Mountain Dreams

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I was always taught that you should write down the things you dream about in life, and that the mere act of writing them down can sometimes play a powerful part in making them come true. Figuring that I had nothing to lose by trying this strategy, several years ago I wrote a list of things that I wanted to do, have and become. I’m not naive enough to think that I will get everything I dream about, but I do accept that I probably won’t get anything that I don’t dream about. I wrote that list many years ago and to be honest I put it aside after I wrote it and more or less forgot about it.

In the preparation to come to Canada last year I happened to stumble across that list. I was amazed at just how many of the items on that list - things that probably seemed quite unrealistic at the time I wrote it - had in fact come to pass. I won’t bore you with the actual list of things, but just believe me when I tell you that I was very surprised how many of them had come true. Of course there were also things on that list that hadn’t happened (yet), and also quite a few things that no longer really mattered to me. Priorities change over the years, and some things that I thought were important no longer are. I also realised that some things that matter to me just aren’t ever going to happen, and I guess I need to give some thought to how I deal with that.

Anyway, one of the things on that list was “Skiing at Whistler”. As of yesterday and today, I can now cross that one off the list too. (Well, technically I never skied Whistler since I spent all my time on its more advanced sister peak Blackcomb, but it’s considered all part of the one resort so I’ll still claim it as a dream fulfilled.)

I skied on my own yesterday since Pete wasn’t keen to be skiing in the poor visibility conditions. I had a great day on the hills, with excellent snow conditions even if the bumps were a bit hard to see in the misty conditions. It was still great to be out skiing this legendary mountain. Blackcomb starts at 600 metres Above Sea Level and rises to a highpoint of nearly 2600 metres ASL... that gives a total vertical drop of nearly 2 kilometres. That’s a pretty impressive vertical drop! My legs were buggered by the end of the first day.

On day two Pete and I went out for the day to enjoy the ample white snow and beautiful blue skies. This has been a bumper season for Whistler, and the mountain currently boasts an average base depth of 10 feet. You know there is a lot of snow when the little “saplings” growing in the snow are in fact only the top sections of fully grown fir trees.

Pete and I skied the top section of the mountain in the morning since the sun had been hitting it for a while, making it the best snow conditions on the whole hill. We quite literally skied until we couldn’t ski any more, with our quads and calves burning with lactic acid. We took a break for lunch for a while since the place we were staying at was ski-in,ski-out and right at the base of the Wizard Express chairlift. After a chance to let our aching legs recover we went back up to the very top of the mountain, skied again until we couldn’t ski any more and eventually made our way back down the mountain to the village. You know it’s a big mountain when you ski down the hill for nearly an hour and you are still about the cloud line! We finally descended through the clouds to arrive back at the hotel, where we indulged ourselves in a hot tub for an hour or so, chatting with Canadians, Americans and fellow Aussies.

By the end of the day my legs were absolutely killing me, partly from the punishment I’d dished out to them on the moguls and steep slopes, but also because the boots I was using were less than wonderful. Regardless, I decided to soldier on and limp around Whistler Village with Pete on a mini pub crawl that night. Good times.

I’ve got a whole morning to kill tomorrow before I catch the bus back to Vancouver and a plane back to Sydney. I’m not going to ski... they are predicting more dubious weather conditions, and besides, I can hardly walk at the moment. I think I’ll hang around the village for a while, shoot some photos, and maybe even catch a lift to the top of the mountain to take a few pics from there as well. It’s a stunning mountain range.

I’m sure this visit to Whistler-Blackcomb has just been a taster for me... I think I’ll be back here in the not-to-distant future for a bit more time on these amazing mountains. Only next time, I’m going to do a bit more work beforehand in the gym to get my leg muscles in condition, as well as find a decent pair of ski boots!

Still, it’s been great to tick another dream off the dream list.

btw, there are more photos to come with this post... once I get them off Pete’s camera!

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