Spring skiing! Who’s open? Here is our favorite top three!

Finally it is here! Spring! Spring is all about sun, long days, less outer-wear, après pints under bluebird skies and the undeniable joy of the goggle tan. Who can deny the goggle tan…..right? But not all local hills stay open long enough to enjoy such amenities. We thought we would help you figure out where to keep that goggle tan alive and put together a list of our favorite resorts still running the bull wheels. Don’t put those skis away yet, get up there, and get it! Here is our top three resorts still going strong through the spring!

Washington State:

Crystal Mountain Resort

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crystal does it right

The skinny: Crystal will be open on Saturdays & Sundays until June 16, 2013 (that’s 8 additional weekends of spring skiing)! Welcome the days of warmer temps, less layers and corn snow. Crystal knows how to party. She really does. And to enhance the fun, Crystal has theme day’s and live music! Quickly get to the summit from the base in the Mt. Rainier Gondola, offering amazing views!

Lifts: Mt. Rainier Gondola, Rainier Express, Green Valley & Discovery (TBD after April 28th). And once you take the gondola, you will understand why they call it the “Mt. Rainier Gondola!”

Hours: Weekends 8:30am-3:00pm (Last chairlift: 3:00pm. Last gondola upload for ski/board traffic: 2:30pm. Last gondola upload for foot traffic: 3:00pm. Last gondola download: 3:30pm)

Ticket Rates: Adult $45 window / $40 reload, Youth $40 window / $35 reload, Senior $30 window / $25 reload, Child $5. And soon, after Memorial Day, tickets drop to $35! And if your a pass holder already, it is just $99 to reload for spring!

The scene: Lots of live music, theme day’s and bbq action on the patio! Not to mention some great skiing & only gondola in Washington State!

More info on Crystal Mountain Resort, click here.

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Oregon:

Timberline Lodge

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The skinny: Fun. Awesome. Still Sexy. The Timberline Spring Pass. Unlimited skiing and riding March 4th through May 27, 2013. Work on your turns. Work on your tan. All for the low price of $109. But it does not stop there! As most people know, T-line stay’s open into September hosting a multitude of race camps, free ride camps and clinics and more! Government Camp, a quaint mountain community transforms into a busy little, hip hang out for ski/snowboard campers, industry folk’s and pro’s! It is quite the scene, and worth the trip if you have not experienced Mt. Hood in the summer! Timberline maintains multiple terrain parks throughout the summer with enough jibs, jumps and pipes to keep even the hardest of the hardcore happy.

Lifts: All lifts with exception of : limited Beginner Terrain Midweek after April 14th, 2013.

Hours: 7 days a week through the end of May!

Ticket Rates: Spring pass: $109. Or buy a ticket for about $60. This pass pays for itself in just two visits. And it’s good for 85 days of skiing and riding (they counted ‘em up so you don’t have to.). There is no better value on Mt. Hood! Priced at just $109, this affordable pass will let you ride out the season in style. Oh, and they even lowered the price from last year!

More info on Timberline, click here.

HOOD

palmer glacier……one of a kind

British Columbia

Whistler/Blackcomb

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crazy up there in BC

The skinny/deals: Spring season at Blackcomb is from April 22nd-May 22nd. Right now you can come up and play from just $93 per person, per night. Right! Screaming deal! Come get the great snow, good times, & unbelievable rates. In my opinion it’s always a good time to visit Whistler/Blackcomb, but springtime is just a little more special. The snow is unbelievable, the slopes are quieter and the Village still alive with the unrivalled energy that makes it the envy of just about every other resort in the world. Garfunkels anyone?

Lifts: Blackcomb Mounatin only. Mon-Sunday: Wizard Express, Excelerator Express, Solar Coaster Express, Jersey Cream Express. Weekends: Excalibur Gondola & Catskinner. Full details on lifts click here.

Hours: 7 days a week through the end of May! Then Blackcomb glacier keeps poma’s going till end of July for glacier camps and terrain parks!

Ticket Rates: $56 (canadian) a day.

More info on Whistler/Blackcomb click here.

spring skiing girls

old skool spring ski hotties

images-9 Like deals? Deals on gear? Click the Backcountry. Com little goat for some special spring specials on special spring gear!

Fanatyk Co. | Review on Boot Fitting

Boots that fit like a glove…..an art and a science!

A few day’s before my trip to Whistler last week, I had a wonderful package arrive. My new 2013/2014 KR2Pro’s by Dalbello had arrived (see photo below) right on time (thank you Fed-Ex for your iPhone app), thank you Dalbello! The following day I packed up the truck for the 5 hour drive north of the border to B.C. and onto Whistler. I brought the entire box (boot’s and all contents) along with me, as well as my current ski boots.

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out of the box

Here are some photo’s of the boot……2013/2014 Dalbello Krypton 2 Pro …..(post punch-out by FANATYK CO)

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photo: brian hopper

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photo: brian hopper

As soon as we got to our condo in the village, I tried on the boots (with out molding the heat intuition liners yet). I could hardly get my foot in. First thought was perhaps I ordered the wrong size? Hmmmm. Well, I have my old boots to use. Went out and skied day one at Whistler. I intended to get the boots fitted that night after skiing, but if you know how Whistler goes…. there is always plenty to do, and the night was consumed with a late night game of cards in the condo with my crew.

