Whistler gets its first big dump

The second week of December offered 123 fresh cm of snow to joy the powder enthusiasts. After a somewhat disappointing 2014/15 season, the heavy load this week was met with high hopes for the upcoming season. This was a busy weekend to begin with what with Questival and North West Winter Fest going, as well as classes wrapping up for the year. Despite Friday and Saturday night being full of dancing, music, and art, and a need to complete end of block assignments during the time before these events, the urge to ski fresh pow was too strong of a force to ignore.

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Deep in the trenches on Sunday after a hard night of dancing at the North West Winter Fest. Photo by Sid Hammer.

The Quest Freeride Club facebook page was under a constant bombardment of people offering and asking for rides to Whistler Blackcomb all weekend. A few other students and I started the Quest Freeride Club to encourage other skiers and snowboarders to explore new areas on the mountain, and feel comfortable skiing big mountain lines. It also doubles as a ride sharing page, and we’ve held events in the past such as a pray-for-snow bonfire.

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Hayden Wyatt takes advantage of the soft landings that 123 cm of fresh snow provides. Photo by Sid Hammer.

Quest students weren’t the only ones flocking to the mountains this weekend, and as the lift lines grew, heads began to turn towards the backcountry. However, due to a raincrust that formed prior to the big storm, avalanche conditions were generally unstable. Thanks to JF Plouffe, the recreation and fitness coordinator, students were able to do avalanche safety training this weekend as well. I was fortunate enough to take a month long course with JF last February, but the weekend courses give students the knowledge that they need to safely travel and do companion rescues in the backcountry.

As the first semester comes to a close, spirits in the skiing and snowboarding community are high, and storms are projected to continue over winter break, offering a large incentive to get back to Quest as quickly as possible.

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