Storm Reservations

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Everyone knew that COVID would turn the 2020-21 ski season upside down, but few Whistlerites could have guessed that they’d have to make reservations and then queue up at 6:45 each morning to catch one of four gondola lifts connecting the Village and Creekside to the upper mountain. There’s nothing stranger than standing in a long, snaking lineup on a deep powder day and being ushered solo into your very own gondola.

Alas, no one was complaining in early January, when a series of storms pulsed out of the north Pacific and dumped two metres in seven days. Unusual during these times of climate change, this prodigious dump was the real deal: light and fluffy from midstation to the summit—day after day. The most surreal part of the experience was skiing first tracks down Franz’s or Ross’s Gold and not seeing anyone else on the run. It was a throwback to the old days of fixed-grip chairlifts, when lineups were long but there were few people on the mountain.

from Winter 2021 issue

Steven Threndyle
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