metres above the valley floor
  • Completes the longest continuous lift system on the globe(source)

Peak to Peak

I was slightly scared my first trip across. There are only four towers and gondolas usually have many towers to get you from place to place. There is beautiful view of Fitzsmmons creek (which I ziplined across) and the valley between both mountains. I didn’t get a chance to ride one of the two glass bottomed gondolas. That would have been cool.

Peak to Peak

The first day on the mountain was painful. I didn’t do any leg training ahead of time, even though I said I would. I had to take a lot of breaks. I even had a beer which is something I never do when riding. It got better over the next days and I was able to handle runs over 6 kilometres without stopping all the time.

Whistler

Orb Clothing provided me a jacket and base layer. It wasn’t one of their more technical jackets but it worked well. It was waterproof, breathable and combined with my 4 base layers it was really warm, too warm some days. My only issue was the buttons. They were hard to snap on with gloves and one popped off on my sixth day on the mountain. I’m still wearing my K2 pants from when was 18. I love the colour but I need an upgrade to something waterproof and windproof. I way over packed for this trip. I could halved my clothing budget as I spent most of my time in gear or PJs.

Whistler Peak

The weather was a mixed bag. I saw the whole gamut of options: clear and sunny, overcast or snowy. The weather always changes in the mountains and you take what you are given. On Wednesday, a storm came into the area and closed many of the chairs heading up the mountain. Creekside was pretty much shutdown. Eric and I caught one of the last rides up the mountain. We didn’t get too far after that and headed over to the Whistler village side of things which was marginally better. The alpine saw winds of around 100 km/hr and really low visibility. That probably was the worst day I had but I still went out and rode what I could. It was a good day for warming up after my hurting day 1 on Tuesday.

Glacier Chair

Thursday was the best day. The storm of Wednesday dropped some good snow and there was some pow to be had. I was skiing alone again so I avoided a lot of the unknown fun stuff. First order of business was 7th Heaven on Blackcomb which offers some beautiful views and great gladed skiing. It lives up to the name in spades.

Blackcomb Glacier

I also made a point of hitting up the Blackcomb Glacier which is my absolute favourite spot on the mountains. The glacier is so immense. The sheer enormity of the place can’t be captured in pictures even with a wide angle lens. If you look at my photos taken from the top of the glacier you’ll see some little black specs that could be mistaken for noise. Those are people, that’s how big it is. When you finally ride out of the large glacier there is a 10km cat track that takes you back to the Excelerator chair where you can head back to the glacier if you have the patience for two more chairlifts, t-bar and a small bootpack. In all it’s probably about 13km from the top of the glacier to the end. A lot of distant to cover for one run, take that Collingwood.

Blackcomb Glacier

Monday, my last day on the mountain, was phenomenal too. It was sunny and clear for most of the day and the views of the Rocky mountain range from the alpine area were insanely beautiful. I felt really good that day despite the two days of snowboarding and using different muscles than skiing. I probably did about 25km of skiing that day. Blackcomb Glacier was revisited to see it on a clear day. I also did my favourite run Peak to Creek twice which is a 6km run from the peak of Whistler mountain all the way to the base at Creekside. Monday was a major mileage day.

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Whistler Blackcomb is why I can’t be bothered to ski in Ontario anymore. You go from runs that could take anywhere from 30 – 45 minutes to less than 5. It  just doesn’t sit well with me anymore. Of course black diamonds in Ontario don’t even come close to what you see in the mountains. Double black diamonds are just none existent.

See all my Whistler Photos on flickr.com and Videos on vimeo.com

I want – I got takes Vancouver and Whistler – Vancouver Stopover

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Getting to Vancouver was hell. I missed my flight with the perfect seat setup. I ended up on another one that way flying to Hong Kong. It was huge 777  the 3-4-3 seat configuration. I had a middle seat. It sucked, but thank god I was so damn tired that I slept the whole way. I was totally off my vacation vibe and was a super stress ball. That disappeared when I saw Denise and her car at the airport. Denise is the wife of my one of my best friends from childhood, Andrew. Denise is awesome. She arranged a surprise reunion with Andrew and I on my last trip out west to hit up Whistler. Facebook is how she tracked me down. I posted about being on the west coast and the rest was history. It was great to reconnect as we hadn’t spoken in a several years.

