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Alta states

Phoebe Phoenix: Falling in love with winter



"The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes 'Awww!'"

– Jack Kerouac

I don’t know if it’s proper Facebook etiquette or not, but I just had to borrow the Jack Kerouac quote from Phoebe Phoenix’s site for this story. Why? Because, in my opinion, nothing I could write better describes this transplanted Aussie than this one-sentence paragraph written by the King of the Beats…

Ever been to a Fire & Ice Show in the Whistler towncentre? Ever watched, mesmerized, as the fire dancers twirl and twist and jump and play with burning apparatuses only inches from their bodies? Courting disaster, stepping off the edge, pushing the boundaries of the possible with every move they make? If you have, then you’ve seen Phoebe.

“We killed it this year,” she says, enthusiasm splashing from every word. “Especially with two towers, you know, the one that has two groups of spinners with two people on bottom, and one person on top. We do a lot of two person interweaving moves that no one else is doing.” She stops. Takes a breath. “It’s a great way to get a ski pass!”

She’s a force of nature. A laughing, talking, smiling, whirling, wonder of a woman who cherishes every breath she takes...

And I love the paradox that Phoebe represents. She’s real, grounded, and totally dependable. Yet she plays with fire. She loves math and numbers and ledgers and deadlines. Yet she considers herself an artist. She grew up in a semi-tropical environment — the Sunshine Coast of Queensland — and loved her childhood summers on a sailboat. Yet she took to the snow like she was born to it — gets up the mountain every day she can — and snowboarding is now the passion that keeps her in Whistler.

“I have this theory on birth dates,” says the thirtysomething Pemberton resident with just a hint of a mischievous smile playing on the edge of her features. “If you’re born in the summer, you’ll turn out to be a summer person. But if you’re born in the winter, well, winter will become your thing…”