So here I am, 6 weeks down the line doing the reverse trip down the mountain and back to Vancouver. (Cry cry)
The week skiing with my family felt as if it was only a couple of days and these last 5 weeks with AllTracks have flown by. It has honestly been one of the best experiences of my life filled with friends, food and lots and lots of skiing. The friends I’ve made here I know will be my friends for a very long time, we’ve all been here for the same reason and so obviously we have the same interests! My two blondies have made the experience even better and I know it would not have been the same had we not been living together. It’s weird to think that on that very first day when I saw them in the airport I was cautious about meeting them and now I would run up and jump on them if I happened to bump into them in an airport again.
I’ve had uncountable amazing memories here in Whistler and I know that I’m going to remember the best ones forever.
1. The powder! There was 69cm of snow over night and skiing with the girls in our ski group through waist high powder is a memory I’ll never forget. We thought we’d lost Sylvie under the snow until we saw her head poking out and so many of us got stuck gliding through the pow! There is nothing more fun than straightlining down a powder slope knowing it doesn’t matter if you fall head first into it because the powder is a big cushion waiting to catch you!
2. The three blondes. My two blonde roommates and I quickly got a reputation for always been together, since almost as soon as the course started we became such good friends. As three very blonde girls living and skiing together, it was easier for everyone to refer to us as the three blondes and it’s a nickname that stuck and spread – even so that a ski instructor approached us on the slopes to ask if we were the infamous three blondes!
3. Jersey girls! Skiing with my two blondies is always great but once we’d bought our Whistler jerseys we decided it was a must to ski in them too! Lucky for us the temperature was plus 7 degrees so jackets were not needed and our jerseys were visible to all! Being asked many times if we were part of a Whistler ski team also made the experience very good.. Especially since we replied “not skiing but we are in the Whistler curling team..”
4. Australia Day. The only way to spend a national day of Australia and one of the biggest days of the year for Aussies is… With Australians. Lucky for me, I lived with two and was friends with a lot more. Australia Day started with two Melbourne girls skiing down the mountain in bras and massive Aussie flags, followed close behind by my housemate wearing a giant “thong” (flip flop to us) on his back! Later the Australia top 100 was tuned in every bar and club throughout Whistler and a fun night ahead was inevitable.
5. Nose piercing. Although it sounds like a weird memory, getting my nose pierced was one of the funniest and strangest experiences of my life, made ten times funnier by having the girls there with me! It started off with a drive down to Squamish where the tattoo and piercing parlour was. Here I picked out the smallest clear stud and lay down on bed to get my piercing, then the strangeness began… First he told me he was going to clean my nose, fair enough, but I forgot that the nose has an inside and went into shock when a cotton bud was suddenly put up my nose and whirled around! Then another one and another and another and another! Finally when he believed my nose to be an adequate cleanliness, the piercing began… A clamp was placed up my nostril and then he told me to breath in… Then out and my nose was pierced. BUT by a massive metal hook that went all the way through my nose and out my nostril! He told the girls all laughing that now was a perfect photo opportunity so while I’m laying in the chair with a metal rod in my nose, blood coming out and a tear in my eye, my so called friends are playing paparazzi! Anyways soon after the stud was put in and my nose and nostril was returned to its former state but with a piercing.
6. Flute bowl. This is a love hate memory but one that won’t be forgotten because of it. The hike up to flute bowl was a long one to say the least, long, uphill, with winds blowing against us. We strapped our skis to our backpacks and took off our layers ready for the hike, lucky for us the sun was shining a lot and so it became quite a pleasant walk after we had got over the initial hiking shock. However the most memorable moment was arriving at the top. After a 20 minute uphill hike with skis, the end is always going to be amazing however the view looking over the mountains and valleys made it 100% worth it.
7. Whistler bungee. This was one of the most terrifying but exhilarating experiences of my life. After a short drive and a even shorter walk up to a bridge over the valley, we found the bungee team and prepared to jump… Or fall – whichever way you look at it! Caroline and I actually cried watching Sylvie take her jump and so when it became my turn I was more scared than I thought! Especially when the bungee guy told me that I should just fall backwards keeping my head back as it is the most thrilling way to jump. Basically it felt as if I was falling to my death and I screamed the whole way down but it was incredible, especially hanging over the frozen water in the valley, surrounded by snow.
8. Fresh tracks. Although waking up at 6.30am after a night out isn’t my idea of a good morning, fresh tracks allowed us to be first up the mountain, greeted by a huge buffet breakfast ad wide open slopes with no one on them. Us four girlies weren’t in the mood for hardcore shredding but mucking about on the slopes, girlie skiing and flying down empty pisted runs meant we had a fabulous morning… Made even better by the fact that Katie was wearing her giraffe onsie!
9. Ken. On the second week our instructor was Ken, one of the best skiiers I have ever met. He had been a competing mogul skiier his whole life, trained the Canadian World Cup team and then went on the train the Korean Olympic team. Skiing with him for a week was an absolute honour and he showed us and took us to slopes that we would have never found ourselves. It was an amazing skiing experience and a great week tearing up the slopes.
10. The tree well. One of the funniest moments of my life was when Anna got stuck in a tree well. Tree wells are hollow areas around trees where the snow does not reach, however the snow on the floor of tree wells is very deep. When Anna fell in, the more she tried to get herself out, the deeper she went and so Ken had to hike up to pull her out, except he fell in too! And so we all had to go up and Sylvie pulled them both out finally by her poles so that she didn’t fall in too!
11. Valhal’ skiing days. Although I do love girlie skiing with my best friends, there’s something to be said about big group skiing. The days when we headed up the mountain as “Valhalla” (our houses) meant that there were 14 of us together all with the same intention… To shred. Hiking up the glacier together and tearing down the pisted and off pisted runs; carvers, freestyle skiiers, boarders, racers, and all managing to stay together is the recipe for a very very very good day skiing (or shredding.. Ha).
12. Passing! After a months training, three days being examined, two classroom sessions and a very nerve-wracking wait, finding out I am now qualified as a ski instructor was a very happy relief to say the least and I’m so happy it was all worth it!
That concludes my Whistler adventure, I hope you’ve enjoyed experiencing it with me! It truly has been an incredible and unforgettable experience.