Everybody loves Whitewater.

I’m all for making the most of what you’ve got, but it’s difficult to understand why Whitewater skiers express such fervent devotion to their little mountain. I woke yesterday to report of 12cm at Red, and an invitation I couldn’t refuse to ski 35cm at Whitewater. Sure there were some deep turns to be had, it snowed hard through most of the day, of course the food and beer were tasty, and being around stoked people is a buzz in itself. But for me there’s just no getting around that I’m skiing a tiny little hill (1300′ ), with very limited and mostly intermediate terrain (much of which you have to traverse to, and a significant part which isn’t even opened on a busy powder day), with a shitload of people and a couple of antiquated double chairs.  I could only manage 4 runs by noon, and the mountain was tracked out almost immediately – although still lots of fun in the cut up stuff. I’m sure back in the day, before snowboards and fat skis, when dropping Backsides was a secret, before it became cool, that people were skiing lots of lift serviced powder at Whitewater, but that’s far from reality in 2009. 

Back at Red today, charging long steep untracked lines till my legs gave in, I was glad to be home.


Filed under Whitewater

9 responses to “Whitewater

  1. Andi

    Enthusiasm, great food, wonderful friends, and 35cm of fluffy white powder make for a beautiful day. Both mountains have their positives and negatives but on a day with that much positive energy and silky turns I find it hard to believe that the negatives would overcome the enjoyment. To each their own preference, both mountains offer great skiing and different atmospheres, personally sliding on snow and enjoying the fluffy stuff will always be a perfect day.

  2. Danny

    Now let me see just how crystral clear my memory of Red Mtn is too … ( just so I can truly communicate what a ‘feverntly devoted’ home ski hill bias is really like). Yep … I never had to traverse anywhere to ski the “real steeps of Red” – that nice walk up to the top of Powder Fields off the top of the SilverLoad surely doesn’t qualify as a traverse- or does it? I guess that nice, meandering cat track back from Poggies or Salley’s Alley doesn’t qualify either, right? Personally, I think ski traverse’s help define ski areas.

    On the chair lift scenario subject, WH2O lifts (2) may be old and antiquated … but they are well positioned to offer the max access to the available terrain. I still can’t understand the ski value that the ‘new” chair at the bottom of Granite that goes to basically nowhere delivers. Good for zeening out – poor for skiing. Nothing beats that ride up Silverlode to access that long vertical on a windy
    (or wet) cold morning.

    Funny how I repeatedly run into WH2O visitors that comment about how the snow quality is better at Whitewater than Red. Your right that 2009 is a whole lot different than 1989 … but the snow quality is still a whole lot better at WH2O year over year. Simply put quality beats quantity hands down time over time.

    By the way, we skied onto the lifts on Monday and the new snow and wind overnight has blown all of Sunday’s busy tracks. We logged over 25 runs
    through the whole day because our legs never did give in …

    Thanks for helping keep the aura of WH2O alive and kickin’!

    • Danny,

      It’s great that we all love our local mountains, and I won’t pretend to be anything other than biased. I do check Whitewater’s snow report every morning, and I’ll admit to envy when we get skunked, but all I see at Whitewater is unrealized potential. Sure you’ve got lots of quality snow and great lines you can access by touring, but to me the current lifts and serviced terrain are a joke. It’s about time Whitewater skiers got over the self-congratulatory hype and demanded more. Putting in a lift servicing the Backside, extending the Silver-king lift up onto 5 mile ridge, and a running tram to the summit of Ymir Peak would create a World class ski resort. Find a way to make it happen.


  3. Keith

    Got go with Stewart on this one folks. I just cant get on board with WH2O. Imagine adding the lifts he is talking about and the “fervent devotion” would go through the roof!!!… I would be one board with that!.
    Grand Forks

  4. Danny


    After reading your post, I again find grounds to agree with you. For years, that’s all WH2O skiers had to hang onto, the ol’ self-congratulatory hype. And I would like to think we did a great job of it too! One year, WH2O’s ski pass news circular claimed curly french fries as their latest and greatest new addition for the ski season! With new ownership, and 1 year under their belts, I think WH2O management has seen some of the ‘holes’ that need filling … a significant summer brushing program, lift serviced Backside access, a real parking lot (i.e. not the end of the road), a bigger day lodge etc… I’m not sure there is a real marketing plan supports a broadly expanded WH2O ski area management plan … but, hey, I’m just like you , I’m here for the skiing!

  5. Dave Hodgkin

    I must disagree with everyone. Both mountains have too many people, too slow of lifts, yuppies, little gangster skiers and boarders, over priced lift tickets……. wait that’s all ski hills! Red has the terrain , Whitewater has the snow. Have them both. I’ll be where there’s no tracks, people or chair lifts.

    • Jeff

      Don’t know why I’m commenting 6 years after the fact. But hey – Wh20 has a lift on the backside now . How prophetic Stu. What a game changer! It’s no longer big line ups for small skiing. Wh20 has grown up to the middle grades! Congrats is in order! And it’s beautiful- and who doesn’t like the snow there? Still not 2900′, like its red faced ugly, knarly, lumpy, unwieldy, too steep, lifts on 3 mountains – neighbour – but much better for long leggeds who want to ski VERT baby. It’s a huge improvement. Red requires many things: digging a little deeper, expecting a little less, exploring a little more, investing a little time, patience, faith, being a true freek, a real rebel. whiners demanding instant gratification need not apply. Red is many things that regular folks can’t and won’t understand. And that’s fine. Red will always be quiet – is that a bad thing?


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