WILL COLFORD, SnowSeekers Inc.
Welcome to the fourth installment of Whistler Whereabouts.
I awoke to the sound of bombs. Muffled and distant, their heavy growls signal another day of deep turns. Groggily, I sighed heavily and got up; the bombs continued.
Sound is an important connector for skiers and borders. Since I was being taken into both Harmony and Symphony bowl on Whistler Mountain today, I decided to keep my ears open. One of the first sounds I heard this morning was an Australian accent from my tour guide, Matt Mohr.
“How ya goin?” he asked, with a strong shake of my hand.
After some initial discussion about snowfall and just how good it was up top, we decided it’d be best to try for Harmony bowl. A short hike from the Whistler gondola and we were standing on top of the run, Rabbit Tracks.
The stiff wind bristled the pines, like some kind of organic wind chime. The bowl was devoid of people and sound after our boots rested, and the team took a moment to pick a line.
All four of us blew off a wind lip then jet streamed a fresh pow-line to the bottom. Going that fast through fresh sounds like a predatory hiss. As if a snake is giving you fair warning, though you’re not sure where it is. It’s all around.
Immediately after stopping, another familiar sound: laughter – inundating, enthralling, laughter. It’s the only noise that has any chance of describing how we felt. As we make our way down to the Harmony chair, others join our laughter. Everyone in line – all eight of us – were either laughing, or religiously silent.
“Unlike the Coke bottle effect of Whistler Bowl, you get to the top of Harmony and pretty much pick 1,000 different ways to go down,” said Mohr. “There’s all these little sections with six to eight turns in each. The best is linking all the sections together in one continues run. Then when that gets tracked out you can access about 1000 different areas from Harmony.”
Our run took us right underneath the lift line and linked together Little Whistler, the Camel Humps, and the trees to skier’s left of lower Harmony Piste. During this run, a new sound emerged. It’s a sucking breath as waves of snow break head high, every single turn.
Blowing through a solid cloud, everything goes white and you emerge like a rabid snowman, frothing at the mouth and hungry for more.
Like colliding sofas, Mohr hits my glove in a fierce high-five. “How’s that for ya?”
All I can do is exhale and beam.
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