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Eighteen locals live the dream, one takes the prize


Even when it's freezing cold or socked in with fog, going up the mountains sure beats sitting on the couch, according to local chef Jay Cates.

Cates is the latest winner of Whistler-Blackcomb's Living the Dream contest.

Since Jan. 3 Cates has not missed a single day on the slopes, even when the conditions have been less than perfect.

His theory is, there's always something to do on the mountains, as opposed to the couch where your options are somewhat limited.

As the winner of the contest, Cates was presented with a Whistler-Blackcomb hoodie, a toque and a pair of Hot Chillys socks.

But he wasn't the only one to qualify for the prizes.

Seventeen other people also skied or rode 28 days out of 28 days in the four-week period from Jan. 19 to Feb. 15. Cates was randomly selected as the winner.

"That's crazy," said the 28-year-old Gaitor's chef.

"I never have that kind of luck!"

Cates found out about Living the Dream last year when George Huxtable won the first monthly contest.

Huxtable was 84 years old at that time.

He later went on to win the grand prize after skiing 99 days in a 99-day period.

Cates realized he only had a handful of days less than Huxtable and decided to give it a shot this year, along with many others.

Huxtable is living the dream again this year, skiing every day during the last 28-day period.

The contest runs from Jan. 19 until Sunday, April 11. Prizes are given out monthly and the next winner will be selected on March 15. Cates will not be eligible for another monthly prize but he will be allowed to qualify for the grand finale.

A grand-prize winner will be awarded a pair of skis or a snowboard with bindings during the World Ski and Snowboard Festival.