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The weather in Vancouver was a trip. It was like Toronto, cold and snowy. I was astonished and sad. Where was my 12 degrees dammit! I heeded the warnings and decided to pack like it was Toronto. After lunch, my first order of business was to watch Andrew play soccer with his team. Soccer is Andrew’s game and I’ve seen him play many times. Andrew has coached teams I played on in high school. Yes, I was going to watch Andrew play in the cold and snow. I didn’t know who to feel sorry for me or Andrew at first. It was cold and horrible. After the game started I knew that my sympathy needed to goto the players. The pitch and ball were slippery. It was a messy, sloppy game of football. Despite that Andrew’s team won and he scored the winning goal. It was a great welcoming moment watching Andrew do the airplane celebration down the field.

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Denise prepared a wonderful home cooked meal and my plans to hit the Tiki Bar at the Waldorf Hotel disappeared. The crazy snowstorm didn’t help the situation either. Seriously, it was like Toronto and depressing. Sunday was another day of failed plans with friends of the family. I was just tired from the commute the day before. I planned to do more in Vancouver but I promptly got very lazy on arrival and didn’t get everything I wanted to.  I did keep one commitment on Sunday. I attended an Oscar party at the Opus Bar.  The next day I paid a visit to Orb Clothing and got a peek at the new fall collection.  I went to bed early to catch the 5am bus to Whistler Tuesday morning.

See all my Whistler Photos on flickr.com and Videos on vimeo.com

I want – I got takes Vancouver and Whistler

Vancouver this morning. Where the hell am I?  Feels like back home
Vancouver Sunday morning. Where the hell am I? Feels like back home

 

Hello my dear readers,

I’m on vacation. I’m in beautiful British Columbia right now hanging out with friends in Vancouver. Tomorrow I’m heading up to Whistler for some fun ski times. I’ll be keeping you up to date on my adventures. I’ll be trying to keep an almost regular schedule here on the blog with my travel updates in between.

Things will return to normal when I get back on March 9.

Cheers
Anita

Final Whistler diary

I have one more day to write about. Can you tell I’m in total denial and if I don’t write this post it’s like I never left B.C.? I wish the 25cm we are suppose to get fell last week in B.C. while I was there. Sigh

Sigh, I will get it up as Saturday was the best day.

Whistler Style

I look a couple style shots for you all. So here they are.

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Hands down the hottest outfit on the mountain was by this British woman (who was the 2nd black person on the mountain besides me on Sat.). She was a wearing an Adidas by Stella McCartney snow suit. It was hot and I told her so. I didn’t take a picture though 🙁

There were a lot of great outfits on the mountain. I got the shots I could without having to talk to people and explain the whole fashion blogging thing.

Whistler Day 5 – The Bane of My Existence

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I talked about White Out conditions on Day 3. Those conditions were a joke compared to Friday’s outing. Friday we did Fresh Tracks which is breakfast at the Roundhouse Lodge on Whistler and first access to the mountain before opening to the public. It was snowing so we were looking for a good time. It was puking snow on the mountain all day. The freeze line was kinda high so at one point we were skiing in rain. It was awful returning to the freeze line because then you’d get cold again.

The peak was insane. 60 – 80 km/hr winds and absolutely zero visibility. I wanted to take a picture of what I saw but it would be the same as posting an image of a white square. All you saw was white, there was no way to determine which way was up or down. Gravity sometimes helped and other times the winds were pushing you so much you just prayed there was no cliffs around to fall off of. There was a reason why the Experts light was flashing at the bottom of the Peak Express chair.

