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More News from Somewhere So long, and thanks for all the fish.

Christmas, New Year and other times in Whistler

CANADA | Monday, 17 January 2011 | Views [1786]

There's been a fair few happenings since our last blog. First stop, our engagement party. We had our engagement party at the Firerock Bar, before moving down to the Cinnamon Bear for more drinks. It was raining in the village that evening, so we got a taxi down to the Firerock. Our taxi trip coincided with fireworks for the Fire and Ice show in the village, so that was a cool start. We met up with a bunch of our Whistler friends, and had a really fun evening, with a little snowball fight in town. The Firerock was a nice lounge style bar, and we had a few cocktails and beers. We got spoilt by our Whistler friends with a gift voucher for the Fairmont; looking forward to using that for something nice!

A super-hapy couple being spoilt by our Whistler friends

The Cinnamon Bear isn't quite as classy as the Firerock, but has free pool and is good fun. We tried our first Caesar cocktail - a Canadian special similar to a Bloody Mary, with clamato juice (a mix of tomato and clam), tabasco, vodka, marinated beans, lime, and other things - some have bacon. It was pretty raw (although I've since had one that was more tasty) - the picture below probably gives an idea of what I'm getting at - we managed to get our housemate Gramps to try one:

Caesars - a bad Canadian joke. Booze should not contain bacon, beans or clams. Ever.

It was a fun night - thanks to the Whistler peeps for sharing it with us.

The next big event was Christmas. The Whistler village looks excellent coming up to Christmas - all of the trees are covered in lights and there are Christmas decorations hanging up around the street. On Christmas Eve, Bron and I headed through town to enjoy the spectacle and try and capture it on camera. It was pretty cool!

I was supposed to have been working on Christmas Day, but got a call from my manager letting me know that the alpine wouldn't be open, so that I wouldn't need to head in to work on Christmas. Unfortunately Bron was working, but she didn't start until later in the day. I got up early and marvelled that it actually was snowing (quite heavily) outside and that we had a real White Christmas, before making pancakes and a fruit platter to share with Bron, Gramps and Gramps' girlfriend, Ness. Bron, Gramps and I headed up Blackcomb for a quick run before Bron had to get to work. Gramps and I spent the rest of the day out on Blackcomb, heading up Glacier Chair when it opened in the afternoon to hit some of the fresh powder. We followed a random cat track up into a gladed area, and found ourselves on an un-named run, a 'triple' black (in North America, there is no such thing as a triple black, so really a very hard double black). It consisted of a tight track running over a series of cliffs - at least on the snowboard I could control my speed enough to scout ahead - Gramps had a really tough time of it, ending up in a treewell for around 15 minutes trying to recover his skiis at one point. We got out safely enough in the end, and were rewarded with some super nice powder and some good stories.

In the evening, a group of around 14 of us met up at a friend's house for Christmas dinner. Each person brought a dish, the highlights being the massive roast turkey and a cob loaf with a tasty mushroom and cheese sauce. We celebrated Christmas with Secret Santa, and loads of food.

Nat posing with Amanda's delicious turkey. Thanks Amanda!

New Years ended up being a bit of a non-event - Bron and I queued outside Merlin's pub in temperatures around -20C for nearly 3 hours before accepting we weren't getting in and headed to the Brewhouse for a meal and a few cocktails. It could have been worse - Gramps and his mates were heading to a forest rave which got cancelled that night.

Both Bron and I have been spending loads of time on the mountain. I've hit quite a few of the double blacks on the mountain, including Couloir Extreme, which is reputed to be the hardest run on the mountain, and one of the steepest in North America. Super good fun, even if I did catch an edge and slide down 20m head first trying to stop. Bron's tackling more black runs now, and is getting pretty darn good at riding moguls. Tomorrow I'm taking Bron and another friend to show them around a couple of the bowls. Its been a really good season snow-wise - 785cm to date, well above average, though its apparently been a very warm January for Whistler, with the temp often bouncing between -20 and 0C, which doesn't always make for consistent snow conditions.

Work's been decent. I've been based at Harmony Hut since it opened, it has incredible views on a bluebird day - we had a run of those for about 4 or 5 days over the new year period. I've included a panorama I took one morning before work to give an idea of what I get to enjoy during the quiet periods. The hut itself is tiny, and there's normally only one or two of us working in there at a time. Bron's working at Glacier Creek, the second biggest restaurant at Whistler Blackcomb, which involves a ski in and out everyday, though often when its still half dark.  Bron is enjoying her varied position there which on any day involves a different role, and guaranteed fresh tracks on the ski in to work in the morning is a bonus.  Our work crews are great too.  We've gotten to know a really great bunch of people, and everyone is here for the same reason - to 'live the dream' at Whistler.

View from Harmony Hut before work

So they're the main things going on at the moment, definitely the bulk of our time has been spent either working or on the mountain. We're loving our time here, and are definitely better riders and skiiers for the experience!

Tags: engagement, snowboarding, whistler


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