Photos by Vince Shuley
It’s been snowing hard all week here in Whistler with 150cm falling in the last seven days. Freezing levels are settling down with more of the white stuff on the way this week. Hopefully you got a chance to make it up here, but if you missed this storm, fret not. When the resort turns to moguls and hardpack groomers, powder can be found in the world class Whistler backcountry.
Commonly labelled “slackcountry” or “side-country,” backcountry skiing areas adjacent to resort boundaries areas have little or no avalanche control and therefore require skills, equipment and guidance to ski them safely. That means taking an avalanche course and navigating terrain yourself, or hiring a qualified guide for the day.
Take me back(country)
Here at Mountain Skills Academy & Adventures we specialize in getting skiers and snowboarders to the goods safely with our Backcountry Freeride Tours. One of the most popular touring destinations in the world is right here in our backyard – the Spearhead Range. Access the alpine through Whistler Blackcomb’s lift system, spend a day touring and skiing glaciers (and couloirs if ability allows) then return to the resort to ski straight back into Whistler Village where the beer is waiting.
One of our favourite destinations in the Spearhead Range is Decker Mountain. With a gradual approach up the north-facing Decker Glacier, skiing is possible down the west facing (and steep) Main Chute, back down the glacier for wide open turns or down the 9th Hole couloir. A perfect day trip with options to do multiple laps, it’s easy to see why Decker is a classic route in the Blackcomb backcountry.
But don’t just take our word for it. Take a look at the Decker’s terrain yourself and book your Backcountry Skiing Freeride adventure today. We guide throughout the Sea to Sky Corridor, so let us know if you have a particular destination in mind. We also offer overnight hut trips and the four-day Spearhead Traverse (available later in the season).
Stay up to date on backcountry skiing conditions with these handy resources:
Whistler Blackcomb’s backcountry forecast