...And a few other choices from the year that was 1998
Go Quietly Into That Good Night Award: Peak Pastries, Grinders, Plaza Bistro....
Passings of a More Personal Note: Franz Wilhelmsen for whom we give thanks often on the mountain he created. Lumpy Leidal, one of too many spirits washed away by tsunamis of snow in BC’s wild places this year. Michael Kennedy who reminded us stupidity will kill us as fast as nature when we play the wrong games in the mountains. And Dave Branigan who only moved to Squamish but whose absence in the force is missed just the same.
You Light Up My Life I: Traffic lights at Function, soon at Spruce-Nesters, probably Alpine. Stop whining, you know we need ‘em.
You Light Up My Life II: Lights at Spruce Grove ball diamonds. Stop whining, you know we need ‘em.
Let The Circle Be Unbroken Fellowship Award: The New Alta Lake Ratepayers Association for their diligent efforts in welcoming their brothers and sisters to the Elysian Fields of Alpine Meadows. The January white sales are a’comin’.
Because Somebody Had to do It Award: To Edi Podivinsky, Luke Sauder, Chris Kent and Dominque Perret who managed to ski 353,600 vertical feet in 14.5 hours on April 28. Yo-yoed up and down Mike Wiegele’s Blue River Heli Heaven, the boys only managed to break the old record by 50,000 feet while averaging about 50 miles per hour on their many descents. So what did you do on April 28th?
Most Disappointing news for commuters to Pemberton:
Pemberton now gets cell-phone service... No matter where you run there’s nowhere to hide.
Most lacklustre campaign to have a private university here: Whistler
Most accommodating campaign, short of Geisha girls and clowns, to have a private university: Squamish
Best Disappearing Horsy Trick: The muni, council or developers depending on who’s talking at the time.
"It’s like a spanking. He’s a bad bear and he deserves a little punishment." – Bear wrangling by the Bear Guy from Mammoth, Calif.
Ugliest example of fending off liability suits: The Green Lake Fence put in place to stop people that use the Valley Trail falling into Green Lake and suing the muni.
Thing we wish we’d never said: "Touchy Feely opening"
How to ensure your community group falls into disarray: Call it Sea to Sky something.
Rasputin Award for most tragic local bear management scenario:
Bear that was shot by police officers who were called out because the bear took garbage from inside a house (and wouldn’t be scared off even by the lights and sirens) but didn’t die and climbed a tree and conservation officers had to come and shoot it again and it died but got wedged 100 feet up in the tree and then the fire department had to come and hose it out of the tree.
Fly Me A River:
The Snowbirds aeronautical team don’t want to come back and do another Pemberton Air Show because the mountains and wind currents made the flying too tough.
Number of the year:
17.8, as in nanograms of marijuana found in Ross Rebagliati by the International Olympic Committee. Small minds looking for very small amounts of something and generating global awareness.
Who did you say you were?
"We felt we have a leadership responsibility on behalf of the sporting community, not just one sport. We announced on behalf of all sports who see Alpine Canada as a leading sport." Alpine Canada President Patrick LaForge explaining why the governing body of skiing in Canada felt it had to announce it was supporting Calgary’s Olympic bid.
Readers’ Choice Awards
Another year of change, new stuff, same old stuff, elation and disappointment. What was best about it? You the reader let us know.
Bow Wow leads the pack, followed by the music store Turn It Up, The hemp store Fibre Options and Lotus Art Supplies.
Use of public money
Whistler Transit gets the thumbs up from the majority out there but the Valley Trail comes in second.
Worst use of public money
That river running through Town Plaza. Expensive Bus Shelters and the Blueberry light also received several votes.
Oasis of serenity in village
Cookie Co. Lost Lake might have qualified, if it was in the village.
Place for a romantic stroll
Lost Lake wins hands down, followed at a distance by the Valley Trail and Green Lake.
Public place for a roll in the hay.
Lost Lake, coincidence? The Heli-pad also got a mention because it’s heated.
Place to tie the knot
Joel’s, On the hill and "on your shoes." Clever people.
Place to break up
Near the Bus Loop was number one (on your way back from Lost Lake?) with Callaghan Lake in second.
Place to watch the snow fall & fall & fall...
