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Peak to Creek: A vertical mile in one run

Post by Craig Hill / The News Tribune on Feb. 21, 2008 at 11:21 pm with No Comments »
February 21, 2008 11:21 pm

I was about 45 minutes from finishing my column from the Whistler World Cup this afternoon when Doug Haney, a PR guy for the U.S. Ski Team, gave me the nudge I needed to take a break.

“We at the U.S. Ski Team encourage skiing,” he said.

I looked at my watch and saw I had about an hour before the lifts closed, just enough time to bag two of my favorite Whistler runs. I took the shuttle to my car, grabbed my skis then jumped on the gondola. It takes three lifts and about 35 minutes to get to the top of Whistler Mountain.

First I dropped into Whistler Bowl. This diamond run on Whistler’s upper slopes was skied out with moguls the size of Volkswagons but it was still a relatively enjoyable run.

The view at the entry to Whistler Bowl

At this point the lifts were closing, so my only option for second and final run was the Peak to Creek Run. A 4-year-old, one-vertical mile run that locals say is the ultimate test of your legs.

If you can ski from Peak to Creek – about four miles – without stopping, they say, you have thighs of steel.

Actually, I did this Thursday and had legs of Jello when I was done. It was my fourth time making North America’s longest intermediate run. I have to say doing it nonstop is one thing. But doing it nonstop at the end of the day when all the other routes to Creekside are closed for the World Cup is another. The crowd of people scooting down the run meant I had to take it slow. And this, of course, meant extra thigh burn.

Still, I highly recommend skiing Peak to Creek on your next trip. If you can do it without stopping good for you. If not, don’t worry. The run is so long benches have been added along the way so skiers and boarders can rest.

Black Tusk from the top of Whistler Mountain and the start of the Peak to Creek run.

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