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Alta states

Colin Pitt-Taylor: Keeper of the stories



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It’s also an opportunity, he says, to see how Whistler stacks up against other western resorts. “In my role as a TD, I get to travel around B.C. a fair bit,” he explains. “And it’s great to ski at hills like Red Mountain and Panorama. But no matter where I go, I’m constantly reminded that Whistler is really on a whole other level. Frankly, no other place I’ve ever visited even compares…”

His passion for ski racing notwithstanding, Colin decided to branch out from that theme when he moved his restaurant up the road to Nigel Wood’s Riverside RV Resort and Campground. Maybe it was the times. Maybe it was the loss of so many old locals in recent years. But Colin chose a much broader (and in some ways, more compelling) subject for his new location. “The downhill motif was great for Function,” he says, “but I thought this would work better for Riverside.”

And it does work well. Whether it’s a picture of Andy Munster’s old squatters shack or Pierre Elliot Trudeau shaking hands with one of the valley’s most notorious outlaws — or even an impossibly young-looking Hugh Smythe posing with his Pro Patrol cronies — the Riverside Café is a working, breathing memorial to what many locals refer to as Whistler’s glory days. It’s a visual display, frankly, that anyone with even an inkling of curiosity about the place should catch. “That’s what I tell people,” says Colin with a barely suppressed grin. “I tell ’em — just come by and check out the photos. Oh, and while you’re here, you might as well order a little food…”

Never one to worry about the future much, Colin says he is quite happy with the way things are going for him these days. “I like what I’m doing,” he insists. “But for how much longer? I really don’t know. I don’t have a lot of long term goals.” He stops for a moment. Chuckles. “But you know — as long as I can keep getting myself outdoors and up those trails every day, I think I’ll be quite happy.”