"My House" came up a few times but West Side Road, on the mountain and on a chairlift tied for top.
Place to here gossip
Tapley’s, Revolution, Village Square and on the gondola.
Most expendable Whistlerite
Paul "Fabio" Fournier
G.D. Maxwell or Ross Rebagliati (Rick Clare in third).
Place to spend the last $10 in your account
Well, it’s definitely on alcohol, with Garf’s at number one and the Liquor Store and "anywhere with a pitcher special" coming second and third.
Swing dancing comes in first, then dogs and skateboarding.
Worst Whistler trend
Tongue rods and rings, Roots hats, fighting in the village, boarders with attitude, disco, saying "I’m a local can I have a discount," voting against public housing and hackey sack.
The Chateau Whistler, hands down (or pants).
Worst public bathroom
The Savage Beagle
Party of 1998
The nominees are, Ullr, Chateau, X-tremely Canadian, Roundhouse Opening, Ross’s Homecoming and Lee Press On and the Nails. And the winner is.... Ross’s Homecoming!
Place to watch the World Cup
Lake Louise, Chilliwack, on TV, at Dusty’s or by Hot Air. Of course, having a World Cup would help.
Hotel lobby to hang out in
Chateau Whistler, with the Delta a close second. Intrawest Resort Club gets a vote because they have hot apple cider.
Public place during a blizzard.
On the mountain, at the skating rink or in a hot tub come in first, second and third.
Vitamin or Herb
We were asking for it putting "herb" in the question, but pot came out numero uno, almost unanimously, with Echinacea in second. There was no third, only more pot.
Public place to be overcome with joy
Nudie dock wins but Rainbow Park gets a few votes, as does "on the mountain" and "In a lift line."
Rumour of 1998
Whistler/Blackcomb tram, Disney buying Intrawest, First day free for locals, Olympics.
Thing that never happened
The World Cup downhill, First day free for locals, the new driving range, affordable housing.
Last new development on the mountain! Meet me in the mud! Of course it’s guaranteed! Looks great! Whatever!
Secret about Whistler
Beverley Lake, free advice lady, highest STD rate, Creekside ghost.
Gift or present that best says Whistler
Most endearing thing about Whistler
The views, the snow, locals’ patience, alcoholism, Australians and "there’s still some bears."
Least endearing thing about Whistler
November fog, Australians, alcoholism, rain, big corporations, tourists and posers who think that they are locals.
Most extreme Whistler thing to do
Cross Highway 99, Backcountry, drink the Boot’s draft.
Place to go next
Mount Everest, Thailand, Europe, Alaska, the Yukon and the rest of the world.
Local tourist spot
Mountain world wins, then Bill’s and the Hard Rock.
Canadian vacation spot (after Whistler of course)
Toronto, or Lake Louise
Place in Whistler least like Whistler
Creekside, Mountain World, White Gold and The Boot.
Personal Travel and then Roseway.
Place to take visitors
Up the mountain, to Rainbow, to Brandywine and to Nairn Falls
Sports and Recreation
Run on Whistler/Blackcomb
Peak to Creek, Dave Murray, Franz’s, and Cloud Nine.
Outdoor sport (apart from skiing and boarding)
Mountain biking rolls into first, with blading and hiking second across the line and running finishing last.
Almost unanimously, Sex
Brandywine or the Soo Valley
Run to learn to snowboard on
Olympic or "any one that I’m not on."
Run to learn to ski on
Back side of the peak, Black Tusk, West Side Road and top of Peak Chair.
Favourite Whistler athlete
Rob Boyd wins, followed by Ross Rebagliati and Darren Chalmers and lots of people who voted for themselves.
Meadow Park got the most votes, followed by Whistler Athletic Club.
Whistler Physio and Whistler Physio Too
Kristy La Manta, followed by Marilyn, Susie and Lorraine
Shops and Wares
Men’s clothing store
Eddie Bauer, followed by Willies, the Gap and Evolution.
Women’s clothing store
Willies followed by Horstman Trading Co., The Gap and Chasmophile.
Showcase wins over The Circle and Evolution.
Nester’s takes 97 per cent of the vote with IGA at 2 per cent and The Grocery Store with 1.
Hardware or building supply store
Home Hardware has the most votes with Mountain Building Supply and Windsor Plywood second and third.
