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Whistler made me a skier. And I’m damn proud of it.

Whistler made me a skier. And I’m damn proud of it.

Author -  Vicki Kenny

I took Whistler on faith — its reputation needed no up-sell. 

Vodka fueled and Red-Bull propelled, Whistler was all the adrenaline you could handle and a dance party to boot. It was bigger, steeper, deeper, and more badass than anywhere I’d skied, and it was mine for the taking.

 


Of course you’ve got to eat a little cockroach to enjoy a Snickers bar, and like any resort, Whistler has its flaws. With all the sick and gnarly we must swallow rent prices that would make a Saudi prince choke on his Al-Kabsa, beer prices that sting even after a few rounds, roommates that would incite Gandhi to violence, and shucks, you might as well just throw your wallet at the grocery store. 

Powder, when it comes, gets chewed up faster than a pig’s ear at the pound. 


It’s not just the runs that get tracked out—it’s the tightest trees you could possibly ski, the landings below any cliff, rocky chutes, pillows, and hike-to terrain. Whistler’s skiers and riders put lines where they simply don’t belong. Forget scoring freshies by ripping a tougher line than the dude before you, because the dude before you could probably take you to school.

Yesterday was my last day on the mountain. 

As I blasted huge GS turns down the hill, reveling in the absence of the Mountain Safety Stooges while doing “Mach Rabbit” and whizzing past tourists like tortoises, I reflected on the season. 

How had 88 days of skiing changed me? 

For one thing, I tried my old skis the other day, a pair of 175cm Armada ARVs. It was miserable. They were too soft, too light, too squirrelly, too forward, too slow. I’d loved those skis with my heart and soul. They carved, jumped, and bumped— everything I’d ever wanted in a ski. Now they’re just frustrating.



But more than my abilities as a skier changed. In college we’d chase powder, borrowing the old Suburban (God rest her) every time winter storm warnings flashed on the TV. The only way to cure Powder Fever is to die (it infects the soul), so I’ll still ditch my grandma on a powder day, but I’ve also realized that there’s more to skiing than chasing hip-deep fluff. 

No matter how bad the snow, how flat the light, how tired your legs, or how crowded the hill, every day skiing has something unique to offer. 

Whether it’s the new trick you mastered, the stranger you met on the lift, or simply the time spent with all the incredible people you’ve met in one short season, climbing out of bed is all it takes for an exceptional day on the hill.



So was it worth it? 

Was cramming all my earthly possessions into the “Passat Hound,” and voyaging north without so much as glancing at a Whistler trail map worthwhile? 

Unconditionally, yes. I learned this year what four years of university never taught me, and collected two fistfuls of exceptional stories along the way. 

But most importantly, Whistler made me a skier. And I’m damn proud of it.


Whistler made me a skier. And I’m damn proud of it.

Vodka fueled and Red-Bull propelled, Whistler was all the adrenaline you could handle and a dance party to boot. It was bigger, steeper, deeper, and more badass than anywhere I’d skied, and it was mine for the taking.

I took Whistler on faith — its reputation needed no up-sell. 

Vodka fueled and Red-Bull propelled, Whistler was all the adrenaline you could handle and a dance party to boot. It was bigger, steeper, deeper, and more badass than anywhere I’d skied, and it was mine for the taking.

 


Of course you’ve got to eat a little cockroach to enjoy a Snickers bar, and like any resort, Whistler has its flaws. With all the sick and gnarly we must swallow rent prices that would make a Saudi prince choke on his Al-Kabsa, beer prices that sting even after a few rounds, roommates that would incite Gandhi to violence, and shucks, you might as well just throw your wallet at the grocery store. 

Powder, when it comes, gets chewed up faster than a pig’s ear at the pound. 


It’s not just the runs that get tracked out—it’s the tightest trees you could possibly ski, the landings below any cliff, rocky chutes, pillows, and hike-to terrain. Whistler’s skiers and riders put lines where they simply don’t belong. Forget scoring freshies by ripping a tougher line than the dude before you, because the dude before you could probably take you to school.

Yesterday was my last day on the mountain. 

As I blasted huge GS turns down the hill, reveling in the absence of the Mountain Safety Stooges while doing “Mach Rabbit” and whizzing past tourists like tortoises, I reflected on the season. 

How had 88 days of skiing changed me? 

For one thing, I tried my old skis the other day, a pair of 175cm Armada ARVs. It was miserable. They were too soft, too light, too squirrelly, too forward, too slow. I’d loved those skis with my heart and soul. They carved, jumped, and bumped— everything I’d ever wanted in a ski. Now they’re just frustrating.



But more than my abilities as a skier changed. In college we’d chase powder, borrowing the old Suburban (God rest her) every time winter storm warnings flashed on the TV. The only way to cure Powder Fever is to die (it infects the soul), so I’ll still ditch my grandma on a powder day, but I’ve also realized that there’s more to skiing than chasing hip-deep fluff. 

No matter how bad the snow, how flat the light, how tired your legs, or how crowded the hill, every day skiing has something unique to offer. 

Whether it’s the new trick you mastered, the stranger you met on the lift, or simply the time spent with all the incredible people you’ve met in one short season, climbing out of bed is all it takes for an exceptional day on the hill.



So was it worth it? 

Was cramming all my earthly possessions into the “Passat Hound,” and voyaging north without so much as glancing at a Whistler trail map worthwhile? 

Unconditionally, yes. I learned this year what four years of university never taught me, and collected two fistfuls of exceptional stories along the way. 

But most importantly, Whistler made me a skier. And I’m damn proud of it.


Whistler made me a skier. And I’m damn proud of it.

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