SNOW !!!!!!

There is snow out west….. and someone else will be skiing it! 😦

Here’s a quote from their “Snow Report” page:

The rumors are true! Whistler Mountain to open early, Sat. Nov 14. A minimum 70-100cms have fallen; more (65+ cm) is in the forecast. Uploading via Whistler Village Gondola; 8:30am to 3pm. Early season conditions are in effect; Please obey all mtn signage.

An ex-camper of mine (who ended up being a co-worker of my brother and sister this summer, go figure) is actually spending his winter out in Whistler, working whatever jobs he can get his hands on while skiing every chance he gets. Lucky bugger.

In the past, I’ve often entertained the notion of spending a winter out west, an idea that I revisit every time the snow starts to fall. It was something that I really could have done between CEGEP and Uni, or once I graduated with my degree. However, I started working right out of school, so taking the winter off to go “bum it up” was unfortunately not in the cards. Still, the idea is quite tempting.

Last year when I was out there with the family, I had the opportunity to ride up the chair (Big Red, for those who know the mountain) with my uncle Ken, who took his skiing skills out West after he graduated from university. He made a life of it, collecting a CSIA Level IV certification, a wife, 2 sons and a house in the process. He works for the Whistler/Blackcomb Ski School, spending at least part of his day (almost every day) on the slopes. He does the office thing too (as a Manager), but still… some part of every day is spent on the slopes.

While riding up the chair, he told me about the tourists who come to visit (like me), and how much money is spent on their vacations.

“Chris,” he said, “People will spend all year saving for their vacation to come to Whistler, just to ski for a week. They’ll blow all their saved cash on tickets, accommodation, food, booze and associated good times, then return home with empty wallets.”

“Sounds like a good time!” I replied.

“Yes,” Ken responded, “But they’re all missing the point. You can come out to Whistler for the winter, find a shit-job that pays the bills and comes with a pass, and spend your entire winter on the slopes. People get jobs washing dishes or waiting tables in the evenings, and have their days free to ski.”

“People come out here on vacation, spend all their money, and leave with empty wallets. But you can come out and spend the entire winter, work only enough to pay the bills and keep yourself fed, then ski all winter long.”

… at this point, I’m starting to pay attention…..

Ken continues, “These people also go home with empty wallets… but their have an entire winter of experiences to show for it. At the end of the day, which would you rather have?”

Needless to say, by the end of that chairlift ride, I was about ready to move into Ken’s spare bedroom.

At this point in my life, I know that a winter off in Whistler isn’t in the cards. I have responsibilities at work, I have a mortgage to pay, and as the president of the condo board, I’ve got a bunch of stuff to deal with there.

Still, its nice to dream. And yes….. for those who wonder… I’m trying to get out there again this year. Even if I’ve gotta stay in a youth hostel.

Because I’ll be damned if some punk ski bum gets to steal my POW all winter long.

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