Tag Archives: Blackcomb

Blackcomb’s Night Sky

I just missed the sunset and orange clouds

I just missed the sunset and orange clouds

Last night was another incredible night in Whistler.  The sunset meant the clouds were showing a stunning golden glow.  My original goal was to head out and attempt another ‘cloud trail’ style picture like this picture that I took in the UK.  I was just a few minutes late getting set up and missed the glow so I decided to wait a few hours and try a star trail instead.  I think it turned out pretty well!

It was a beautiful night over Blackcomb

It was a beautiful night over Blackcomb

Bcomb Night sky signed

Blackcomb star Trail

What a day!

7th Heaven

Every now and then a day comes along that simply hammers home why I live in Whistler.  A surprise 32cms of fresh, dry, light powder and bluebird skies.  How can you beat that?  I suppose I should add that I got first tracks down several runs.

Hugh's Heaven

Avalanche Operations Level 1: Check

It’s been a truly intense week.  Whistler has been hit with a few great storms.  We have some excellent skiing up there at the moment.  Most of my friends have been out there ‘getting deep’, enjoying the powder.  I have been digging holes!

I walked out my door to this sight on my way to the course

I walked out my door to this sight on my way to the course

I have spent the past seven days on an Operations Level 1 Avalanche course run by the Canadian Avalanche Association.  It was a full on week.  Starting at 8 am every day and usually running until 6 or 7 pm each night.  Most days we went up the hill, did a little ski touring,

Skinning up through the trees near disease ridge

Skinning up through the trees near disease ridge

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and spent several hours digging holes,

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investigating the layers of Whistler and Blackcomb’s snowpack and taking weather observations.

Observing the weather!

Observing the weather!

It was a terrific week to do this course as we saw a lot of changes in weather and snow conditions.  Although it was hard to be digging holes and not skiing, it was the perfect opportunity to learn a lot of new information from some excellent instructors who have been in the industry for a very long time.

Our only line before digging another hole.  It was a good one though!

Our only line before digging another hole. It was a good one though!

Climbing back up beside our lines

Climbing back up beside our lines

A beautiful day to dig another hole!

A beautiful day to dig another hole!

That's a climbing track, not a skiing line!

That’s a climbing track, not a skiing line!

Sadly not my ski tracks!

Sadly not my ski tracks!

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View of Flute from Disease Ridge

View of Flute from Disease Ridge

I look forward to continuing to improve this skills I have gained this week, but first I will go skiing!

All photos taken on my Iphone and uploaded to Instagram.  Feel free to follow me there @jta85

Rainbow Park Star Trail

Looking across Alta Lake at Blackcomb Mountain

Looking across Alta Lake at Blackcomb Mountain

Sitting at home tonight as it fell dark, feeling like I had let the day go by without getting anything done, I decided to snap into action and head out into the cold.  I managed to convince a mate to drive me to Rainbow Park and stand outside with me while I set up my camera in -10 degrees Celsius.  I figured I would practice my star trails. The star trail was several 30 second exposures over about 50 minutes.  Camera was set at f/2.8 and the ISO 800.  Let me know what you think, if anyone has any advice I’d love to hear it!

Sproatt

Shot facing the valley between Mt Sproatt and Rainbow mountain.

Shot facing the valley between Mt Sproatt and Rainbow mountain.

Ski & Bike – Why Not?

Instagram @jta85 - view from Blackcomb looking over Whistler village.

Instagram @jta85 – View from Blackcomb looking over Whistler village.

It seemed like we waited along time for the storm that rolled into Whistler on Sunday night. Almost the instant the rain turned to snow an excited buzz flowed through the village. As I was out working, watching the flakes fall, I became more and more pumped for the powder day to come.

Although snow was forecast throughout Monday, it turned into a stunning bluebird day. With limited lifts open I was surprised to see how well the slopes held up. We were a little late uploading, however we still managed to put in some amazing turns while admiring the stunning scenery at the same time.

Taken with my old point and shoot, it's looking a lot more like winter around here.

Taken with my old point and shoot, it’s looking a lot more like winter around here.

Gotta love an Instagram filter! @jta85

Gotta love an Instagram filter! @jta85

Another point and shoot shot, downloading in the Excalibur Gondola on Blackcomb.

Another point and shoot shot, downloading in the Excalibur Gondola on Blackcomb.

After I came off the hill I didn’t want to stay inside on such an incredible day. I decided it would be a great idea to go for a cross country bike mission to see if “Cut Yer Bars”, the trail closest to my house, was still ridable. As it turns out, it is, and I got fresh powder tracks from start to finish! BOOM!!!

Instagram @jta85 - Cut Yer Bars during sunset

Instagram @jta85 – Cut Yer Bars during sunset

Instagram @jta85

Instagram @jta85

First tracks!

First tracks!

What a line!

What a line!

Fresh Pow! Stoked!

Fresh Pow! Stoked!

Now that’s my sort of day!

Storm Level (7Kp)

A couple of nights ago, I was sitting at home trying to mentally prepare for the Whistler Half Marathon. I had done very minimal training (a very bad idea by the way).  I noticed an alert on my Twitter feed:

Aurora_Alerts
In 58 minutes the Aurora Borealis should be at ‘STORM’ LEVEL! (It’s On!!) (7 Kp) http://t.co/alefUMiGVg
2013-05-31 9:49

As I waited for darkness to arrive I was torn between getting an early night or heading down to one of the lakes in the area to try and snap some shots. In the end I decided it would be worth a look and headed down to Lakeside Park at Alta Lake.

Growing green cloud

Growing green cloud

I am glad I did. The lights don’t put on quite the same show as they do further north and for awhile all that was visible was a large yellow-green cloud on the northern horizon. Eventually it grew and started changing shape slowly. After a while the green glow took up almost all of the north sky.

NL3WispsNL9

My skills behind the camera definitely need some improvement as my nighttime abilities have their limits. If anyone has feedback or advice on how to shoot better photos of the aurora please feel free to let me know. Basically I just played around with the shutter speed. Varying from 10-40 seconds. I think the best photos were the ones with shutter speeds between 20-30 seconds. I also tried playing around with the ISO sensitivity as well. Trying out settings between 100 and 1600. Since then I have read that the longer the shutter speed the lower the ISO setting needs to be. Hopefully I’ll get another chance to get out there and keep experimenting.

NL4 NL7 NL10

Fiddling around with the pictures in Photoshop was another aspect I am completely new at. I tried to not do too much. What do you think?

NL8 Overblackcomb

I had planned to head down for 45 minutes or so then head home and still be in bed before midnight however watching the lights and playing around with my camera was pretty addictive. I didn’t make it home until after 0130. The half marathon was suitably difficult given my lack of fitness and fatigue but it was well worth it to get some photos.