Whistler, it’s one of those places most everybody knows for one reason or another. I know it for it’s world class options for outdoor activities, mainly snowboarding. I have always wanted to ride Whistler and I finally had the chance to. Although it was summer and the snow was typical summer snow you can find anywhere and not the dry endless deep pow that we all know Whistler can be in the Winter, it was still a lot of fun. The Horstman Glacier is open during the summer and is basically a big park (jumps, tabletops, rails, boxes, etc) and given that it IS summer I already knew what the snow would be like. So I purchased a ticket and went and got my gear from the truck.
I still had a little bit of time before I could actually ride though since they don’t let you start until noon. My splitboard is made by a company called Prior Snowboards and they make/design all of their boards right here in Whistler so I had to check out their shop. Bunch of great guys and talked with them for awhile. They offered me 3 free demo boards to play with but unfortunately I had to turn it down since I was only riding this one day. Could have been a fun week if I was staying in Whistler a few more days! Oh well, back to getting ready to ride now that I’ve passed a little time.
It was ridiculously hot (for snowboarding), about 90°F. So I just put on my snowboard pants and a regular t-shirt and was ready to go. 2 lifts (I did quickly see a bear on the 2nd lift), a bus ride, another lift, and I’m finally at the top with wide open clear blue sky mountainous views everywhere I look, not to mention the snow filled park Glacier I am now standing on!
The sun was beating down hard and I had forgotten sunscreen (of course) but luckily borrowed some from somebody on the bus portion but knew it wouldn’t last too long in this weather, oh well. Ready to ride!
The park (and riders) were incredible. I felt like novice around everyone here though. I’m fairly new to park riding and back in Oregon you have a good mix of all skill levels in the park areas. Nope, not here. Guys, girls, kids…everyone was tearing up the park like it was nothing. It was really cool to watch. But, I’m here to ride and try not to get distracted watching everyone else launch off all the jumps. I haven’t ridden in a few months so the first run was just a quick, straight down, run to get the feel for things again. Afterwards I hit the small/medium jumps. At the end of this winter season I was working on getting better at 180’s and started to work on 360’s (nothing to special compared to what is considered “good” in the snowboarding world, but you gotta start somewhere) and since it had been so long it was a little bit of a rough start. I landed a few 180’s and had a pretty good crash trying to do a 360. Well, actually it wasn’t a bad crash per se, but the snow crystals were sharp from the heat and when I slid (only wearing a t-shirt). It’s all part of the game though 🙂 .
3 hours later I was feeling a little dehydrated and I knew the small one layer of sunscreen I had on was long gone at this point so decided to head back down and call it a day since I still had a little over 5 hours of driving I still wanted to do.
Not much more happened from here on out. Got dressed, got in the truck, and started my 5 and 1/2 hour drive to Lac La Hache Provincial Park where I would be camping. Finally arrive around 11:30PM, quickly set up my tent and dozed off quickly.