Friday, November 23, 2012

Winter is here

And life is awesome. It's been snowing the past week, the mountains are open and I could literally not be happier.

I'll do a quick update on everything that I can think of concerning my life here in Whistler:

Bld. 2 #409:
Is where I live. Staff housing is a bunch of houses containing approximately 1000 employees of Whistler Blackcomb, and I live in building 2. Gabbi and York are so sweet and fun to hang out with which makes coming home so nice. Chloe is my roomie and it is just awesome. We try to plan to eat together and do stuff together as often as we can and we've had a couple of nights where we were supposed to get up early but ended up spending hours laying in bed just talking and laughing instead. 

Are easy to make here! Employees are easy to spot and everyone are so nice. Work gives you a lot of friends too, and my bosses are awesome at calling around the lifts saying "Beers at x, see you there", and then the whole lifty crew goes to have a few beers and laughs at a bar. 

Is expensive!!! Me and Chloe try to shop together and cook together, but sometimes it just doesn't fit our schedule. Noodles are often the way to go even though I can literally feel on my body how bad it is for you. A packet of noodles is about 1 dollar though, so it's just so easy to go for that.
We only have a stove top too, so I constantly have to make sure that what I'm about to buy is something that I can actually cook on my stove top and does not require an oven.
18 Below is a restuarant close to staff housing which opens after mountain hours just for employees. It's 7 bucks for a meal which includes unlimited pop (or if you're trying to lose weight as I am, unlimited water), a bowl of salat, a bowl of soup, main dish, dessert and fruit. It's a good deal if you can drag yourself down there after work, and you will rarely be able to finish your whole meal 'cause there's a LOT of food. 

Oh my god. They're everywhere!!! I feel like I'll learn australian before I learn Canadian, which was what I wanted to learn in the first place, haha. My roomies are aussies though, and I guess they're okay. Actually pretty much all of my friends are aussies and granted, they're pretty great, but man!! do they have some weird expressions. The most commonly used one from Chloe is the following: "Calm your farm down", which basically means calm down. She'll say it all the time but especially at me when I'm tired and grumpy, haha. 
I fear Australia Day......................

Haven't met so many yet, but I love the few that I have. They're insane at snowboarding and luckily for me I work with two of them. It really challenges me to board down with them and that's good. Canadians are so nice and sweet and that brings me to my next subject:

Wow, are Canadians polite!! You can't walk past a Canadian without getting a smile or a "Hi!", and they'll always be up for a small chat and they're always very interested in where I come from. I noticed that especially the Canadian people on my chair today appreciated me saying hi to them.
The thing though that really hit me about their politeness is this: In our busses, when people hit stop, it doesn't say stop on the sign, it says "Stop Requested" as if it's up to the bus driver if he wants to stop the bus and the Canadian guy will just be like "Sorry, didn't mean to be in your way", haha.

Is awesome! I love it so much. I've been working the past three days, and it's been really great. Tuesday was my first day and I met a 7.15. I met my returning guy which is someone who worked as a lifty last year. He's one of the Canadians and he seems really awesome. We had to board down to the bottom of my chair, which is Catskinner. Catskinner is the chair that I requested so I was SOOOO happy to get to work on it. Was a bit less happy when we got to the bottom of it and had to dig out the whole thing. We spent ALL day just digging and stomping the snow down so it could be a real lift.
The following day was a dry run day which basically meant that we got to the chair, made it run, waited all day because obviously no one was getting on the lift, then went home and was payed for pretty much just waiting. 
Today was opening day and also my first day working with people. 

It seems that the lifty job is just the right thing for me. I LOVED getting to talk to all those people and bumping chairs kept me warm, so the day just went by SO fast.
I'm working on a fixed grip lift which means I have to bump chairs which is basically pulling the chair to slow it down so it doesn't knock people over, it's kinda fun to do and I can definitely feel my arm muscles coming on. 

Obviously training is over. It was fun but I'm way more excited about working for real now. 

Catskinner is the lift that I've been working on the past three days. I instantly fell in love with it! Catskinner is located right between an easy run and the pro's park. That means I got all the park rats coming in from one side being cool and all, and all the older people who really enjoy a quick chat before getting on the chair. It made a good contrast and kept me busy and smiling which was really nice. 

Dry runs: 
Are finally over, and I'm so happy about that. Dry runs is just running the chair without people for an entire shift, which means just about 10 hours. You dig a little snow if you can find something that needs digging but basically just waits around and feels really sorry for yourself that you're not allowed to take ride breaks on dry run days.. 

Opening day:
I was really nervous about opening day to be honest. I've never worked with both people and a lift, but luckily it felt so natural and I really enjoyed the whole day. People were lined up at the bottom when I loaded the chair to go up to my own, and everyone, literally EVERYONE included my awesome supervisor were so stoked that we all just ran around like happy idiots building mazes and getting ready for the people. 
By the end of opening day I was in love with Blackcomb, Catskinner and the lifty job. 

Parents on lifts:
Lesson learned. Don't trust them. ALWAYS slow the chair down even if the parent says that their kids can handle it. They can't, and the parent can NOT pull the poor child up on their own. Where does this come from, you might wonder. Here's what happened today on my lift: 
A guy came up with his two kids. I asked them if he wanted me to slow the chair down, but he declined. Being a naive newbie I acepted his request and let them load the chair. HUGE MISTAKE. The guy loaded the chair, and the kids ended up just being pushed ahead by the chair, while the guy frantically tried to pull both of them up on each of his sides. Both me and the other lifty was running after lift, basically hanging on it trying to pull the poor kids on. At one point I was actually being pulled up by the chair and had to let go and just jump down. It was insane and the kid was still hanging. Eventually he managed to pull the kid up, but I learned my lesson!!! I'm never ever letting a parent decide wether or not I should slow down the lift. 

IS SO AWESOME. Snow has been falling the last week which has made conditions so good. I snowboarded sunday and monday and I can really feel how I'm getting better already. Luckily for me some of my new friends are really good at snowboarding and I can go with them. It challenges me in the best way making me better run by run. It feels so good. On top of that I get to ride on work too, so I'm pretty much riding every day, and I plan to be riding park within not very long. I just need to have my switch side completely down before I can start park. But I've already got lots of offers from collueges and friends who wants to help me get starting on the park thing. 

Yeah, so that covers basically everything in my life right now. I'm really living the dream, and yeah, I'm probably not coming home. Every one are telling me to stay for the summer, and it sounds so great. Then they add "and if you stay for the summer you're staying for the winter". So yeah.. My supervisor, Gabe, is on the lookout for a Canadian guy for me, because appearently you only have to date a canadian for 12 months and then you get to stay here. 
Of course I miss you, sweet danish friends ( <3 <3 <3 ) but I guess you know how much I've wanted this and well, it's just so much more than I've ever dreamed of :) 

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