Last week, myself and Scott Birke, Snowboard Canada’s managing
editor, managed to extract ourselves from the SBC office for five days
in Whistler. How did we manage to pull this off while on deadline with
the final issue of the year? Don’t ask. Rest assured we’re now paying
the price since we have just three days left to wrap it up. But was it
worth it? Hell, yes!
We spent equal time riding both Whistler and Blackcomb, hitting the
groomers and cruisers and parks for a few hours each morning before
lining up near-endless meetings with our contributing photographers and
writers who call Whistler home. There’s no lack of snow in Whistler
these days, with very impressive coverage on both mountains.
We managed to catch the opening day of Whistler’s Peak Chair,
lapping some runs with pro shred and SBC writer Eric Greene, plus
Quicksilver Canada team manager (and also a writer for SBC) Gerhard
Gross. The snow was a little firmer than we might have liked, but since
Scott and I call Ontario home it certainly didn’t slow us down. We also
had the pleasure of running into Quiksilver marketing manager Shawna
Olsten, who was up on the mountain running a Roxy riding camp. After
admiring her Roxy snowboard (with a Magne Traction sidecut), I somehow
got roped into trading my Burton UnInc with her for a few runs. Let me
tell you, that Magne Traction works! (Even on a snowboard meant for a
girl but ridden by a guy.) And no, I wasn’t embarrassed. But I was
The next few days passed quickly, with plenty of great meetings
(often over pitchers of beer) with our amazing crew of contributors,
all in an effort to outline our content for the next volume of
Snowboard Canada. SBC’s publisher Steve Jarrett even came out for a
couple of days, which was nice since he picked up a few bar and meal
tabs for us (thanks, boss). We also connected with our friends from the
Whistler Blackcomb public relations department and met new Whistler
Blackcomb park director Brian Finestone.
Our final day of riding, however, was a banger. A crew of so-called
“Office Boyz” from Vancouver came up to play hooky for the day and
shoot some photos—Karl Fuhre, Nick Brown, Ben Couves and Perry Pugh.
They were joined by notable pro shreds Devun Walsh, Chris Dufficy,
Johnny Lyall and Eero Niemela. Mayhem ensued, obviously, with no bank,
hip or side hit left untouched. And let me tell you, simply riding a
cat track with someone like Devun Walsh is an experience to behold.
Thanks to Whistler Blackcomb, Whistler Tourism and The Summit Lodge for hosting us during our stay.
Photos by Matt Houghton and Colin Adair