Opinion » Alta States

Strategic moves — Scooby plans for the future



Some people lead their lives like leaves in a storm. They change and move as their surroundings dictate — never planning too far in the future or worrying too hard about what may happen on the morrow. Others, however, map out their proposed path through life like field generals in full battle campaign. Nothing is left to chance.

At first glance, Scott 'Scooby' Paxton would appear to be a member of the former tribe. A "lifer" at the Keg (he tells me he started work there when he was 13), Scott spent sixteen glorious years at Whistler in high play mode. And he did it with style. More than a hundred days of skiing every year, a month or two of windsurfing at the Gorge each summer, a few magical weeks on the Whistler Glacier for summer camp work, and given his legendary cooking skills: an open invitation to every party, festival, orgy and social gathering held in Sea to Sky country. No question, old Scooby had it made.

"I feel really lucky to have experienced those years," he admits. "It was really different here back then. Someone would come up with an idea — and we'd just do it." Like when he worked with the national team in the late 1980s? "Yeah, for sure" he says. And a smile spreads from ear-to-ear. "Those were the years of Boyd and Stemmle and Belczyk — a really great bunch of guys. They'd come to Whistler for a few weeks of training each summer on the glacier, you know. I got in good with the coaches — Glen Wurtele and Heinz Stohl." He laughs. "We did a lot of things back then that we'd never get away with today. But it got results..."

Like most others of his generation, Scooby came to Whistler for the skiing. But it was the summers that really seduced him. Remember the infamous Moxley barge parties? You don't? Here, let Paxton tell the story. "Well, ol' Moxley had this float on Alta Lake and he attached a motor to the back of it. So a whole bunch of lakeside residents — you know, Paul Matthews and crew — got these 20'x20' floats built and everyone lashed them to Moxley's barge." The result? "It was quite a sight. I mean you could get four tables on each barge. And that translated into about 100 people floating down Alta Lake on a warm summer evening."

Scott, as he explains, was the float-trip's jack-of-all-trades. And food prep always played a big part. "I'd help chef up a storm at the end of the barge," he says. And when the work was done, "I'd tie an inner tube to the back, plop myself in it and just let myself float along..."

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