6 - 7
FATMAP difficulty grade
Despite its proximity to Whistler and it’s very awesome skiing, this route has seen surprisingly little attention until recently.
Perhaps it was one of those closely guarded local secrets….
Oh well… the secret’s out now!! This route begins at the very top of the residential street known as Alpine Way.
Pay close attention to the parking restrictions.
It’s common for people to get tickets.
Park lower down the road if you have to.
The route begins with a boring slog up an old road, often referred to as Rick’s Roost.
It starts out fairly steep but mellows out of the second half.
It’s about 5km up this road to a hefty footbridge over 19 Mile Creek.
At a casual pace it will take about an hour and a half to get to here.
At this point leave the road, and head west into the trees.
Don’t be tempted to follow the summer trail- you will rejoin that later, stay on the south side of the creek (keep the creek to your right hand side). Travel though the forest is fairly simple, especially mid season when the snowpack is fat, but early season there may be some logs and other small pieces of debris. It is not necessary to follow one specific route.
Just take the easiest line that presents itself to you, keeping the creek a few hundred meters to your right. At around 1200m the trail gets considerably steeper, but fear not, the steepness is short lived, and you will soon pop out at the treeline. As the trees thin out you will swing south, and ascend the edge of a run called Pork Chop.
This run is a combination of pillows on one side and glades on the other, and it makes a great shorter second lap after the main event. Towards the top of Pork Chop the terrain gets a little steeper and more complex, stay slightly to the right, out in the open to avoid the steeper gullies. After Pork Chop benches out swing due west again, following the series of rolling sub alpine humps.
There are some short steep steeps.
Navigate these as best you can.
Before you know it you will be at the top of the excellent run known as Prime Rib.
It is possible to continue all the way to the summit, but that route is not described here.
There is not specific start of Prime Rib, and sometimes the top few turns are wind hammered, so drop in where ever you think looks good. This is an excellent 500m run.
Its not super steep, but you are in big terrain none the less, so use all appropriate avalanche hazard mitigation techniques.
On the lower half keep left through the small trees to get more open skiing all the way to the large swamp at the bottom. If at this point you’ve had enough, perform a quick shuffle and sidestep to get back to your up track and follow it home, or skin up again for an additional shorter lap down Pork Chop, which sets you up nicely for the exit.
Depending on conditions and snow coverage you may find it easy to put your skins on for a few minutes in order make it back to the road from forest.
And again depending on conditions, the 5km ski down the road can be fun and exciting or a terrifying nightmare!