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