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Whistler Summer Skiing Tips


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Today marks the beginning of summer skiing on the Horstman glacier in Whistler Blackcomb. I attended Momentum Ski Camp for the last three years and learned some important aspects about summer skiing.

First time summer skiing at Whistler? Here are a few tips:

  1. Wear sunscreen. Sunscreen is a necessity unless you want a painful burn and flaky skin for the rest of your trip. Don’t worry, you’ll still get a killer goggle tan even with sunscreen on. Remember to put sunscreen on under your nose—the sun reflects off of the glacier!
  2. Pack aloe vera. Even when you put on sunscreen, and remember to reapply it throughout the day, you’ll likely miss a spot. Lipbalm with SPF in it is a good idea too. Burned lips are not pretty.
  3. Dress in layers. It is summer weather at the bottom of the mountain, but after three chairlifts and a bus ride, it begins getting chilly as you approach the peak. If it’s an overcast day, it stays nippy. If the sun comes out, you’ll be sweating buckets before noon.
  4. Snow burn is worse in the summer. The snow is extra granular, and it will rip your skin off. Unless you’re 100% sure you won’t fall (which likely means you’re not trying hard enough) or you don’t mind a few scars, cover up your skin. [“Second Skin” works great on bad snow burn]
  5. Lightning warning? Get off the mountain. In the extremely unlikely situation that there’s a lightning warning, get onto one of the downloading chairlifts ASAP. Once the lightning starts, the t-bars and chairlifts are shut down. You’ll be stuck on the mountain until the lightning stops or a shuttle bus brings you down. This situation is rare, but it happened to me last year. I got on the chairlift before the lightning began, but my roommates didn’t…they showed up at our room a few hours later.
  6. Keep some money with you. On Sundays and [some] Wednesdays, there’s a farmers’ market set up near the Wizard Express chairlift. Try the kettle corn. Sarah Burke recommended it to me three years ago and it’s delicious.
  7. Keep your eyes open for pros. They are everywhere: chairlifts, t-bars, skiing past, at the Horstman Hut having lunch, walking by you in Whistler Village, etc.
  8. Go up the t-bar with new people. It’s one of the best ways to meet future friends and interesting people from around the world. Plus, you could end up going up the t-bar with Torin Yater-Wallace or Roz G. “Hey, are ya single?”
  9. Double check. Remember to pack your gloves, helmet, goggles, snowpants, boots, ski/snowboard equipment, sunscreen, snacks, and water for the day. You don’t want to go up the two chairlifts and then realize you forgot your gloves…or your ski boots.
  10. Have fun! Take a moment to enjoy the beauty of the mountains and the fact that you’re skiing in the middle of summer!
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