Mike Douglas was only back in town for a grand total of 48 hours after a 3 month road trip that took him through Hollywood, France, Calgary, New Zealand and Chile. It virtually defines good luck that he’d be home for the early morning call to go ski Blackcomb Mountain on October 27th. Hitting the first big dump is an annual event here at Whistler Blackcomb and this year the fortunate few included Mike Douglas, Whistler Blackcomb’s Anik Champoux and my son, Ian Morrison.
Whistler in late October is predictably dark and stormy, and that’s a good thing, as we usually open with some of the best big-mountain skiing in North America. While low pressure systems stacked up off the coast, Environment Canada was calling for a break in the weather, just long enough to let us scramble to the helipad for a quick flight to the top of Blackcomb.
Last season’s record snowcover had never fully melted on the Horstman and Blackcomb glaciers this summer, which allowed the formation of a great base and tasty conditions for an October powder shoot. Mike had just spent a whole lot of time and sponsor money on heliskiing in New Zealand that wasn’t nearly as good as his very first turns back at home. Buoyed by the softness and depth, he attempted an ill-fated backflip that ended uncharacteristically badly, and saw him comically chasing a ski to the bottom of the glacier.
Back in the machine, we saw that Blackcomb Glacier was in mid-season condition. A few marketing runs later, the dream ended in a blizzard of Tweets and Facebook posts. Time for lunch with another great season in the making!