Even when the couple had to strip down to their underwear to make a clothesline out of their winterwear, drink a huge Slurpee and bob in curdled buttermilk, anchovies, fish powder, garlic powder and yogurt for wieners, they managed to keep smiling and stay warm.
"Thank God long johns are really long," Stoker said Saturday, just minutes after finally winning the pass and still sporting the previously frozen and knotted T-shirt the two couples had to pry flat and don as the final challenge of the 24-hour Whistler-Blackcomb Freeze Factor contest.
The shirt may have been new when it was frozen but by the time Rogers and Stoker had finished with it, it had been beaten repeatedly on the ground and any other hard surface available, soaked again and again with water and chewed on, poked and pried with board tools. It even spent some time in the most private of places, all in an effort to force it to warm to the occasion.
No one was more surprised at their win than the couple whose only initial ambition had been to avoid being eliminated at the first challenge, an obstacle race that they had to complete while tied together at the feet.
"That was all I wanted," said Rogers. "I didn't want to be first out and I didn't want to fight and I wanted to have fun."
The worst part for Rogers was having to stomach some of the revolting concoctions invented just for Freeze Factor: "Eating the sardine, pickled egg, tomato, horseradish drink was awful."
There was also a subliminal torture, Stoker noted: "They played that (B.C. Lottery ad song) Big, Big, Big over and over again for 24 hours."
The Vancouver pair has been boarding and skiing on the mountains for years.
"This will be my fourth year with a season's pass, but this year will be so much better because I didn't have to pay for the pass," said Stoker.
The runners-up, Belinda Mogridge and Keith Freeman, may have lost the challenge but they still got the chance to be the first skiers on the mountain. Rogers and Stoker picked them as their guests for the chair ride to the top.
As part of the prize, the winner and two guests got a 100-chair head start on the eager opening-day crowds.
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