Samuel Johns, April 09, 2012 at 3:31 PM


Green College explore Whistler mountain - a veritable winter wonderland!


Shouts of ‘woop woop’, ‘yeeehaaaa’, and ‘powpow’ emanated from the ‘valley of woops’, down off Symphony chairlift on Whistler mountain. This was one of many of the highlights of our Green College weekender in Whistler back in March - the feeling of ecstasy of floating on fresh snow, of carving groomers down between the trees, and picking a line through the glades. The face of all the Greenies testified to this after our first day skiing, with drink in hand at Dusty's bar in Creekside and smiles as wide as the Peak-to-Peak gondola.

Spending a night in the UBC-AMS Lodge, we enjoyed huge portions of spaghetti bolognaise, having relaxed in the hot tub. Kieran’s infamous massage in the tub is testament to just quite how relaxing the weekend was. The snow had been good. The steam was rising. And the night was still young!
Our excursion to ‘Tommy Africa’s’ in the evening was a night not to forget (or insert typical alcohol-related joke here). The dance floor was packed, and by all accounts, other clubbers were green with envy seeing the dance moves of Dan Brox and Nadia Stennes-Spidahl amongst others. 


Sunday sent us back out on the mountain – some earlier than others. Following brunch at the lodge, the ‘freshies’ that had fallen attracted certain skiers to some of the best lines in BC – Spankey’s Ladder, Millionnaire Ridge, and the Flute Bowl to name but a few. Thankfully, Whistler mountain caters to the tastes of virtually every skier. Whilst experts such as Mike Scott dropped huge cliffs on the double-black diamonds, other novice skiers including the first-timer Janny Ke cruised down green and blue runs. Check out the video of some of the powder we enjoyed in the Harmony/Symphony area! 


 Nikolaus Fortelny, Kieran Fox, Sam Johns and Alex DiGiacomo on Blackcomb

So what is the moral of the story? Well perhaps there wasn’t one. It was after all just a performance of being a stereotypical ‘weekend warrior’, escaping Vancouver for the mountains (and ironically finding yourself in traffic jams, lift lines and food queues!). Yet for me there was deeper significance. Looking out over Whistler peak, towards the Black Tusk and mountains of Garibaldi, we were reminded of the majesty of the natural world. In cities we feel big, smart and important, like the world revolves around our scheduled activities and plans. Yet in nature we are humbled; we feel small, insignificant and weak. Gazing at the mountainous landscape on the peak, we shrunk into the background of tall snowy peaks, huge ice falls, crevasses, glacial moraines and snow laden forests.
Ultimately we are immensely fortunate to live such lives of leisure and pleasure, particularly in British Columbia – allegedly, the ‘best place on earth’! The mix of the elements, with sharp winds, deep snow and freezing temperatures, tamed by warm lodgings, a steaming hot tub and delicious food, should make us ever more grateful. I think the weekend made us all grow in our appreciation for this winter wonderland that surrounds us, and I for one hope that we never become numbed to the extraordinary beauty and privilege we inhabit.