Sunday, February 7, 2010

End of January

Tomorrow is February 1st and it is hard for me to believe I have already been in Whistler for 3 weeks. Yesterday I went skiing for the second time since I had been here and it was just as amazing if not more than the first time I went. In Whistler it gets dark around 5pm so the chairlifts to the ski slopes close between 2:30 and 3:30. Since they close so early it is important to be there as soon as the resort opens at 8am. I went skiing yesterday with one of the other USC interns Stephanie Raguseo and four of the guys from Australia. I have tried snowboarding once in my life but felt that on this day it was smart to ski because I'm comfortable with it and I knew all the people I was going with were experienced snowboarders and would not want to wait on someone learning. My ski experience previous to coming to Whistler has been most in the North Carolina mountains with one trip to Winterplace in West Virginia a few years ago. Needless to say I would not consider myself more than someone who is able to ski and was a bit nervous about how tough some of the runs at Whistler could be. After asking everyone I was going with if we could not start from the top of the mountain, we loaded the Gondola (a enclosed chairlift) to head to the top of Whistler Mountain. Whistler is renowned for its skiing and snowboarding, it has two mountains, Whistler and Blackcomb which together combine to makeup over 200 slopes. It takes loading onto four different chairlifts to get to the top of Blackcomb Mountain and over an hour to make your way down. The best part arguably of the ski resort is there peak to peak Gondola that goes from the peak of Blackcomb Mountain to the peak of Whistler or vice versa. Skiing is expensive in Whistler but what isn't. A full day lift ticket goes for around 97 dollars with tax and a rental anywhere from 30 to 50 dollars depending on the place. Luckily during the month of February an accreditation pass for the Olympics gets 20% off a lift ticket and the rental pending any days off. On this day I only received 20% off the rental since it was not yet February and I could not manage to bargain for the discount on the lift ticket. Upon exiting the chairlift at the top I split from the group to try the easier of the runs. Overall the day went pretty well, I fell a decent number of times but seemed to ski better and faster on more difficult runs as the day progressed. I ran into the rest of the group shortly after lunch at the end of one of the runs. We all loaded onto the Whistler Gondola and took a 20 minute ride to the top. After getting to back to the bottom and finishing up I returned my ski's and we all headed back to camp. After getting back to camp I decided to head into Creekside with the other guy from USC Dolton Williams and go spend an hour at the athletic club or gym we had joined for the month. It was around 53 dollars to use their gym for a month that is similar to a small version of the YMCA. It sure was no Strom Thurmond Wellness and Fitness Center at USC. After getting back from the gym Dolton and I ate and showered to head out with everyone. Shuttles have been running on the half hour every hour at night into the village and 730 is always the most popular because it is the first after dinner. On this night we started in a bar called Circa and later went to a nightclub for a few hours called Buffalo Bill's. Buffalo Bill's is one of the more popular places and the only true nightclub I have been to in Whistler. About eight of us piled into a cab at the end of the night, which runs around 35 dollars all the way back to camp but is not bad when split 8 ways. Today, Sunday January 31 is a day I plan to spend getting my laundry done, all my stuff organized and getting rested up for another week of work. So far we have been working 8 to 9 hour days Monday through Friday and had the weekends off. This will end after next weekend and we will be expected to work 6 to 7 day weeks during the games.

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