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Whistler, British Columbia, Canada.

Off-piste skiing, Whistler. Target is the pristine hill in the distance. April 2007.

Whistler is known to have some good powder snow but then it has to snow for a few days.

In mid April in 2007 the weather was not great, 5 days of rain in the valley, turning to snow higher up, mostly overcast. However, this paid off.

On Saturday, our last day, the weather suddenly cleared and we went into the outback to put the first turns in a pristine hill, which would be visible from the normal runs.

It took us an hour to get to the base of the hill. First we following a narrow trail above a cliff where you had to stay high or else.

Here a young Chineze-Canadian snowboarder somehow got stuck on top of the rocks of the 10 meter cliff. He sat very still, waiting for help, while his girl-friend was crying. We couldn't do anything, just call the snow patrol again, as you needed a rope to get him out on this very steep slope.

We left the scene,c arried on along the trail, and skied down a broad long slope in 50 cm deep snow. Now we had to cross to the hill in the far distance, see picture above.

The last 200 meters up we had to walk up which took us half an hour. The walking up with a pair of 12 kg skies is tiring but doable. However, the warm ski-outfit turns the freezing tempeartures into a sauna, so we were soaking wet in subzero temperatures.

Walking up the last few meters to the ridge, view at Blackcomb Mountain in the far distance/

Gary went first, watching for pieces of ice that dropped down the ridge. Ian went second. They both had regular narrow turns. I was last, deciding to make the turns wider, more like water-skiing. This was surprisingly easy, the soft powder relatively light to make turns.

Snow turns on the ridge.

The ridge we skied down in the far distance. Ian (left) and the author (right) posing.

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