Alta states 

Peter Ladner: Sometimes nice guys do finish first

click to enlarge Peter Ladner
  • Peter Ladner

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One of the criteria was a multi-day survival hike. So Ladner and four school companions — Stephen Owen, Pete Quinn, Brian McDaniel and Dave Slater — decided to climb up to Garibaldi Lake and walk from there to Whistler. “It was an incredible experience,” he says. “And quite the adventure, I can tell you. By completing the trek, we even managed to become the first Canadians to pass the program’s gold level.” And then only lightly self-mocking, “which got us a meeting with the Duke of Edinburgh and everything.”

But it’s not just Peter’s physical abilities that impress. For this is also a guy who harbours a profound appreciation for the unique beauty of our Coast Mountain locale.

On a recent overnight snowshoe outing to Russet Lake with an Outward Bound group, Ladner decided to spend the night outside alone, away from the shelter. “So there I was, all by myself, set up for the night under the stars,” he explains. “And it was deathly still. There was no sound at all, except for my heart beating and the blood coursing through my veins. It was so quiet it was almost spooky.”

He pauses for a moment. “And all of a sudden it hit me. I realized that this is one of the few places on earth where it can be that quiet. And I also realized just how fortunate I was to be able to experience it like this. It was a very magical moment…”

So there you go. At a time in B.C.’s history when it’s never been more important for Whistler and Vancouver to co-operate as municipalities —“We’re definitely blood brothers on this Olympic thing,” says Ladner — I find it refreshing that there’s finally a candidate out there who “gets” the relationship. And one, furthermore, who wants to leverage it for the benefit of both communities…

According to the two-term councillor, much has already been accomplished between the two groups. “Of all the councils in the region,” he says, “our closest connection is to Whistler council, for sure. My impression is that we can work quite well together.”

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