March 26, 2010 Features & Images » Feature Story

Valley People 

Whistler lifers who do everything but ski and snowboard


November 2009

Wave after wave of storm systems buffet Whistler Valley. 20 cm of snow falls one day then 30 the next and it just keeps coming for weeks. The mountains open early, snowfall records are broken. Facebook friends gush and rave endlessly about the conditions. And then unbelievably, like it can't get any better, 51 cm is recorded, followed by 60 the next day. "Wha- hooo!" screams my boyfriend (a 100 ski days a year, 30 years running hardcore veteran) as he dons his gear and rushes out the door at 8 a.m.


I, in stark contrast, could give a rat's ass. I sigh, look out at the parking lot, put on another pot of espresso and think, "Wha-frickin'-hoo, it's going to take forever to dig out my car. And where the hell are my Sorels? I'm not ready for this snow crap again."

I know I should be more excited. Oh sure, I'm excited for everybody. In fact, everyday I pore over satellite photos and weather reports so I can keep everyone informed about the conditions. This behaviour perplexes my boyfriend. He asked me once, "Why do you care so much about the weather when you never go outside?"

In my defense I care about the weather because our livelihood depends on it. But that's about it. And still, after 28 years of living in Whistler people just can't get over the fact that I didn't move here to ski.

"What is she doing here?" whisper the snow obsessed sporty types.

"Good gawd, why would she live in a ski resort if she doesn't ski?"

Good question.


Well, for one thing, I moved here to windsurf, not ski. Also, as a teenager, I had numerous bad experiences when we skied here for Christmas holidays in the '70s. The lift lines were huge and my hair would NOT curl properly around my toque.

And frankly, plunging down icy inclines, sitting on frigid, windy chairlifts and rising bleary eyed at the crack of dawn in the quest for fresh 'pow' is not my bag.

So, no matter the cruel barbs, the overt snickering I endure when I buckle into my 1987 Lange boots, I am here to stay. You fit, energetic mountain rats have no more right to be here than I do.

I'm a valley girl and proud to admit it.

I'm slow, I lay low, get used to it.

Besides, every village needs their idiot, and that sport I've mastered. As a comedic entertainer I filled a niche, and I'm happy to be here. Besides, someone has to work day shifts.

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