Whistler, in the British Columbia of Canada, is a West Coast ski resort where six-foot-four men and oversized women enjoy an undulating selection of every activity conceivable. There is curling, snowboarding, soccer, “grand hot” — shortboarding — and even lacrosse.
But there is also a complex jigsaw of other activities: tandem canoeing, pancake runs, the quintessential combo of doughnuts and cappuccino. Yes, there is also a Sundance-style ski resort, in a mountain where you can ski down, but you can also skate.
Which, to be honest, was something of a revelation. By now I had been skiing for a while, but until the night before I hadn’t been out so much as on the piste at the indoor beginner’s center. What I did on that night was go exploring.
What I discovered was that walking from street to street, out back into the mountains to try out a 360-degree “scramble” ramp and a series of climbing “rails”, I was truly introduced to the ways of Whistler Blackcomb. What I discovered was that on a night when too many people (myself included) had drunk too much of the Butterscotch McDougall, the descent to town was a vibrant celebration of place and spirit.