Right. Just over a week ago I came to Whistler. All I can say is. I am impressed. At first I was more overwhelmed. This mountain is huge! The amount of staff working here is crazy. I keep looking at the ski instructor uniform on the coat rack and have to remind myself that it is mine!
Last week I went out on the mountain a few times. First to explore Whistler mountain and later also Blackcomb, which had just opened. As more and more of the mountain opened and they worked hard to make top to bottom skiing possible, I started seeing the advantage of staff housing. I mean, it isn’t great. It’s old and small and there is a lack of basics like pots and plates. But… we have a ski in ski out location when there’s enough snow. I live less than 100m from the gondola station. This makes skiing on days off so much better!
The gondola is also a mode of transportation, since the village is one station lower. Last week I still had to drag my groceries up staff hill (a ski slope which didn’t have enough snow yet). Now you can take the gondola after a visit to the supermarket or bottle shop. Unfortunately my work is not that easy to get to. After a short ski to the village there is no other way then getting on the bus to Creekside. I’ve finished the biggest part of the training, learning about safety on the mountain and how to get you never-ever skiers on their way.
I will be teaching 3 and 4 year-olds. During the season I’ll have two groups of kids that come twice a week until the end of the season. The other days are filled with normal day lessons. During the training we were shown where to take the higher level kids and safe ways to get them from A to B. This job seems to be a big step up from the basics I did in my last season in New Zealand. The thought of taking a group of tiny kids on this huge mountain is slightly terrifying, but also very exciting. I can’t wait to meet my groups!
Slowly I’m starting to get familiar with the runs on the mountains, the people and the town. I feel like a big part of the staff is fresh out of school or uni and in it for the party. In the nine days I’ve been here, I’ve been out for drinks or dancing five times. No clue how long that’ll last, because once I start work, I’m sure my energy levels will be in the category trying not to fall asleep on the couch. For now though, it’s good to be out and about. It feels amazing to have a home base again. My housemates are great, I get to ski to my apartment, I can cook and bake again (even if it has some limitations) and I get great training opportunities. That instructor uniform might still look a bit foreign to me, but I’ve got a feeling that will soon change. This is going to be an epic ride!