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Maxed Out

A winter season primer for newbies

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By G.D. Maxwell

Well, it’s that time of year again, isn’t it? The turkeys have been sold, snow is capping the parched peaks of Whistler and Blackcomb, tourists are so scarce we’re actually starting to miss them, inventories are up, sales are down, and wranglers from the far corners of the world have begun to bring in the strays for another fun season we can only hope is better than the last and not nearly as good as the next.

Welcome seekers. Whistler opens its arms to you, one and all.

Wherever you’re from, wherever you’re going after this, just keep this one thought in mind during the trials and tribulations about to hit you from every direction – you’re here and your friends are back home workin’ in the store wishin’ they were you. Little do they know.

There are several things you need to know to get the most out of your season in Whistler. Picking up Pique was a good start. Finding a copy of the Whistler Survival Guide will be another one. Finding a wallet full of platinum cards will be even better if you act quickly before the owner has a chance to cancel them. And paying careful attention to the wisdom I’m about to lay on you will distinguish you as the kind of person Whistler values most – gullible.

Over the years, experts on survival have poured over reports of people suddenly finding themselves in strange, hostile surroundings. They have distilled their findings into a priority list of things you need to make sure you live to tell the tale of your strange journey. That list is equally applicable to each and every one of you who are, right about now, asking yourself just how long you need to be in this town before you can, without blushing, call yourself a local.

Here’s the list: Shelter, warmth, water, food, alcohol, sex, drugs, rock ’n’ roll.

Assuming you didn’t bring shelter with you all the way from Australia or Trois Rivières, you’ve probably come to realize about now what an uphill struggle this is going to be. Well, living in Whistler is a bit like an exam in school; if you get stuck on one question, go on to the next. Assuming you’re not cold, thirsty or hungry, you can just slide into the alcohol-fuelled troika of sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll. Having done that, you can indeed call yourself a local. At least until you wake up some morning with an overwhelming urge to get your real estate licence. When that happens, you can begin calling yourself a long-time local.

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