The end of Winter….

As March slipped into April snow continued to fall on the upper levels of the mountains. We had a couple good dumps, that gave us some great days, and even brought snow to the village level. Not enough to keep the much needed ski outs open though, I was still walking the hill to and from the village.

Hike-out anyone?

Hike-out anyone?

With the end of the season looming, everyone was keen to cram in as much as they could, so I was out on everyone of my days off with different people. The riding was great as we were getting regular new snow and the mountain itself was beginning to quieten down. Easter and the weekends were fairly busy, but the week days were dead, which made for plenty of fresh lines!

Mmmmmmm, first line of the day!

Mmmmmmm, first line of the day!

In the evenings I had plenty of things to do. Now that I was in the visa system I had numerous forms to fill out, which included attempting to write and itinerary for the next 2 years! Actually sitting down and writing it was kind of bizarre, the extra year on the visa was unexpected and I spent more time thinking about where my life was going than typing “On this day I will do this”. I’ve got everything submitted now, so it’s just a case of watching my emails and waiting for my PoE letter to be emailed to me. As the season drew to a close people started to leave Whistler to go back to their old lives. I now had my room to myself, which was great, and there was no shortage of extra shifts for people as many liftys had also moved on. I had planned to leave the day after the season closed and as I ticked off the final days of the season I began re packing my life back in to the bag ready to head out. I had an extra bag for all my winter stuff, so packing was quite a long process!!

Would be nice if the bikes were mine...

Would be nice if the bikes were mine…

Last night and this morning, after a somewhat heavy evening drinking in the locker room at work, I said my good byes and headed on to the bus with a heavy heart. Whistler was amazing fun, I made lots of new friends, and I was sad to watch the mountain disappear as the bus carried me out of the village. Still, plenty more adventuring to come, I’m on my way to the Okanagan now to visit some friends of the family, and then it’s back on the train to Toronto!!

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Success!!!……sort of..

So after 30 seconds of terror on Tuesday morning I have finally entered the visa system and obtained my tracking number! The system worked differently this year with the service staying open between rounds, and this allowed people to fill in almost all of their information beforehand, which was going to make the competition really tight. I found out later that all 2500 spots went in 2 minutes! Well aware of what was at stake I’d formed a click by click plan of what to do and had decided to make use of Whistler’s internet in the hopes it would be faster. As the clock struck 10am in Ottawa I began furiously refreshing, and then shakily clicked my way through the IEC category section and the declaration section behind the finish line that was the “Submit Application” button. After what seemed like a lifetime I was rewarded with a big green box with my tracking number! I was in the top 800 for the round! I heaved an enormous sigh of relief and took a minute to collect myself before swaggering triumphantly into the locker room at work for the morning meeting.

Meanwhile, March has turned out well in Whistler for snow. Sort of. While we’ve had several good dumps of powder on the upper parts of the mountain, a freezing level that has stayed stubbornly around the middle of the mountain has meant that any precipitation that has fallen lower down has turned to rain, washing the village and the ever important ski-outs clean of snow. Even the short section between the staff housing and the village has now been destroyed, so for the next couple of weeks until the end of the season I’ll be walking to and from work. But like I said, the alpine is great right now! Here’s some pictures!

Bit of a grab!

Bit of a grab!

Another awesome run!

Another awesome run!

So with the visa process started I can now relax and get back to enjoying this adventure, and start planning my return to Toronto!