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Eric and I are crazy. We hit the peak 4 or 5 times that day. Each time the weather got more and more extreme. The liftie must have been wondering about us, because we were some of the few people repeating their trips to the peak. We skied West Bowl in the mess and couldn’t see a damn thing. The snow was great there though. We also tried looking for Bagel Bowl but it was impossible. My hands were getting cold and my will to take this punishment was waning. So finally I said, I can’t do this peak shit anymore. Eric replies, Okay lets got up to peak (the lift line was zero) and hit Harmony chair. Stupid me said Okay. The route to get to Harmony from the peak of Whistler was disgusting. There were drifts everywhere so you would get stuck. The wind was so cold and I was screaming my head off the whole time. I couldn’t see Eric at all and when we did find each other, we said forget Harmony and lets get the hell out of here. The peak was the bane of my existence and I was done with the mountain. Nothing sucks the will to ski from me, but this storm had won. Snow or no snow. It’s a good thing we didn’t goto Harmony chair because they had closed it. We were the last people on peak too because they closed it also. That’s mountain weather for you.

I’m sure you are wondering about some of these runs I’ve taken so here is a link to a pdf mountain map and an interactive map. I’ll do a list of all my runs in the Day 6 post.

Whistler Day 5 – Expert Status

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I feel like the skier I should be finally. Today really helped my confidence in my ability which sometimes waver. Eric couldn’t join me on the slopes today so I thought I would be alone, but Mo saved the day. Mo is an incredible skier and saying those words doesn’t do the man justice. It’s disgusting how good he is. He also has his level 2 teaching so I wanted to make sure that I used his time and advice wisely.

After he saw me do a couple runs, he looked and me and said “You’re a good skier, what the hell am I suppose to teach you.” I breathed a sigh of relief, I’m doing it right. I should let people know that I first started skiing in Grade 4 and that’s over 20 years ago. I also had a lot of instruction during my younger years. That is growing up in Richmond Hill for you 🙂

So, Mo knew I wanted to hit up blowhole today. He decided that I should be trying some other harder runs too. So we went to one of his favourite runs the double black diamond, Coulier Extreme off of Chainsaw Ridge. The Ski and Snowboard Guide to Whistler Blackcomb describes Coulier like this:

An ultra-popular mega-couloir. The line is right down the center of the bowl. Formally known as the Saudan Coulior, this has been the staging place for the thigh-burning horror show know as the Coulior Extreme Race.

I took a look and it was hairy, really hairy. I passed and said let’s try something else first. So we went through Secret Bowl to Pakalolo which is also another black diamond run. it didn’t look as hairy and I took it with little complaints.

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We hit up the Blackcomb Glacier and I went on blowhole which was a cakewalk compared to Pakalolo. The pic above is me standing at the opening of blowhole. Once warmed up, it was back to Coulior Extreme. I didn’t pass this time, but I did have a tiny freakout once I got past the point of no return. It is so damn steep, I wasn’t sure if I could get down this thing. Since there was no way out, I got my composure back and said let’s do this shit. The top picture is me begining my descent. You can get a bit of the feel of how steep it was. It’s even steeper in real life.

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I don’t ever use the term “Giv’er” seriously ever; it’s always been in a mocking tone. After coming out of Coulior I truly felt like I had “Gived Her”. I had a huge giddy grin on my face the whole day which consisted of two more times on the Glacier, some 7th Heaven and Horstman Glacier.

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Today was really beautiful up top, not a cloud in the sky. The clouds were all mid-mountain and it was a beautiful view. I’m getting a goggle tan, I forgot to wear my moisturizer with sunscreen today

Whistler Day 4 – A little bit of powder

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I could write a long post about how amazing it was today, but I won’t because I’m tired and I have other posts to write. Today was the hardest day of skiing so far. In addition to the powder to deal with, we did a lot of bump skiing today. I was complaining at how I’m not a good bump skier so it was practice, practice, practice today. I wonder how long my legs will last.

