Sunday, 19 February 2012

things i'll miss about whistler: Snow (part 1 of a series of many parts)

there are certainly things i'll miss about whistler. thinking about leaving makes me feel all sorts of feelings, so i believe a series of numbered lists will serve me well in keeping my thoughts ordered and clear, plus, 50% of my readership are apparently quite partial to a numbered list.

firstly, let's talk about the snow. an obvious choice- for me, a significant part of the whistler i have come to know and love. it's the only form of precipitation that never fails to make my heart flutter just a tiny bit.

  1. the anticipation in Fall as the days get shorter and colder, and in order to get through the rainy gloom of it all you arm yourself with the knowledge that soon the mountain tops will be dusted with the beginnings of the coming winter season.
  2. the ebb and flow of the general happiness levels and percentage of random smiles at strangers relating directly to the snow line creeping down the hill as winter nears.
  3. snowfall as most common chitchat with any and every whistler local, seasonal and visitor.
  4. the snow itself. the way it crunches underfoot, the way it mutes and quiets all the world around. the way it falls in giant flakes, sometimes thick and fast, sometimes fluffy...
  5. snow-related activities. riding will get its own writeup in the series of many parts, but not to be missed are such things as snowmobiling blackcomb mountain up to crystal hut for fondue (parts of life did flash before my eyes when amy nearly drove us off a cliff, but we lived), and drunkenly making snow angels outside Dusty's also earns an honorable mention. one of my favorites is the good old fashioned walk home at night time in heavy snow. it's not like walking in the rain. it's about pulling your hood up, playing something poignant on your iPod, and walking slowly up the hill soaking in the sheer epicness of it all.
  6. that awesome moment when you wake up in the morning and it's been dumping all night, all the trees, houses, cars, roads and people are covered in snow, you're knee-deep just walking to the bus stop...
  7. unexpected late-season snow. as it warms, the rains come, but there are also random snowfalls interspersed with rain and bluebird (that is when we work on our goggle tan).
  8. snow stays about all year round in whistler, whether it's the glacier to be admired from miles away, the glacier open in blackcomb over summer, or just the patches you go and stand on in your skate shoes when you take peak chair up to sight-see in summer.
  9. snow sits on your balcony and effectively makes a fridge for your beer; just be careful not to forget it and let it freeze.
  10. collect snow in a bucket and use it to ice your crappy ankle. it's a nice way to get involved in the fresh snow when you can't go riding; a weird one to end on maybe, but one of the most helpful kinds of snow i've partaken in this winter.

snow snow snow. it sometimes snows in Armidale (the town i grew up near in Australia), but it barely ever settles and it's normally melted by midday. 2cm does not a ski-hill make.

i am not done with snow, and i am not done with white christmases. so let's just be clear on that and leave it there.

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