Photos by Reuben Krabbe

The week started with rain down low and snow up high. And while Whistler Blackcomb locals celebrated a strong early season, no one could have expected how much better it would be by Friday.

Entering its 50th season, Whistler received 55 inches of snow over the course of the week, much of it falling as rain at lower elevations. But on Thursday afternoon, the freezing level dropped to the valley floor, and fat flakes fell by the billions. By Friday morning, the storm had tapered off, leaving 14 inches of snow overnight and calm winds. The sun came out and bathed the Coast Mountains in a golden light seemingly reserved for heaven. It marked the perfect way for the many old timers and legends who had gathered at the resort to celebrate Whistler's 50th anniversary. What better excuse to party than the season's first big powder day?