The incident identified by Ms. Portenier is a very serious issue that deeply concerns Whistler-Blackcomb. No one should ever experience a situation similar to the one Ms. Portenier describes, whether they are a long time local, staff member or new visitor.
More than any other year in recent memory, Whistler-Blackcomb has seen an increase in poor behaviour on the mountains. A small minority of individuals seems to act with disregard for the safety and respect of us all.
Whether this behaviour is demonstrated as speeding in slow zones, refusal to follow the Alpine Responsibility Code, or in this case, snowballs, it is not acceptable.
Whistler Blackcombs Senior Management is currently reviewing its options to reverse this trend. In some cases, the solution may be as simple as altering mazing and fencing to change traffic flows. In others, there may need to be more staff monitoring controlled areas and co-ordination with lift hosts to identify offenders as they near a lift terminal. In all cases, Whistler-Blackcombs commitment to our guests and to our community is to provide a safe and enjoyable experience.
To Ms. Portenier, the other members of her ski class, and our staff, we sincerely hope that this incident does not spoil your love for the mountains. Please be assured that the Whistler-Blackcomb Senior Management Team is taking firm action to ensure that everyone may enjoy a positive experience on Whistler and Blackcomb.
Director of Operations
After reading G.D Maxwell's column on April 4th and Mitch Rhodes' subsequent letter, I feel compelled to reply.
The actual facts of the article Mr. Rhodes mentions needs some clarification. What Mr Rhodes describes as a US plan for "World domination" was actually penned by Paul Wolfowitz, who is currently number two at the defence secretary, not Dick Cheney.
Wolfowitz's concept following the first Gulf war was that the U.S. should be pre-emptive in its engagement with Iraq, i.e. regime change. At the time, National Security Advisor Brent Scowcroft and Secretary of State James Baker cautioned against this provocative defence posturing as they believed that it would destabilize the region and create a fissure in the coalition that removed Iraqi forces from Kuwait.
Then former Defence Secretary, Dick Cheney was assigned the task of reworking the document, the idea this time was containment of the Iraqi regime through sanctions and patrolled no fly zones.
Fast forward to Sept. 11th and containment no longer seems an appropriate option. U.S. foreign policy now reflects the attitude that they must engage terrorists groups and countries that pose a threat to international security. Those are the facts.