Winter dos and don'ts 

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DO ... get to know us. The community here, though it may seem invisible at times, is incredible. It's the community that volunteers for events and organizations. It's the community that builds amenities like the library and Valley Trail, that keeps the food bank stocked and steps up when people need help. Volunteer for something. Show up to things. Talk to people. If you end up moving here full-time, the community will probably be a bigger reason than all the recreation opportunities combined.

DON'T ... bite off more than you can chew. Whistler's got a body count that grows every year, and while sometimes it's the result of people pushing boundaries with full knowledge of the consequences, sometimes it's just people in way over their heads. Pique writes about dozens of people who need the help of Search and Rescue every winter season; don't be one of them. Know where you're going and if it's in your ability; take courses and be prepared with the right gear. Never go into the backcountry alone. It's not just your life at stake remember, it's everyone who comes looking for your sorry ass.

DO ... eat nachos for dinner and drink the local beer. Both are excellent.

DON'T ... despair. Ever. We get dry spells, but snow always comes. Jobs and beds always materialize. All the dramas in your life involving money and relationships and whatnot will seem pretty small in the rearview mirror. Keep your chin up, if for no other reason than it's the best way to enjoy the view.

DO ... Take care of yourself. That scurvy story is an urban legend, but it's still a great cautionary tale. Eat right and exercise because the coming winter could be the longest you've ever experienced, and you can get pretty run down and out of shape by the time spring rolls around. Add a bout of mumps, swine flu and a venereal disease or two, and you could be feeling like Keith Richards looks.

DON'T ... litter, tag, trash, scream obscenities or generally be a douchebag. In Whistler, the real badasses prove it on snow, dirt and concrete. Maybe where you come from it was badass not to give a crap about anything, but here you're just the douchebag who threw his coffee cup on the ground.

Do ... Have a memorable and safe season. Or two.

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