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I will say that Blackcomb Glacier was stupid fun today. The little pathway past the double black diamond run BlowHole that opens up the rest of the glacier to advanced and intermediate skiers was so sketchy. It was snowing and visibility was pretty low. It was sketchier yesterday in the bright sun. There was a man in front of me and you could tell he was having a problem with the height. He was grabbing at the snow wall and crouching as he walked. I kept a good distance from this guy. Yesterday, I was a bit nervous about the pathway but today it was all good. I took a good look a BlowHole and I’m going to take it tomorrow. It will be my first double black diamond run. Wish me luck. We tried to hit the glacier again but it was closed by the time we go out of it and back to the Excelerator chair.

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I also did a lot of gladed skiing today which was fantastic. Gladed skiing is through the trees and it can be quite hairy. There is no place for wrong choices because you end up getting to know a tree really well. There was one run called Arthur’s Choice that was so crazy. Some turns would result in a foot drop in vertical. It was really beautiful in there with the trees covered in moss and the fog building as you wander down. Of course my camera died by this point and I didn’t get any pictures. Please enjoy the ones I have posted though.

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Snow is coming Friday and Saturday. I only planned to ski 5 days, but I don’t think I’m gonna pass on Saturday if the snow continues. This week has been incredible, the mountains are completely dead.

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Isn’t windburn sexy!

Whistler Day 3 – White Out

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It wasn’t clear and beautiful today. It was windy and we were in the clouds on the top of Whistler. It was snowing towards the end of the day which was a plus. I hear that lots of snow is coming on Friday; I’m praying to the snow gods that it’s true.

Whistler didn’t have the fashion I was expected. Blackcomb seriously kicked Whistler’s ass in terms of style. Although, I have to give props to the older gentleman I saw rocking a purple jumpsuit, that was hot. Skiing and snowboarding are the only sports where you will see men wearing the most ridiculous colours like purple and neon green. I love it. I didn’t see any Pucci or Prada on the slopes either.

So I didn’t take any style pictures so I thought I would break down my own ski style. It’s not all that fashion forward and leans on the more practical side.

My jacket by 686 is for snowboarding actually. I didn’t buy it with the intention of using it for skiing, it was just suppose to be a warm winter jacket. It was downfilled and I liked the cut. It works well for skiing as it blocks the wind and allows movement. I really would like to get a great gore tex shell and a nice fleece to be honest. The key to staying warm is layering after all. Those are purchases for much later.

My pants are a relic from when I last owned ski equipment, which was about ’92. I realized how out of touch I was with advances in ski equipment when I first came to Whistler. I rented the high performance skis which are about at eye level now. When I last had skis they were measuring them to the tip of you hands elevated. The skis now are much shorter, fatter and carve like a son of a bitch. It took a bit of adjustment. I realized how ancient my ski experiences were when I read this passage in the Ski & Snowboard Guide to Whistler Blackcomb describing the Chunkys Choice run.

Considered a classic when bump skiing was the rage! Dust off that “daffy” with which you used to impressed the chicks. Scott boots, Spalding skis and Schneider stretch pants required!

I actually owned a pair of stretch pants back in the day, you don’t see that stuff around now, that’s for sure. For the record I started skiing in grade 4 which is over 20 years ago.

I had friends talk to me about the shopping Whistler. It sucks, it’s mostly stuff you see back home, The Gap and Billabong. The only store that has me jazzed was The North Face store. I went in tonight and was a little disappointed. The women’s section is pretty small. I did see a 3/4 length silver down filled coat that I really like though. Speaking of The North Face, my gloves are from them. They have a little stash pocket that you can put hand warmers in. They also have special fabric on the thumbs for wiping goggles, which is a nice touch.

There is nothing you can do about a helmet, they look dorky, but it’s better than a head injury. I’m not a recreational, lazy daisy skier. I like to go fast and I go hard. It’s always a serious workout when I go skiing out here. That is a trait of all my outdoor pursuits I’m not there to take it easy, I’m there to work my butt off.

