Livin’ the Whistler Dream – Whistler, British Columbia, Canada
As the sun sets earlier and the autumn days seem to be defined by amber leaves floating to the ground, my heart flutters at the prospect of a snow-filled season in the mountains, the wind rushing through my hair. For most, the promise of a week's thrilling rides, pushing their limits of skiing ability, is more than they can hope for, but the life of a ski bum is really quite simple; ski your brains out for six months of the year, then decide whether to return to reality or continue living the dream.
What better place to do this than in the Canadian rockies, where the snow is fluffy and the scenery is spectaular. The resort of Whistler Blackcomb feeds off the powder-hungry residents of Vancouver who flock here in their droves, quenching their thirst on the pistes of North America's largest area of skiable terrain. For some reason, a large number of Aussies have decided to pursue their goals North of the equator, now make up sixty percent of the workforce. With working visas for many nationalities being extended to two years, it is even easier to called this adrenaline-fuelled town your home. Why not? When your biggest worry is what time your shift starts at the cafe and who pulled what trick on which jump at the park, it's pretty easy to be contented with the bubble of Whistler life.
More easily accessible than its European counterparts, this huge resort offers a vast wealth of employment opportunities, whilst failing to provide the amount of available housing that is required during the winter. Because of this, it is a regular occurence to find someone with three jobs living in their well-equipped van on a friend's driveway, or in one of the many carparks at the foot of the mountain.
With the impending Winter Olympics in 2010, there are drastic ongoing improvements in Creekside – building of new houses, on the Sea to Sky Highway linking the town with its mighty neighbour, Vancouver. Preparations are well underway for the extravaganza that promises to be a spectacular affair. As events here are always well organised and extremely well attended, I imagine there will many treats for avid sport and snow lovers. The fun doesn't stop here either. In the summer, these mountains are host to thousands of biking enthusiasts who reek havoc on one of the the largest mountainbike playgrounds in the world.
Oh the snow!
And the snow! Oh the snow! During winter, Mother Nature seems keen to demonstrate her amazing ability to induce snowy crystals from the sky. It hasn't stopped since November. The result is clear on every face in Whistler. Grins everywhere.
My friends who at present struggle to converse with their workmates in the mountainous regions of Europe, are currently cursing me violently as they skate across their ice-laiden hills, whilst on the other side of the world, I swoosh through metres of light powder and fall into pillows of white fluff. It's definitely safe to say I'm experiencing something altogether different!
If a season working and playing hard in the snow with spectacular mountains on your doorstep sounds appealing, get yourself a visa and jump on the next plane. What are you waiting for? Check out Whistler Blackcomb for more information and pictures of what heaven looks like.