Posted by: Feet Banks
Anticipation… It’s part joy, part nerves and all excitement. It’s the night before Christmas, the week before a holiday, and all those little moments that combine to make the big moment so incredible.
Every autumn in Whistler, the anticipation for the upcoming winter builds to a near-frenzy and to help kick things off this season Tourism Whistler just launched #WhistlerUnfiltered, an online anthology of Instagram images depicting one epic winter in Whistler.
From snowstorms and hot tubs to deep pow and big air to crazy après and oyster bar feasts to relaxing by the fire #WhistlerUnfiltered is Whistler through the people’s lens. A candid, un-staged collection of perspectives, moments, memories and stoke from real actual people who’ve tapped into the magic of winter in Whistler.
Growing up here, I remember the magic of anticipation every autumn as we sat in the school classroom staring out the window at the mountains. I was twelve years old when Whistler built the Village Gondola so that year was double anticipation – we got to watch the gondola towers creep up the mountain as the snowline crept down.
Back then it was common practice to wear your season’s pass to school underneath your shirt every day until the mountains opened. In the middle of another boring math lesson I’d feel the laminated plastic against my bare skin and drift off into daydreams of jumps and bumps and waist-deep pow.
Myrtle Phillip Elementary School had an early dismissal day each Wednesday so once the ski hills did open it meant us kids could leave school at 1:30pm, book it over to that new gondola or across the bridge to Blackcomb, and be up top by quarter past 2. In those days a person could still find fresh powder at 2:15 on a Wednesday afternoon, usually without even trying.
We’d get two runs hitting those side hits and “secret spots” (mostly tiny cliffs with landings so flat only a bunch of rubber-boned kids would bother with them) and then wait in the Rendezvous for the mountain to clear out. Our parents generally didn’t finish work until 5 pm anyhow so there was no point in rushing down.
Once things were sufficiently empty we’d gear up and bomb down the Solar Coaster lift line, hooting and laughing and trying to make each other wipe out – a swarm of kids tucking the banked turns of Schoolmarm (still my favorite speed run on Blackcomb) before heading home to do long division or conjugate French verbs while hours-old powder melted from our bindings and boot buckles in the garage. And back in class on Thursday morning we’d start daydreaming about the weekend…
… and everyone who loves the mountains has a story like this, about the build-up to that first day on the slopes. The feeling of standing atop the mountain, inhaling deeply and taking life in. The rush of dropping in, those first few seconds of sliding before the muscle memory kicks in and learned technique comes back. The wind and snowflakes blowing past our ears, the first drink of après, taking off the boots,the steam coming off the hot tub. These stories are universal yet each is also totally unique.
So if a picture is worth a thousand words then #WhistlerUnfiltered has a million of these stories to tell. True memories and tales from real people who’ve tasted the magic of anticipation and fulfillment of letting their Whistler daydreams come true.
You can build the stoke for the upcoming winter by checking out the new #WhistlerUnfiltered Anticipation Video and be sure to join the fun by tagging your own epic Whistler Instagram shots with the #WhistlerUnfiltered hashtag. Let the snowstorms begin.