Sarah Jane Hornes-Living the dream 

Alta States


Some people just have it. You know what I mean? Enthusiasm, a zest for life — a way of looking at the world that sees opportunities far more often than obstacles. And in a tourism economy where personal interaction is just as important as a resort’s physical attributes, that attitude is worth its weight in gold. Why? Because these are the magicians who can transform “just another holiday” into a story-filled adventure. These are the Pied Pipers who can convince guests to return time and time and again. And we all have our favourites. Whether Mike Varrin or Mikki Homa, Colin Pitt-Taylor or Rob Boyd, Whistler wouldn’t be the same place without them. Fortunately for us, the world keeps sending us more…

Consider the magic of Sarah Jane Hornes. “Hey, I was skiing with this gal the other day,” my Toronto-based friend, Graydon Oldfield told me on a recent visit to Whistler. “She was just awesome. She’d jump into stuff without any hesitation. And she ripped, man. But she was really fun to be around too. She was a total energy bomb. You’ve got to meet her — you’ll be really impressed.”

And I was. A Calgary-born dynamo who coaches skiing in the winter and golf in the summer — and serves sushi at Sachi in her spare time — Hornes (pronounced horn-ness) exudes a sense of happy energy that is virtually impossible to ignore. “My grandfather always had a saying,” the vivacious 30 year old tells me. “Live for today. Plan for tomorrow.” And then she laughs — a clear, happy sound that holds nothing back. “Well — for now I’m really concentrating on the first part of that dictum…”

She says she’s living her dream. Wouldn’t want to be doing anything else right now. Or living anywhere else for that matter. “Whistler is such a dynamic place,” she explains. “It offers so much.”

And then she pauses for a second or two, giggles like a little girl. “You know, when you walk through Whistler, you recognize others who have the same spark, the same energy — the same perspective as you do. And you don’t have to explain it or anything. You just feel it.” And it has nothing to do with age, she adds. “Whether young or old, people share a common sense of energy and excitement here. And that’s really stimulating to me. I mean, there are as many Whistlers as there are characters in this valley. And everyone knows just how many characters live here.”

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