With the Olympics and Paralympics occupying the spotlight for so long it's easy to forget that one of Whistler's biggest annual events, the Telus World Ski and Snowboard Festival, is just around the corner.
This year's festival runs from April 16 to 25 and will have a familiar ring to it for sports fans. However, there are a few events that are not on the schedule this year, including the skier big air competition.
This is the third year that Orage has brought the Masters to Whistler. If you've never seen it, the Masters are a ski industry team event where companies send the best from the factory teams to Whistler to compete in a slopestyle event. Each team has to have at least one female member and there are prizes for the best costume/theme as well as for athletic ability. Participating teams include K2, 4FRNT, Salomon, Line Skis, Surface Skis, Armada, Amplid and Volkl, the returning champion.
This year's competition takes place on Sunday, April 27 on Blackcomb. More details will be posted at www.wssf.com in the coming weeks.
World Skiing Invitational
In many ways this was the event that started in all, one of the first freeskiing events in the world even if it wasn't always branded as the WSI. This year the only event of the invitational is the Superpipe and Superhit event with a prize purse of $50,000 for men and women, including a $15,000 first prize for the top male.
The event runs from Sunday, April 18 until the finals on Tuesday, April 20 on Blackcomb, with an Olympic-size pipe cut with a Global pipe cutter that boasts 22-foot walls.
Online registration is available at www.wssf.com.
Whistler Blackcomb is also opening is Park Rider Sessions slopestyle, presented by Telus, to WSI skiers on April 18.
Returning to Whistler for the second year, snowboard legend Danny Kass created the Grenade Games to celebrate the industry and do a little something different with the talent that's out there.
This year's event takes place over four days and includes a Scavenger Hunt on April 21, a moguls and air competition on April 22, a halfpipe contest on April 23 and the finals Grenade Style invitational at the base of Whistler Mountain on April 24 - an invitational slopestyle contest with bigger than normal tricks and unique features you won't see anywhere else.