Whistler saw its first snowfall over the weekend. And this morning, as the sun finally makes an appearance after a week of classic coastal weather, a thin blanket of snow will cover the Peak. Winter is coming, and with that comes the opportunity to awaken our obsession with snow. I’m not sure how I feel about that, but then I have the jaded view of a ski patroller who spends six months a year in his ski boots. But on Sunday, as news filtered down into the bike park that snow was falling on the Peak, I could feel my ski stoke coming on and winter creeping into my bones.
Thick flakes will soon cover the valley floor and our existence will be blanketed in a fresh dusting of hope. Snow is the great cleanser. After a warm summer and a short, but beautiful fall, the first storms of winter show us what it means to start fresh. The dream of powder days and walks with loved ones under snow-laden boughs are what sustain us through that transition time between nice weather and winter weather. It doesn’t take much. This weekend was just a tease, but it was enough of a colour change on the Peak for me to taste that feeling of absolute bliss that comes from skiing waist deep pow.
‘Cause that’s why we do it, isn’t it? Like riding waves, skiing isn’t so much a sport as a way of being. Everything from waist deep turns, riding the chair, singles line culture, fast groomers, to parking your truck and putting your skins on to go snow hunting. All of it speaks to the searcher in us. I see everyone from beginners to pros having fun on their skis. Be it an icy hard groomer at an unknown blip of a hill in the Northeast or a burly, big mountain line in the BC backcountry, skiing offers a chance for anyone to achieve a little grace in their life. So go out and ride your bikes and enjoy the last few weeks of hero dirt and fall loam. Spend your afternoons climbing in the autumn sunshine. But keep the fire stoked, because winter is coming.
Be safe, ski hard.