Fresh beginnings 

Opening day thoughts for a new administration

click to enlarge shutterstock_40895161.jpg

Dear New Mayor and Council:

I'm so impressed with what just happened in this community. Never seen anything like it in fact. At least not in Whistler. I mean, to see the citizens in our happy little valley this passionate about voting -- this engaged on the issues - well, I kinda think this is the start of a whole new chapter in the Whistler story. Don't you?

But where was I? Oh yeah. The election. And its groundbreaking outcome: The first woman to be elected mayor in Whistler's history! Yeah. And supported by a brand-new, no-nonsense team of councillors. Yeah. May the force be with you all. The stables need some serious mucking out.

But on to the task at hand. I know you're all incredibly busy right now. And I know the last thing you need is more advice. Still - it just so happened that I was on the mountain for Opening Day last Friday, and it struck me that this quirky annual event has much to teach us. At least in terms of local vision and culture. I wrote a few notes on the subject. Read on and me know what you think:

What am I doing here? It's 6:30 a.m. in the morning. Still dark out. And cold - way colder than it should be at this time of the year. A hazy cloud of hemp smoke hovers over the huddled group of humans in the lift corral - almost like the incense that used to burn in the church that I attended as a kid. And I smile despite my discomfort. For it's not all that whacky a thread. After all, everyone around me this morning is here to worship. Only we're doing it our way: at the church of the snows.

Welcome back. It's Opening Day at Whistler and there's powder all the way to the valley. Gloria In Excelsis Deo!

I let my eyes wander idly over the crowd. Except for our little pod of veterans - and yes, we're all looking our age this morning - the line-up at the Creekside gondola is mostly made-up of echo-boomer pilgrims. Some still in their teens, most in their twenties, a few in their early thirties. And all of them keen - fanatical even - and ready for big action. I mean, literally. The adrenaline is flowing freely. No one stands in line in the dark in the cold for this long just to say that they were there...

The proportion of skis to snowboards, I notice, is about even. But these aren't your mother's skis. These are snowboards cut in half; huge, fat, floppy things that make molehills out of most mountains. As usual, the percentage of males in the crowd is pretty high. But the women make up for it with their style - they're warrior gals all the way. I love their self-assurance. Their quiet swagger. They're our future.

Latest in Alta States

More by Michel Beaudry

© 1994-2019 Pique Publishing Inc., Glacier Community Media

- Website powered by Foundation