Ski Photography: Snow Ghosts in Big White, British Columbia
I just got back from Big White as the token Seppo on a long ski weekend. Day One was the most spectacular: a stellar powder day that ensured first tracks for sidecountry skiers and riders… and I was with some pretty aggressive snowboarders.
The early part of Day One saw extremely low visibility midmountain, which made for some interesting photo opportunities: lots of shadows slowly, silently emerging from the snowy fog.
Below are some of my favorites.
These images are unedited save for cropping: you may have to squint to find some of the hidden objects and figures.
Snow ghosts are trees completely covered in ice and frost, so that no trunk or needle is visible. They’re entirely white. When they’re shrouded in cloud, fog, or snow, these trees become invisible, and are thus a formidable ski hazard.
I took the term “snow ghost” and extrapolated it to every just-out-of-sight object and person I saw during that awesome day on the mountain, because… well, I just did.
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In Which I Admit the View from the Peak 2 Peak Gondola is Not Bad
I was angry when I heard that the Peak 2 Peak Gondola was being built to link Whistler and Blackcomb. Just what we needed to ruin the vista: a big ol’ cable and a bunch of red gondola cars strung between the two gorgeous mountains of North America’s ski and snowboard Mecca.
I used the Peak 2 Peak for the very first time earlier this week, and the view was absolutely gorgeous, even when overall visibility wasn’t that great. So, fine. You win. The view from the Peak 2 Peak is pretty good.
Our original plan for the midweek trip was to go helicopter skiing, but visibility was not on our side, and the heli wouldn’t fly. The Peak 2 Peak would have to do. On the other hand, the four of us (three skiers and me on a board) enjoyed hip- and knee-deep powder for two straight days whenever we went off-piste.
Whistler: Screw the Symphony Chair
The Symphony Chair is still bullshit, though. I stand by that. If you want to ride or ski Flute Bowl, you should have to hike for it.
For those of you planning your dirtbag ski/snowboard trip, check out Whistler. Unlike during the 2010 Winter Games, the mountains actually have snow. Also, hotels don’t really care how many people you cram into a room, it seems… if those room rates seem high to you, just imagine them divided by 5 people. Suddenly, it’s cheaper than staying at home. Just leave the skis and boards downstairs.
Beers by the hot tub are also tacitly condoned, but I can’t explicitly endorse it.
Actually, I kinda can.