STORM CYCLES DAY 10-12: The Whistler Sessions

Whistler Sunset. Trent Bona Photo

Whistler Sunset. Trent Bona Photo

With good snow and awesome weather, Whistler made our first trip end in a bang. We had sick cliff zone sessions, cornice drop sessions, a backcountry sunset booter session, and some of the best light we’ve had to shoot in on the whole trip. Everyone was stoked, we did it.

Whistler was the only location we didn’t have a “host” to show us around, we were on our own to seek out the zones that we would shoot. A few of us had skied here before so together, we found some cool spots, a couple spots that I’ve wanted to ski since the first time I laid eyes on them, many years ago. As always, it was cool to see everyone look at a zone and pick different lines, depending on skier style, the first zone was called the Jersey Cream Wall; a row of cliffs, mostly with flat landings, especially so early in the season. We ended up shaping two big rocks into jumps and we were able to air the cliffs and then ski right into the lips we shaped. Milked.

After that we went and played in the woods a bit, got some pillow shots and some cool angles on pow turns. There was only one more day of filming left, time flies when you’re having fun!

All the other guys, being from the States love to get poutine when they come up to Canada, so that night we went out to the village and got some. I fell asleep at seven o’clock that evening; the early mornings and long days were finally catching up to me.

The next day was technically our last day of shooting, and the day was filled with more jib-type skiing. I was on the sidelines for most of it watching the other guys do their thing which was super impressive and fun to watch. At the end of the day we built a jump and hung out above the clouds and watched and filmed as the setting sun made the light more and more interesting. The Tusk in all it’s glory, was looming in the distance.

The crew called it a wrap, but there were a few things I had seen on a ridge near the “Left Hook” area. We had a small window where the ridge was going to be in the sunlight so Trent and I got up early one last time to get the shots. One was super straight forward; ski down a steep exposed ridge and send it 15-20 feet out the bottom. The toughest part was getting down to the ridge; I had to hang of off trees and manoeuvre my skis around them to get into position. I got half way to where I wanted to start and looked up, wondering if I should bail on the idea. It looked almost harder to go up than it would be to continue manoeuvring down to ski the line I had never skied before, I forced the thoughts of surrendering out of my head and continued.

That run didn’t turn out as I hoped; it was shorter than It looked and really steep, so my turns weren’t as smooth as I had envisioned, but after I was able to scope out a double drop from below and it was good to go, so I ripped up the Red Chair then onto the Peak Chair and over to the double. It was so steep between the two cliffs that when I came to the top it looked like it would be hard not to send the whole thing in one air, I even considered it, but as I got closer and closer to the edge I saw that if I just crept over the first 20 footer, the bottom (which was smaller) would be no problem. All I could hope for was that there were no rocks in that snowfield between the cliffs. The last drop in was one of the best of the whole trip, and the turns skiing out the bottom after stomping it, and knowing that that was it, that we were done, felt so good. I hooted and hollered as I skied through the runout then jumped on the phone to call Trent to see how the shot went, he was stoked. Now, it’s a wrap.

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