Armchair books out in front with Bestsellers and 7- Eleven following (lots of people claimed there wasn’t a bookstore here.)
Skitches, and in second place Gazebo.
Food and Drink
Place for Scotch
Place for cigars
Dubh Linn Gate
Restaurant wine list
(In among the I dunno’s and the I can’t afford thems) Araxi’s.
Place for steak
Place for Oysters
Place for burgers
Place for deserts.
A tie between Araxi’s, Splitz and Death by Chocolate.
Place for vegetarian fare
Deserts, Tandori Grill and Mongolie Grill.
Restaurant when someone else pays
Splitz, with a few in there for the just-reopened Uli’s Flipside.
Resort room service.
Place for friendly service
North Shore Credit Union and Evolution.
Place for rude or grumpy service
Grinders, Moe’s Deli, The BrewHouse, IGA, Husky, Merlin’s, Crystal Lodge, Java, Pharmasave, Dusty’s, Nesters and the Amsterdam Cafe all received votes, but nobody got more than one — suggesting that it may have been an isolated experience that influenced voters.
Most unique staff
Amsterdam Cafe and By-law.
Place for a quiet latte
Junction Cafe and La Tortilleria.
Locals lead and then Americans. The English get a mention followed by "HA, HA, HA."
Clubs and Bars
Seanski gets a well deserved number one rating in the people’s choice awards. Peacefrog, Ziff and Matt the Alien are all tied for second place.
Place to cut a rug
Garf’s wins, then Tommy’s and Maxx Fish tie for second and the Savage Beagle comes in third.
Place to see a live act
The Boot takes two-thirds of the votes, with the GLC and Buffalo Bill’s sharing second.
Meat market (or worst, depending on how you look at it)
Buffalo Bill’s wins with Garfinkel’s pressed close behind. Tommy’s and the Beagle both get a brief nod of recognition.
Woofers & Tweeters (sound system)
Amsterdam Cafe and the Longhorn.(D’you think maybe people mistook the word "Best" for the easily mistaken "Loudest"?)
Place for a quiet after-work drink
Cinnamon Bear Bar wins by a yard of ale, then the Mallard Bar and Phil’s.
If you discount the faxes that came in with the name of the place they voted for on the top of the sheet, then the Savage Beagle wins.
Place to shoot some stick
The Longhorn sinks the eight ball, with the Cinnamon Bear Bar next up and Mountain World waiting to get on the table in third.
Aprés ski bar
The Longhorn dances at the front of the crowd in its embroidered ski suit while Merlin’s comes a close second with the GLC in third.
Citta’s in first, then Merlin’s and then the Longhorn.
Media, Arts and Culture
Pete and Chad are way out in front, followed by Guitar Doug and Dank Nuggs (together again). Mick Dalla Vee, Dark Star, Jordan White, Leanne Lamoreaux and the Hounds of Buskerville are all people’s choice party favourites.
Christina Nick generates the most votes, with Hugh Kearney also in the foreground. Special mentions for Paul’s Dad, Vincent Massey, Doug Schull, Rick Flebbe and Susan Hemmerle.
Local newspaper writer
G.D. Maxwell is the out and out, top of the heap, people’s favourite with 80 per cent of the vote. Spinny gets a special magic vote for being an upcoming star, as does Don Anderson, who hasn’t written for a newspaper on a regular basis in three years.
Most irritating newspaper writer
Some will consider this a badge of honour. Paul Burrows claims the most votes, with one for John Burrows as well. Paul Andrew garners a couple and Doug Sack, Norma Caskanette, Oona Woods and Loreth Beswetherick all get one each. (You wanna go for a drink?)
Event of the season
The World Cup Downhill was voted the Event of the Season. If we knew we could vote for things that never happened I’m sure "Having Mardi Gras here instead of Brazil" and "The second coming of our Lord" should be there, too. Instead we also have Loonie Races, The Baseball Party, The Mountain Film Festival and the Lee Press On Show.
Area of study most deserving of a Canada Council Grant
The environment, bears, public art, local youth, "our water problems due to chemicals on the summer glacier" and G.D. Maxwell’s History of Whistler.
Place for art
Delta Galleries and Expressions.