Sapphire Bowl

Blackcomb

Whistler

Whistler Blackcomb

One of the toughest of the Gemstone bowls but rewarding once you've navigated your way in!

Freeride Skiing Severe

Distance
429 m
Ascent
2 m
Descent
124 m
Low Point
2 km
High Point
2.1 km
Gradient
39˚
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Sapphire Bowl Map

Description

Out of all the gemstone bowls, and their difficult entrances, Sapphire Bowl is the toughest to get into. Once you've successfully made your way in, you can reap the benefits but getting in is the most challenging part. Sapphire is located in this zone on the very far right, and the upper bowl gives way to some fun chutes. If you are new to the area this is not the best line to start off with. You are best to start with one of the more friendly Diamond or Ruby bowls, and work your way up to this more challenging area, which has higher risk of exposure compared to the other neighboring bowls. Traverse right in Garnet Bowl to a bench that will serve as a point of navigation, the traverse line will be split into upper and lower sections. Take the lower line here, but be aware - it's tricky and a bit intimidating! Make sure visibility is good before attempting to ski here due to what lies below. Getting yourself into the bowl will require you to get to pass through rocks on the edge of the cliff. There is a significant cliff hazard here, and a high risk of avalanche debris due to the blasting that occurs in the area. This entrance also requires you to 'jump in' up top, however once you have passed this point you have your pick of some of the greatest lines available on either mountain. The real fun begins here, and the payoff is big once you get yourself in past the entrance. At this point, you have some options, keep right to ski Sapphire Chutes, then make your way from Sapphire to Diamond Bowl via Zut Zut or the far left line, Family Jewels.

Difficulty

Severe

Steep skiing at 38-45 degrees. This requires very good technique and the risk of falling has serious consequences.

Medium Exposure (E2)

2 out of 4

As well as the slope itself, there are some obstacles (such as rock outcrops) which could aggravate injury.

Remoteness

2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Features

  • Cliffs
  • Glacier

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area