The World Comes to Whistler (Again), Which Resorts Are Open (and Closed), Deals, Deals, and Going MOD with Recon

“It Begins…” Canada’s Biggest Ski and Snowboard Festival At Whistler: Photo Credit: Mike Crane/WSSF

Hey, if I wasn’t laid up with post-op knee surgery, you can bet I’d be couch surfing up in Whistler and attending the TELUS World Ski and Snowboard Festival. From its humble beginnings as the World Technical Skiing Championship to a year-end party that is totally huge in its scope and creativity, the TWSSF brings together the international ski and snowboard tribes to shred, talk story, show videos and images, and generally spread the stoke. And of course with a snow base that’s measure in hundreds of centimetres, (I gave up counting in mid March), the skiing and riding will be truly awesome.

In no particular order, here are my top picks:

Olympus Pro Photographer Showdown – Wednesday, April 18, Whistler Convention Centre. What, it’s SOLD OUT already? Maybe they should move this event to Rogers Arena to accommodate everyone who wants to see it. Good luck to elder snowboard statesman shooter Scott Serfas, who is an entrant this year.

The Mountain Culture Variety Show – Sunday, April 15,Whistler Conference center

This could really be the sleeper event of the year, given the outstanding artistic talent on top. Coast Mountain Culture Magazine, and The Spearhead Huts Committee present the first annual Mountain Culture Variety show which promises to be one that will leave audience members’ palms sweaty and hearts pounding.

To evoke the mountain madness, the show will use the state-of-the-art audio-visual setup from the Pro Photographer’s Showdown and will feature presentations from local mountain enthusiasts Jordan Manley, Sherpas Cinemas, Robin O’Neil, Johnny “Foon” Chilton, Chris Christie, Les Anthony, and Sterling Lorence. Emcee is some guy named Scott, who is pretty funny. To learn more about the Spearhead Huts Foundation, go to:

Tickets are $20 and will be available at Whistler’s Escape Route and online here. The show starts at 9:00pm and will run until 11:00pm. Doors will open at 8:00pm.

World Skiing Invitational – April 19 – 22

You can bet there will be plenty of Red Bull helmets when the world’s top freeride skiers converge for this star-studded season ending event in slopestyle, big air, and superpipe. The guest list reads like a Who’s Who of the DEW Tour of X-Games and includes Bobby Brown, Gus Kenworthy, Joss Christensen, Jossi Wells, Kaya Turski, Russ Henshaw, Tom Wallisch and Torin Yater-Wallace. This is the biggest freeskiing event to be held in Whistler since Jon Olsson competed back in 2009.

Who’s Open, Who’s Not?

Easter fell a wee bit early this year, but the copious snowfall through March has pushed closing dates ahead at several resorts.

Closing This Weekend: Mount Seymour, Big White, Silver Star, Kicking Horse Mountain Resort

Still Going Strong: Grouse Mountain (April 29), Cypress Mountain, Mount Washington (April 22), Mount Baker (Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays – through April 29), Whistler (April 29), Blackcomb (May 28) – note that both Whistler and Blackcomb are now open a half hour later, until 4:00 p.m. daily)

Done for the Season: Red Mountain, Whitewater, Revelstoke Mountain Resort, Hemlock Valley Resort, Manning Park Resort, Apex Resort, Sun Peaks Resort, Kimberley Resort.

Deals of the Week:

Cypress Mountain, this is the final week of the Spring 2012/13 Season Pass Sale – Take advantage of teh lowest pricing of the year for next year’s passes – new passholders cross country ski free for the remainder of this season!  Sale ends April 15th.

Grouse Y2Play 2012/13 Snowpass: Almost sold out! The best deal in town is back for a limited time. Enjoy skiing and riding up at The Peak of Vancouver for this winter and all of next for up to 80% off regular pass rates. Y2Play sells out every year. Senior and Tot Y2Play Passes are already sold out.  Don’t miss out!

Whistler/Blackcomb: Too many fantastic lift and accommodation packages to mention. Renew your EDGE card and ‘lock in’ 2012 pricing.

Gear of the Week: Test Drive Recon’s MOD Live at TWSSF

Don’t miss your chance to demo Vancouver-based Recon’s MOD Live goggle technology on the slopes of Whistler during the Telus World Ski & Snowboard Festival. MOD (stands for Micro Optics Displays) tracks virtually every aspect of your ski/snowboard experience: Speed, Jump Analytics, Altitude, Vertical Drop, Distance, Lap/Lap Times, Location, Satellite Tracking/Navigation and more. The MOD Live is even Android compatible.

Take the test drive and you’ll be entered into the MOUNTAIN FM contest to win a MOD Live and the unreleased SCOTT NAV-R-2 goggle before it’s even on the market. Demos will available at Whistler’s Roundhouse (look for the Recon flags) from 9:00 am – 2:00 pm on April 14, 15, 21, 22. The contest winner will be announced 5pm, Saturday April 21st at the Mountain FM tent.

Recon staff will also take a photo of you showing off your top stat and post it on a Facebook album. You can tag your photo and show off your stats to all your friends. If you’re on Twitter, tweet about your test drive experience, brag about how fast you went, and start up a friendly competition with other test drivers using the hashtag #TestMODLive.

Say, What?

Following on the massive success of Sh*t Skiers Say – created by Voleurz’ Darren Raynor in January (1,000,000 hits and counting) is Jackson Hole based Lyndsey Dyer’s Sh*t Girl Skiers Say which dropped earlier this week. Dyer, one of the, uh, most photogenic skiers you’ll ever meet, with charging the Selkirk Mountains around Revelstoke Mountain Resort and Selkirk Tangiers Heli-Skiing.




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