Friday, March 20, 2009

Watching the Big Fat Flakes in Whistler

hiking Boundary Bowl at Whistler, originally uploaded by Judy B.

I am sitting in the Blenz in the Whistler Village North .. what i call the new village but it's really not new anymore. Whistler contains a large part of my youth, and when i am here i feel like i am 'home'. One of my first ever memories was sitting in a baby seat on our A frame late 60's style cabin on Alta Lake in the summer.. and seeing a brown bear. It's an image that will replay itself in my childhood several times, and in many repetitive dreams. At that time there were not many people in Whistler.. you still had to hike to ski down a hill. By the time i was 5 years old i was enrolled in Kids Camp on Blackcomb Mountain and i remember the first time i went skiing, remember not being able to get off the Magic chair lift and also not being able to control my skis and crashing into the the fence that protects the chair lift on the bottom. Many weekends of pancakes, bacon, and skiing. What more could a kid ask for?
As i got older and hit puberty I discovered snowboarding.. there was this brand new shop called Westbeach that open on Marine Drive in North Vancouver, and because i thought skateboarding was cool (i was trying to master the Ollie), my friends and i started hanging out there one summer. This is also the place where i discovered Nirvana and grunge (Thanks to Chip of Lululemon fame). For a 12-13 year old now looking back we were pretty hip, but also incredibly influenced. We started wearing plaid and the Westbeach hoodies that turned into a huge trend. My new friend Fiona and I started snowboarding that year (i am guessing it would have been 1991 or 92). We were some of the first snowboarders to hit Blackcomb mountain never mind.. women to start snowboarding on the mountain. I think it was a couple years before we started to see other Women snowboarding. I think we kind of knew we were doing something that one day would be huge but at the time we had no idea.. we wore sorels as boots and had are massive fluorescent Sims snowboards that were awkward and so heavy. I was so happy when new companies like Burton hit the market and i got my next snowboard a Burton at Bellisfair Mall.. it was like snowboarding on clouds.. no more edges catching, feet coming out of boots.. and now to this day.. i tested some of the new boards a couple years ago and the technology has come so far! Thank god! Every time i took a chair lift i was worried my foot would fall off it was that heavy.
And this was just the beginning.. after the hormones hit, i could write a novel of my exploits as as crazy teenager skipping school, hitch hiking, having parties at the 'champagne chalet', and sharing a fake ID to get into Tommy's Africa's to see DJ Czech on school nights.

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