Following the whims of mother nature 

Who: Ptor Spricenieks

What: At The End of the Universe slideshow

Where: MY Place

When: Wednesday, Dec. 4

Want to know what it’s like at the end of the universe? Spend an evening with one the world's top mountain explorers and you may just find out. Whistler's own part-time resident Ptor Spricenieks is a world-class ski-mountaineer, writer, photographer, filmmaker, philosopher, paraglider pilot, soul-adventurer and old soul, but sums it all up by calling himself a mad scientist and civilization surfer. His exploits have been written up in magazines, put on posters, shown on TV and featured in film.

How he found the time to put together his own slide show is a mystery but it’ll be his first in two years featuring photographs from his travels to far-reaching places in Peru, Bolivia, France, the Yukon & British Columbia. A particular highlight will be a new ascent route and the premiere ski-descent of Mt.. Monarch. This was the largest unskied peak on the B.C. coast until Spricenieks and local Chris Kettles, featured in last years critically acclaimed documentary Ski Bums , climbed and skied it this past July under a full moon. If you pick up a copy of the latest Skier magazine, you can read all about it.

Spricenieks is constantly travelling, climbing, skiing, and visiting cultures that most of us have never even heard of.

"I follow the whims of mother nature," he said. "I try to include everything into the equation of life, so I figure, why waste time with the known. The fringes are where the most crucial bits of life seem to hang out."

Some of Spricenieks’ most treasured images will be on display at the Whistler slide show, which he considers an update for his friends and fans around town.

"My photography is what I am seeing. It will put everybody there. It’s not a been-there-done-that show off, I am trying to place people who will never get to go, in places that are out of this world," he said.

Spricenieks has developed a unique personality and opinion on the world through years of travelling and seeing how the other side live. He shuns commercialism and what he now calls the "glitz" of Whistler.

"I philosophically don’t agree with this place anymore. I don’t ski here. It’s too much of a fun park for me. The only reason I come back is because of my mom and my friends," he said.

"I mostly live in La Grave, France, which is built the way a skiing community should be. The natural rhythm of the mountains and the weather are let be and we take responsibility for that. If conditions are not conducive for humans, the mountain is closed, simple as that. There’s no man-made meddling," he said.

Spricenieks first received major recognition in the mountain world in 1995 when he and Troy Jungen free climbed and cleanly skied the North Face of Mt. Robson, the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies. The feat is yet to be repeated.

Catch Spricenieks before he’s gone. His show is for one night only on Wednesday, Dec. 4 at 8 p.m., at Millennium Place. Tickets are $9. Phone 604-935-8418 to pre-purchase.

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