I remember as a kid when I would go skiing with a big group, at breakfast there would be huge smiles on the more experienced skiers faces if there’d been a huge powder dump overnight. At the time I didn’t really know why there was so much excitement but I knew that it must be good for good reason because it is all they could talk about at breakfast and then at dinner when we cam back together as a group.
Of course a few years later I got to experience the powder for myself and I quickly understood what all the fuss was about. Powder skiing is special, there’s something quite special about carving through it, making fresh tracks with the snow up to your waist.
Whilst off piste Skiing in Whistler is a huge thrill and some of the best on the planet, we all know that there is rick involved. We all have to respect the mountain and mother nature. So here are a few simple tips to follow:
Go With A Guide
A very experienced guide in France once taught me that the biggest piece of advice when going off piste is to bring a long a qualified guide. With a true pro leading the way you will maximise the fun you will have on your day out and he/she will also make sure that you ski in areas that match you ability.
The main reason for the guide is for the years of knowledge and first hand experience they possess – they know exactly how to minimise risks. They take a lot of the stress out of your trip because they will always be checking the weather, conditions and giving you the right gear before making the final call about if it is safe to ski on that day.
If you have brought your safety gear with you then you need to make sure you check it, even if it has been supplied then you still need to heck. So pack your bag the evening before and then check again that everything required is in the bag.
Also, you need to be wearing the right clothes and expect the unexpected because the weather can change very quickly when you’re on the mountain. Have a good chat to your guide the evening before you leave to ask any questions you may have.
If you are hiring a guide then you need to chat with them and also make your own checks of the weather forecast. The key things to look out for are snow fall and the avalanche warning level. The more experience you get the more you will become used to working out the ideal conditions for off piste skiing.