For the past five years or so, I have been buying passes to Blue Mountain Resort. This “mountain” (hill), is located north-west of Barrie, Ontario and is extremely popular as it is the best ski/snowboarding option in a fairly large geographical radius here in Southern Ontario. However, popular means busy and busy means line-ups. The drive from Toronto can take up to three hours with traffic. Despite all of this I have gone half a dozen times or so each year because buying a season pass early is a good value and I enjoy most of the runs.
This year will be different. My friend has convinced me to try out a season’s pass to Glen Eden which is located near Milton, Ontario. The cost is roughly the same and the drive is significantly shorter. My hope is that the crowds are much smaller and that the runs don’t get too old, too fast.
So far, there are no DC events trips booked for the season so I don’t yet know where I am going to get my real mountain fix. I am hoping to organize trips to Vermont and Ellicottville in New York, but time will tell if that actually happens.
Does anyone have any opinions on Glen Eden? I’m eager to try it out and post about the experience.
My 10th trip to Whistler approaches! I’m definitely psyched.
This time Sunday morning, I should hopefully be airborne, flying an Air Canada 777 en route to Hong Kong by way of Vancouver. (I chose that flight because as an Air Canada Elite member, I had a decent shot at upgrading to one of their Executive suites. Alas, I have been waitlisted.) In Vancouver, I’ll hook up with my brother, who is arriving an hour earlier via WestJet.
We’ll have a couple of hours to kill before the next Perimeter Bus to Whistler, so it’s likely we’ll have a beer or three. My cousin, who operates the best burger restaurant in Vancouver, is going to pop by to say hello.
Despite now having visited 10 times, I’ve only stayed in a hotel twice: once at the Listel hotel and once at the Mountainside Lodge. The rest of the time I have rented condos or houses. This time, however, I’m staying at the Hilton Whistler, and I’m definitely excited to check it out. We’ve got a suite, so we should have plenty of room to spread out and relax.
As I’ve mentioned, conditions look off the hook for early season! They’ve had more than eight feet of snow this season already, with more than 4,300 acres already opened. Most of my favourite non-bowl areas (Garbonzo area on Whistler, Crystal Chair on Blackcomb) are now open. Another 50-80 cm are expected tomorrow and Sunday. So this has the potential to turn into an epic couple of days of riding. (There’s also the risk that conditions will be crazy and zero visibility. I’m praying that’s not the case.)
You can be sure that once the trip has concluded, there will be a full report! I’ll also update my Guide to Whistler, which I’ve maintained since 2006.
As I mentioned in yesterday’s return to blogging about snowboarding, I am heading to Whistler for a few days next week. With a baby due in January, I knew my annual week-long trip to Whistler to ride was not going to happen. I had resigned myself to skipping this year entirely, but some vacation days to burn and a fair bit of snow recently have changed my mind. As a result, I’m heading up Sunday (the 27th). The plan is to ride two days, and come back Wednesday.
I know conditions can’t possibly be like what I experienced in 2010, but with up to 80 centimetres scheduled to arrive by Tuesday, I’m hoping to encounter some pretty good early season conditions. Whistler only has a couple of chairs operating right now (green chair, red chair), but with Blackcomb opening on the 24th and a big dump of snow on the way, I’m hoping available terrain will expand greatly by the time I get on the hill on the 28th.
Regardless, it will be fun.
Damn you, blog.
It’s been more than a year since anything has been posted at Highly Obsessed. And even when we did post some stuff last year, it didn’t last long. It’s been a struggle the past couple of years.
So, what happened? It’s not like we enjoy snowboarding less than we used to. Personally, I found myself riding fewer total days; instead of heading to Blue Mountain or Mt. St. Louis Moonstone for a few day trips, I was saving it for trips to real mountains like Whistler or Jay Peak or Tremblant. So I was only riding maybe a dozen days a year. I guess this made me feel like I wasn’t much of an authority on snowboarding anymore.
And in a way, I don’t think it’s going to get any easier. We are going to have a baby just as snowboarding season gets into full swing. My job is never slow, and I do a fair bit of travel is involved. I also like to spend time working out, playing video games, and reading. I also play hockey and ultimate frisbee. So there never seems to be enough time in the day already.
But with all that said, a funny thing has been happening. This blog refuses to die, and I find it both interesting and inspiring. It gets all sorts of traffic, regardless of season. People still email me constantly with questions, contests and news. I still get the occasional ACL tear inquiry (and I’ve had laser eye surgery, another topic which seems to garner tons of questions, so I’m happy to answer those, too).
So I started to think: do I really need to be on the mountain 100 days a year to maintain an interesting snowboarding blog? I don’t think so. And do I still love to snowboard? Hell yes. So I’ve decided to fire up the blog again, and I’m really looking forward to it.
The timing is right, too. A week today, I will leave for a quick, four-day, pre-baby trip to Whistler. I didn’t want to miss out on Whistler this year, and they’re getting dumps of snow regularly right now. But all that is for my next post.
(Image courtesy of Tommy Ironic)