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Alta states

Colin Pitt-Taylor: Keeper of the stories

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“That was just the way we did things back then,” he says. “You worked hard, you played hard — and you never worried about tomorrow.”

With a few exceptions — a short period in the early 1980s when he returned to Quebec to “follow my heart” (as he says) and a stint running a restaurant in Pender Harbour on the Sunshine Coast — Colin has been feeding and entertaining Whistlerites ever since. “I pretty much made the rounds of the local haunts before starting my own thing,” he says. “Besides the Cheakamus, I worked at the Boot, the Christiana and Isabelle’s (in the old Nancy Greene Lodge).”

But it was the launch of the Junction Café in the mid 1990s that really provided the impetus for Colin’s storytelling ways. Anyone who frequented the Function-based restaurant in those days can’t fail to remember the colourful décor on the walls. It was a virtual shrine to downhill ski racing —and in particular those balls-to-the-wall daredevils who would eventually come to be known as the Crazy Canucks. From signed photos to race bibs, candid snaps to press clippings, skis and event posters (even a couple of course flags if memory serves me correctly), the Junction Café raucously celebrated the past and present icons of Canadian ski racing — with a firm finger on the pulse of Whistler’s obsession with downhill and the Dave Murray course.

“I just thought it would be a fun thing to do,” says the long-time Weasel Worker.

Indeed — his 25-year love affair with ski racing has taken him all the way up the volunteer ladder to the point where he is now licensed by Alpine Canada as a technical delegate, the most powerful (and prestigious) position on a race committee. But don’t talk about prestige with Colin. He just does it to help out. “People ask me all the time — do you have a kid in this race?” Another hearty laugh. “And when I tell them no, they kind of look at me like I’m crazy. But I love doing it. I love watching the local kids come through and do so well. You know, people like Paul Morrison’s son. Heck, I still remember watching him in his first race. And now look where he is.”