After Whistler I can definitely appreciate the apres “lifestyle”. I long scoffed at the party-harder-than-you-ski, buy-even-though-lift-tickets-made-you-broke culture of vibrant ski towns like Whistler. And it’s no wonder that I stuck to my guns for so long-I thought they were out of my budget. Well, a night full of lights and $5 dinner at a local and tourist haunt later I was hooked on crazy notion that to understand a crazy culture you must live the culture. And that living that culture in itself is a life – one too wacky and too wild to live vicariously.
We hit the easiest slopes but in no way were they diminutive-they snaked down from near the top of the mountain (Easy Out) to the very bottom, where crowds thinned out. Higher up I saw that lines at lifts were longer, probably all the more advanced skiiers and riders waiting their turn for fresh pow. The high tech RFID gates, operating with radio frequency chips to read chips in cards in our pockets, heightened the grandiose experience. After sorting out rentals, we found out that a 3pm last-lift time wasn’t enough. We forwent lunch and took a last lift up to wind down the mountain nearly 45 min later.
During this time, I had a lot of time to contemplate how hard it is to have fun while going slowly on flat ground but also the value of suspending old friendships. I was enjoying the slopes with my high school friends, a dream I had since I graduated a few years back-now it was finally happening. What did I think? Well, for one we were no longer at the same level, but on the other, I wished that we had gone harder. I wasn’t being my crazy-self-best, because I didn’t have adrenaline pumping through my system, and I expect my friends were focussed on picking their way elegantly down a world class mountain. But although we were on various levels of aptitude, the experience was the same: we were together on a mountain, doing something that was technically a treat, even though now it was more of a same-old for me.
Unfortunately, the 3PM last lift came around too soon and we sped down the long, not-too-fast section back to Whistler village. On a best friend’s recommendation, we hit El Furny’s, a character-filled restaurant and pub with $5 food. If I wasn’t already enamoured with the price, I was smitten by their portion sizes and quality. We all ordered different things but we were all satisfied with our choices. Best of all, the restaurant was populated by mountain creatures of all manners coming out of the cracks as the night descended and revived skiers and weary travellers that were dragging their feet. There was of course an over representation of folks who had came out banged up after the day, overdressed folks (in Macklemore like fur no less), underdressed folks (just kidding-not that we saw anyways) and spirited music.
Love it or lump it.
*The focus of the day was to take photos of my friends; I focussed very little on landscape shots
Crazy steep mogul run I saw across the way-one day I hope I can do those. But on this relaxed, snail’s pace day of skiing, I just admired it from afar.