One of my favourite runs is the black diamond Dave Murray run on Whistler. It’s used alot for downhill races and training that it’s closed alot. It’s a great run, fast, steep grade, no moguls. You can get into a rhythm of short turns really easily. I prefer short turns to the wide and long ones.

I’m contemplating trying the Ziptrek tour so I can fly around at 80km/hr on a cable through the trees.

Whistler Day 2 – Apres Ski

IMGP8613
Today was the first day on the mountain and it was spectacular. My friend Eric and I spent the day on Blackcomb and it was completely dead. Lift lines were non-existent and you had free run of the place. We did Blackcomb glacier once and stuck to runs around the Excalibur, 7th Heaven, SolarExpress and Glacier lifts.

I am within walking distance to the mountain, this mornings trek was like a death march. I have new boots that aren’t quite broken in yet. My feet hurt and continued throughout the morning. By the end of the day though, they were all good.

I’m liking the K2 One Luv skis too. They are pretty fast but controllable.

I’m kicking myself for not bringing my camera today because I saw lots of interesting ski wear out and about. Oh well, tomorrow.

Sorry about the lack of posts this past week

IMGP5962It’s been a crazy hectic week. I’ve been planning my vacation in Whistler (I am writing this from there now on my new Asus eee pc) and getting work commitments done.

However, since I’m now mobile you’ll get all the updates on my vacation in real time instead of a week later. It’s 1pm westcoast time and it’s messing with my head a bit. I still have a full day to do stuff.

The World Cup is happening on the mountain so there will be no skiing today as it’s quite busy. I’m hoping for a big dumping of snow while I’m here.

Look for more pictures during the week. Hopefully I’ll be able to get some ski style shots while I’m out here, but I don’t expect much.

Whistler

My friend has been taunting me with tales of massive snowfall every night and skiing Blackcomb glacier on Christmas. It’s complete with photos. Look at that snow, it’s killing me!

Whistler 2008

February is coming soon.

I’m in love with Blackcomb Glacier

Anita in Whistler, BC 2005 Trip
Blackcomb Mountain is so beautiful. In my 2005 trip, I didn’t really see much of Blackcomb. I was too busy trying to figure out which way was up. The conditions were terrible, visibility was like 5 feet, snow was blowing sideways and it was cold. I used to think Whistler was my favourite mountain but today’s trip definitely changed that. My friend Eric told me Blackcomb Glacier gives a new meaning to big. I thought he was being a bit melodramatic, I was wrong. You get the opening of this glacier and you are completely awestruck. It’s big alright, fucking big. You look down and see how tiny the other skiers are in the bowl. It took a gondola, 2 lift chairs and a t-bar to get Blackcomb Glacier from the base. We skied the glacier again but it only took 2 lift chairs and a t-bar. It’s totally worth it. My pictures will not do the glacier justice. It’s grander than grand and completely humbling; then you get to ride it. w00t!

Note: this picture is from my 2005 trip. My outfit is pretty much the same, sans helmet and mittens. I got different mitts and said screw you to the helmet.

I’m in Whistler and you’re not

Kidrobot Gloomy Bear
Okay, the title of this post is kinda cruel but I’m enjoying my time in Whistler, BC. I skied some of Whistler mountain on Monday and hit Blackcomb mountain today. Apparently, we are going to get a dumping of snow on Thursday, so I’m getting giddy for the powder. w00t. I’m taking a bunch of pictures but I don’t have a laptop so you’ll have to see them when I get back. I’m posting this from my friend’s Powerbook.

Skiing is like riding a bike, you never forget how to do it. Those 10+ years of skiing regularly in my youth has helped me move back into black diamond territory. I’m still not brave or good enough to attempt the double black diamond runs.

Talk to you soon readers. Regular blogging will start on April 8, 2007

image: kidrobot.com