Monster Day In The Blackcomb Slackcountry

G3 athlete John Wells checked in with a TR and quick POV video from some good times earlier this season, escaping the warm temps at Mt Baker to score some freshies in the Whistler Blackcomb slackcountry...

Paul Kimbrough & I decided to take a weekend trip up from Mt. Baker to sample the goods at Whistler Blackcomb. A short 2.5 hour drive from Bellingham, Blackcomb has world renowned backcountry access and a little new snow never hurts. With 10-15 cms overnight and a clearing trend forming, the high pressure was a good sign that the alpine would open.

After waiting patiently at the Blackcomb Glacier for the bombs to blow and the rope to drop, we contemplated our fate for the day, straight to skinning or one lap on the untouched glacier. After seeing pro skier James Heim launch a wind lip into the glacier and the pow cloud behind him, our eyes told us to rip! It was a nice change from the dreary days of “no snow” this winter, big fresh turns, a cliff or too, landed us GS pow turns down the glacier which warmed us up for our tour over to Spearhead and beyond.

Cold temps wicked the moisture from the wet snow that fell the day before and it was just enough to make the lines fresh, but not add any unwanted danger on the already suspect snowpack. Paul and I quickly made work of the terrain, skiing an East Col chute back to South Col and then over to Spearhead Chute #1 (Cham Chutes). After poking around and checking out the pucker/gnar factor, my undies were clean, and ready to shred. There was no local info on the conditions of the spearhead chutes so like always we had to go see for ourselves. A little rocky and tight made for excellent couloir skiing, taking one’s time is crucial in these situations. One missed step or tip clip on a rock and the whole show could be over quick. Tight, calculated turns, led us down the couloir and on to mellow pastures, and the Spearhead glacier.

With the best turns ahead of us we skinned over to Husume Chute back into Glacier Creek road, the hike to the true summit was fun and engaging. With lots of exposure, sugary boot holes, and rocky rocks. The sunset light up our souls and gave us a good steep line down the chute and back to the ski area boundary. Paul and I opted for the download leg saver session to the village where darkness blanketed our tired eyes and filled out bodies with the satisfaction of complete exhaustion coupled with utter joy!.....ah skiing.

Author: John Wells

When John Wells came out west, he didn't look back. Setting up home base near Mt Baker, the snowiest resort on earth, we don't blame him for staying. A bonified slackcountry slayer, John likes his skis fat, his cliffs big, the snow deep, and visibility optional.