Next day, skied all day again. Another great day skiing Whislter/Blackcomb. But that night after a quick hot-tub soak, I made a point to get the new Kryptons fitted. I knew which shop I would go to due to the amount of solid 10/10 reviews the shop had received: FANATYK CO. SKI&CYCLE. Multiple reviews rated this shop #1 for SKI and BIKE year after year. I recalled from previous visits to Whistler that this shop carried Dalbello, which was perfect. Upon walking in the shop I was immediatly greeted with a warm welcome (not bro-talked to data either). The guys were quick to get me in a fitting chair. Sitting in the chair while the Heat Intuition Liners were warming up I felt like I was in a hair salon. All the chairs lined up reminded me of an old-time hair salon for some reason. A salon for boots! Perfect.

example of a boot getting "punched"

example of a boot getting “punched”

The tech was excited about my boots. He stated he had not seen these yet. I mentioned they were next years boots. I did feel honored to be in next years boots, and the tech was just as excited to be working on next years boot! Primarily because Dalbello is their best-selling boot at Fanatyk Co. Thank you Dalbello!

The liners that Dalbello uses are the heat moldable Intuition Liners. And I quickly learned that they SHOULD NOT fit your foot at all until they are molded for your foot. Did not know that. Anyhow, the liners took 10 minutes to heat up. once they were ready, the technician had me step into the liners, and apply some forward lean. This took another 10 min’s or so. The whole process took about an hour. When complete, I mentioned to the tech that my left foot felt cramp a bit. The tech suggested to give a shot tomorrow on the hill, and come on back if I want it tweaked at all. See, what I learned is it is always best to start small and then work up. In other words, the tech wanted to see if the boots would feel better after a day on the hill, rather than blowing out the boot now.

The next day, I walked by the shop on the way to the gondola. My feet hurt. Seriously. I was worried i got a too small size. But I proceeded up the gondy, and skied a few runs. All i could think about was how my feet felt. Not good. I skied down to the gondola top terminal, and actually downloaded (have not done that before). I raced through the village back to the shop.

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…..toes feeling TIGHT and CRAMMED! 😦

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Taking a break, just re-buckled the boots (relieving pressure)….feet=no bueno.

I was again greeted by the same tech. I think he could tell what I was going to say as I probably was wearing it on my face. “Too cramp” the tech said. I explained to him the best I could where it felt tight. He said no problem. I sat back in the fitting chair. The tech quickly had my boot off and had me just in the liners. He drew out some lines with chalk on my liner this time, and took the boots with him to the back (see photo below).

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the back. where the magic happens (click this photo to see their website)

The tech mentioned it would take about an hour. Luckily I had my shoes with me, so I went out on the town, to grab a bite to eat at the infamous Splitz burger, a recent Whistler tradition! An hour went fast and I was excited to get back to try the boots on. Once again, I was greeted warmly by a different tech, and went back to the counter to check on the boots. And in the same fashion, the tech came out, boots in hand, smile on face, had me sit back in the chair. I lipped my foot in the boot. What sweet relief. The boot fit amazing. Truly amazing! I was surprised. Really, I thought the boot was too small. Taking a close examination of the boots, the tech was excited to show me where he punched out the shells and liners. “Try on the other one”, he exclaimed! Wow! I really was impressed. The boots fit like a glove!! I thanked the tech, and kept the boots on for a village stroll. Partially because I was so excited about the fit!!! I even went and enjoyed a coffee at the village Starbucks while wearing the boot (did I mention I am from Seattle??)!

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New boots and Starbucks. Doesn’t get any better than this.

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The MAN, the myth, the legend…..Scott. Click this photo to go to his website.

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The boots feeling great back home at Crystal Mountain. Photo: Matt Small

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The boots feeling great back home at Crystal Mountain. Photo: Matt Small

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Fanatyk co., I love you.

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Showing the punch out out boot (skier’s left side of the boot near the “pinky” toe area)

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Another shot showing the punch out out boot (skier’s left side of the boot near the “pinky” toe area)

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Love these boots….now.

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Again, showing the punched out area.

Thank you Fanatyk Co for the amazing boot fit! I will be back for any boot fitting needs!

Who: FANATYK CO. SKI and CYCLE

Where: Whistler Village

Contact: http://fanatykco.com

The Boot: 2013/2014 Dalbello KR2Pro

Click on any photo of a product scene in this review.

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glove review: HESTRA “dexterity” glove

hestra gloves

Product review | 2013/2014 Hestra gloves | model:  Dexterity 

Prior to getting my hands on these gloves, my home mountain, Crystal Mountain Resort had just received 19″ of new snow.  However, the temps were a little bit up, and the snow was not exactly dry.  However, it proved to be a stellar day of playing in the tree’s.  Managed to shoot a little POV footage (see video below {coming soon}) and snapped a few photo’s with photographer Matt Small (see photo above).  This was a perfect test run for the gloves, and they not only met my expectations, but exceeded them.  

Click here to read the full review (with photos)….

Starbucks and gondolas……a few of my favorite things

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I’m not going to lie, Starbucks and gondolas are two of my favorite things. Whistler is one of the few places where you can enjoy these two wonderful commodities in unison!  And that makes me smile!!!
I have no guilt or shame while carrying my Starbucks and my skis through the village in route to the gondola, it is actually a happy place for me!  And I look forward to it every visit here!  Anytime I can set my skis out side my favorite coffee shop and walk in with my ski boots on is a good day for me. Some folks say keep the capitalism out of the ski resorts but after all it is the best coffee,  and I am from Seattle so who am I to complain about Starbucks coffee shops in Whistler Village.

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