Long Runs & Good Times
This story was written for Corona Extra Canada, for their Winter 2016 "Closer to the Sun" campaign. This is post 2 of 8. The original blog can be found here.
We did not wake up to falling snow our first morning in Whistler. Instead, a bright-blue, crystal-clear sky greeted us from behind the curtains. Sure, everyone wishes for good powder. However, based on the buzz that morning, there are no complaints for a bluebird day. After layering up, Mitch and I breezed through the bustle in town and jumped in line for our lift tickets. With hundreds of other skiers and snowboarders surrounding us, all decked out in boots, goggles, and their own personalized swag, the energy and excitement was nothing short of infectious.
Within minutes we had saddled up in our first lift and began the ascent up Blackcomb Mountain. I may not be much of a skier, however, I will go just about anywhere for a good view. We were only a few minutes in and, already, it was one of the best mountain landscapes I have ever seen. The morning light had yet to crest the peak, so as we continued to climb, golden rays began parting the trees, illuminating the forests that frame the slopes. The treetops were still draped in billows of the white stuff from the last snowfall, making the entire mountain look like a winter wonderland.
Our morning was spent on Blackcomb. I got reacquainted with being on skis, kind of like a baby giraffe finds its legs for the first time. Mitch said he was doing much of the same thing, though baby giraffes don’t go running about, carving new paths and finding embankments to jump off of against the tree line. Yep, I think he was just being nice, too. After a morning of skiing together, I left Mitch on Whistler Mountain so he could do things that bigger, more coordinated giraffes do. I headed back to Blackcomb via the Peak-to-Peak Gondola.
The scene from the air as you straddle the two mountains is nothing short of phenomenal. It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of skiing and boarding when everything is a blur of wind, snow, speed, and then getting in line, and doing it all over again. However, being suspended over the valley, with sweeping views of rivers, pine, and peaks, all stretching into the distance, was the perfect reminder to recognize the moment. We may feel alive racing down the slopes, but pressing pause allows us to stop and soak in the splendor of the experience.
With my newfound appreciation for slowing down and my gratefulness for the stunning, pine-studded views surrounding me, I coasted the longest green runs all the way down the mountain. I felt like a long boarder cruising the ocean on a small day. It was perfect.
Mitch bumped into a Whistler local, James, shortly after we parted ways, and they quickly bonded over their love for speed and, surprisingly, their camera gear (go figure). The two trekked into the backcountry and shredded the alpine. Mitch recounted the best part about being immersed in the rugged terrain behind the main runs: quite unexpectedly, it is the complete silence. There are no birds to chirp, no trees to rustle in the wind, and no other people around- only hushed blue skies, fresh air, and majestic views. I guess we each had our moments, after all.
A day on the slopes would not be complete without an après-ski evening. Sundown consisted of James, Mitch, and I on a patio, each with a celebratory Corona in hand. As we watched others trickle off of the hill and into similar gatherings, we chatted and relaxed with jackets unzipped and ski bindings unclipped. I think Mitch can agree when I say there was no better company for a cold beer and good conversation after a long day shredding, smiling, and, of course, soaking it all in.
(photo credit: Mitchell Taylor)
This campaign was full of spontaneity, brewskies, and fly-by-the-seat-of-your-ski-pants adventure. To read these stories chronologically, start with the first post, "From Beach to Peak", where we head to Whistler, British Columbia.