While I was in Seattle, the Olympic Flame passed through Whistler. I skied with my friend Rod today who had attended the event with his wife Lori and he was very impressed with the event itself and the feeling of “this is really happening”. And indeed it is.
Rod and I had planned to get meet at 9:30 in Blackcomb Daylodge where we both have lockers. Tobae was going to meet our friend Dan at the same time for coffee (Dan’s back is bothering him, so no skiing with him) and then join us later in the day. And so to make this happen we both thought we should try to catch the 8:39 bus, as insurance that the buses were still not finely tuned. No worries, right on time. Dropped us at the bottom of the hill. A route #2 in a couple of minutes, in the village at 8:53. Time to kill. We decided to stroll around for I hadn’t been in the village in quite awhile. We stopped briefly at the “live” CTV broadcast center but nothing really happening so we moved on. Near “Village Square” we turned the corner and I spotted Dan being interviewed by a CTV roving reporter.
Dan’s wife Catherine is an Olympic volunteer working in public relations (which is one of her past jobs). She knows that Dan speaks his mind and she has been encouraging him to tone it down not to be overheard by anyone…he needs to be the “chamber of commerce”. Unreported on my Day -10 entry, when we got off the bus on Day -11 a roving reporter had put a microphone in Dan’s face, asking him “how are the buses running”. His reply: “The buses are all screwed up”. So much for the advice from sainted wives. We quickly rescued him this morning, but are still wondering what he had said during his five minute interview. NBC Today is in the village at 4 a.m. tomorrow and we are encouraging Dan to do the weather thing.
On to skiing. It was a blue sky day, unlimited visibility. The condition of the snow was quite good; I’d call it (nearly) soft packed machine groomed. *No* lift lines. Rod and I did three runs then linked up with Tobae and headed to Symphony for some runs, back over to the front side for lunch, couple more runs, back over to Blackcomb via Peak to Peak, aka Restaurant to Restaurant, and skied back out to Blackcomb Daylodge. Wonderful day. Whistler is typically quite international compared to say Utah or Colorado. But we are seeing so many unusual colors and fashions on the slopes and a fascinating mix of the typical and Olympic. Most unusual today, the Cayman Island team.
End of day. Skis to locker, Rod offered us a ride home. But our access road, Nordic Drive, requires a permit until 4 p.m. Turned out perfectly…the checkpoint was being put away as we passed. But further up the hill the secondary checkpoint. Rod was turned back even though we should have been able to turn left onto Taluswood Place, though not go straight ahead. No worries, short walk, do it all the time with skis. But this was worrying. We have friends coming outside of permit hours and if they actually need a placard to continue further this will be a problem. So I go back to the corner to inquire. Talk with the Mountie that turned Rod back. Need to talk with his superior. Same question to him. Need to talk with the VANOC supervisor. Just in time for the VANOC presence at the checkpoint is leaving for the day leaving the RCMP in charge for the night. I’m right. We should have been able to continue to the left. Only problem is that VANOC hasn’t told the security folk this is true. So at least two of them now know it, but we expect continuing problems.