Whistler Village awoke this morning to find a large encampment near the base of the Village Gondola, and a smaller but similarly motivated mob at the base of the Creekside Goldola. Both groups seemed intent on occupying a powdery portion of Whistler Mountain. Regardless of political orientation, social status, geographic origin or economic prosperity, mountain riders seemingly united today and their gravity-fueled demands of open, snowy slopes were heard. Despite the calendar disparity, Whistler Blackcomb sided with these winter-wishers and granted an early opening day.
This snow-seeking section of the population is quick to point out that only ¼ of the entire year is devoted to winter. Just three cold, short months from a total of 12 are allocated to icy, alpine endeavours. For many occupying the slopes this morning, that simply isn’t enough ‘season’. Ski season at Whistler Blackcomb does often surge into spring, warping the seasonal lines, but this bail-out package does nothing for those unhappy with the winter’s current calendar short changing. Repeated autumn taunts from Mother Nature and the Resort siding with the pro-winter movement, has brought about change. This swelled undercurrent of downhill desire, what some observers are calling the ‘Whistler Fall’, has shown that Whistler Blackcomb and its occupiers clearly support a snow-covered agenda.
Many of today’s seasonal demonstrators will search for powder patches. Others will carve down cruisers. Triples, pairs and single skiers, will unite to form foursomes in order to upload Whistler’s quad chairs. Many will stake claims at Whistler watering holes, celebrating the first après of the season. Temporary boundary markers will be in place to keep the mountain masses within safe terrain. In bounds, those conditions are ideal for occupation. With a foot of new snow this week and more in this weekend’s forecast, the Mountain’s 77cm snowbase is challenging the calendar definition of winter.
Nationwide, an estimated 99% of all Canadian workers will slave away at their desks and places of businesses today. Only a privileged few, approximately 1%, will find the freedom to tear up some early season terrain on Whistler Mountain. Though they may be small in number, their voices, cheering down the opening season slopes, loudly shout their powdery policies. The wintery winds of change are blowing and Whistler Blackcomb is calling on all snow-supporters to arrive, rise up, and occupy the alpine this season.