Opening day at any resort is a festival of lust by any measure. In Whistler, they really know how to exploit it. Here, with a late-November opening a virtual certainty and often, like this year, pre-empted by a week or two, there are email blasts about significant snowfalls, footage of powder skiing on Blackcomb Glacier, and the inevitable pre-opening scheme of sending up guinea-pig athletes, photographers, videographers and, sometimes, a lucky writer, to build a critical media mass. While these folks happily return the privilege by spreading the stoke, they’re also derided and despised (in a friendly kind of way) for being the “chosen few.”
This year another component was added to the hype-mix, a week-long pre-opening occupation of the patrol hut on Whistler Peak by Mike Douglas (which can be found here), who, by dint of general Godfatherliness, ski-world name recognition, filmmaking ability, and social media savvy was a natural choice as beacon for the approaching winter. But despite all his beautifully edited videos and tweets and FB hullabaloo from up top, nothing prepared us for the shredfest that was opening day.
To see more of Michael Overbeck’s opening day photos, head over to his Facebook fan page
A sweet 30 cms of blower that fell at frigid temps on top of a decent base all the way to the valley made sure of that. Everyone was out in force, all the folks you hadn’t seen in ages, like the shred crew of Ian MacIntosh, Dana Flahr and Matty Richard, whose smiles threatened to crack their faces in half. With the avie danger high and the usual opening day hike-a-thon out of the question, we made do with the bounty that covered the runs — particularly ungroomed ones that were roped off, which yielded heavenly knee-deep fluff in which the only hazard were a few ditches to watch out for.
A small price to pay for all that built-up lust.
You know it’s deep when…