Without a doubt the most highly anticipated day of the year in a ski town is the day the lifts start spinning and the hill opens for business. Giddy would be the one word that overcomes all skiers and snowboarders in the valley as the time approaches. Many have some kind of ritual; I used to dress head-to-toe in all my gear and even strap into my board in some cases and stand in front of the mirror. Sounds crazy, I know, but it’s part of the mania that many go through in the build up.
It’s been years since I’ve played Mr. Shred dress-up, but with the Whistler opening a week early and the P.R. department conjuring up over a foot of fresh snow a few days before opening, I actually surprised myself how stoked I was to get up the hill. I pulled myself out of bed early and got to the Creekside gondola around 6:45 AM. Waiting in line is kind of like a big family reunion, bumping into friends you haven’t seen all summer. One thing that stuck out to me as I waited in line was the diversity of crowd. It ranged from the fresh off the boat seasonal employee, grizzled long-time locals, super-pro snowboarders and skiers and even a few weekend warriors thrown into the mix. All there for one reason; to go play in the snow. Awesome.
The details of the day aren’t all that important. I had some great runs with some great people and it was a good start to the season. A big thanks to Snowboard Canada Magazine photo editor, John Scarth for snapping this photo of me and making me look like a hero.
I also put together this quick video edit from my GoPro HD camera. All shots were handheld. I plan on making a bunch more of these edits throughout the season; stay tuned.