September 1, 2010 – Decker Loop Trail

Decker Loop Trail, Blackcomb Mountain

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Hey, it’s Wednesday, I should toss a picture up here, huh? First off, I’d like to welcome everyone from Glenda Lott’s HS101 class at Spain Park High School in Hoover, Alabama. I’m not sure why exactly she chose my blog as suggested reading for her class, but hey, it’s awesome that she did! I hope you all.. umm.. found what you were looking for?

As promised, here’s the first of what I’m sure will be many shots from this last weekend in Whistler. This is definitely not my favorite of the set, but it’s good enough to post here. (Since it’s the first day of the month, this post will be the very last one shown from here until eternity for anyone looking for the archives of September 2010. Meaning, 3 or 4 posts from now, it’ll never be seen again. Awww, how sad.)

For a long time, they’ve had the gondola on Whistler Mountain open during the summer so you could go up there and hike around. A few years ago they started running the Peak Chair too, which takes you all the way up to the summit. That’s pretty cool. Independently, they’ve been doing summer skiing (usually through late July I think) on Blackcomb, but it was always a pain in the butt to get over there. By that I mean, you had to ride two chairlifts up, then take a bus over to a third chairlift, and ride that one up too. It’s not clear if people on foot were allowed or not originally, or if it was just people that paid for the skiing ticket on the glacier). In the last couple years they actually officially started offering hiking on that mountain, but it wasn’t really marketed much, which is understandable, because it was a pain in the ass. And, to make it worse, they didn’t even have any designated trails over there, so you basically just scrambled around on the rocks for a little while.) BUT, since they went through all the trouble of building the Peak 2 Peak Gondola (you know, the one that takes you between both mountains) Blackcomb has now been a regular stop for the “sightseers”. Thus, now from the top of the second chairlift (the Solar Coaster), you can either take the Peak 2 Peak over to Whistler, or you can head off on the newly designated actual-trails-for-hiking on Blackcomb.

So, that’s what I decided to check out (since I’ve been on the trails on Whistler a few times now). And, it’s TOTALLY worth doing. I’d say it’s even better than the hiking on Whistler, although that’s a bold statement, because the High Note trail on Whistler is also pretty spectacular (as is the Half Note trail). For those of you that know anything about the layout of the mountain: the trail heads out from the top of the Solar Coaster, and heads around the mountain to the 7th Heaven area. It passes under the chairlift there, and keeps going, out to (and past) the boundary for Garibaldi Provincial Park (which is actually the ski area boundary). There are some nice views to be had out that way, not only of Blackcomb itself, but also out over some of the big peaks in Garibaldi Park (including Black Tusk, and the Cheakamus and Overlord glaciers). Well worth the time and energy. Do it. Now. This weekend. I’m serious.

Notes: Canon EOS Rebel T1i, Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 lens. 1/200s, f/13.0, ISO 200. Focal length: 30mm.

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