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jordansahls

Whistler back country recommendations?

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So, I'm finally making the trip up to Whistler and I need some help figuring out some good backcountry ski options. I know Whistler is a virtual mecca of ski options but it seems like lots of the ones I have been seeing require a lift ticket to get to the backcounty zones. I'm just looking to go full human powered from start to finish.

 

I have seen a lot of information on Oboe peak ad Cowboy ridge and the surrounding area, but I can't tell how the access works (gondola, lift to backcountry, skin up?). I have also been looking at Rainbow mountain and mount Sproatt as well as the Olympic park.

 

Anyways, I just want to get into the good old backcountry and get a few turns, what do y'all recommend?

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If the viz is decent, buy a one ride ticket for Blackcomb and head out towards Decker, Pattison, etc. I know this isn't really what you are asking, but the best terrain is pretty high above the valley, esp. early season, and you'll spend way too much time getting to treeline.

 

 

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JasonG has pointed out the issue. You'll spend most of the day slogging into the alpine in the whistler area. The backcountry pass is worth it. Try the Singing Pass Trail for access to the Musical Bumps are if you do want to go human powered.

 

The backcountry pass enables you to get up to the top of the highest chairs, and then ski into the backcountry from there.

 

Also check out Rainbow Mountain (Callaghan Valley) or drive an extra hour to the Duffey. You'll start at 1300m which makes getting a few laps in that much easier. Tends to be drier and colder than whistler, making for less but better snow.

 

Have fun!

Edited by maurop

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Thank you both for the info. Most people I talk to say the same thing, get the one way ticket up Blackcomb. However, the Blackcomb website says nothing about a one way ticket. I assume I can get one when I'n there? It seems like backcountry access tickets are somewhat of a hot topic at Whistler these days...

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The b/c passes don't get advertised, my guess is so that people don't abuse them and potentially for liability?

 

Anyways, they'll do a safety check (beacon/probe/shovel/skins) to make sure you have the gear to go into the backcountry. You can pick one up at guest services usually.

 

Whatever you do, please don't abuse the privileges that come with the pass :)

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Yep, just go into Guest Services, just beside the regular ticket kiosks, and ask for a b/c pass. they will ask to see probe, shovel and beacon. that is all. with W/B all on RFID now, the one-ride tix aren't as easy to abuse (i.e. run laps in-bounds) because it is set to use once to get you to the top lift. they are about $70, i believe. not cheap, but compared to the $120 full freight, it is a deal, i guess. Duffey Lake is pretty nice too, and free - head up to Rohr/Marriot Basin or into Cerise Creek - easy to find info and maps online. Both are easy 90 min skins from the road to the alpine and lots of lap options.

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