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Fir trees prosper in the Pacific North West and the Whistler Blackcomb ski resort is no exception. The upper terrain is clearly above the tree line but the remainder of the mountain has a vast number of trails cut through the forest. Some challenging ski trails do not even have a clear pathway cut and just run through the natural forest.
The tree or "glade" runs are rated at least black diamond (advanced), and are scattered throughout the terrain of both the Whistler and Blackcomb side of the resort. Here we take you on a tour of "Davies Dervish", "Outer Limits", and "In The Spirit" all on the Blackcomb side. The Whistler side also has notable tree runs like "In Deep" and "Unsanctioned".
The trees are a scenic winter wonderland with green moss draped over branches and hanging from the bark of the trees. On windy or foggy days the forest shields you from both. The trees are an effective wind barrier and on a foggy day the visibility is greatly improved.
Note that these runs are more dangerous as there is the constant potential of a collision with a tree and there are more hidden hazards such as rocks, stumps, logs and creeks with the potential of sink holes.
The runs are typically rated as "Double Black Diamond", the most advanced runs on the mountain and have large fully formed moguls often with sharp drops on the back side.
Wearing a helmet is certainly recommended but they are no guarantee of survival.
"Outer Limits" starts off with an innocent and inviting gentle slope. Don't be fooled!
Entrance to "Outer Limits" (Blackcomb)
The moguls are prominent on this run and it is rated "Double Black Diamond" for most difficult.
"In The Spirit" ski run is accessible from the base of Crystal Chair on Blackcomb Mountain. This too has an innocent entrance. Although rated a single black diamond, I could not see how it was any easier than "Outer Limits" or the other double black diamond tree runs.