Day 6 A little bit of Mac Magic on Blackcomb

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December 22nd 2015
Published: June 25th 2017
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Geo: 50.1139, -122.95

The day couldn't start early enough for Mac - he was up and at 'em so that he could get kitted out ready to hit "Magic Mountain." He is a man of rituals...has to have juice, vitamins, read paper, check posts before the day can start....not today...all rituals abandoned in the clamour to hit Blackcomb Way and meet up with Mindy on her first day off since our arrival fact her first day off in weeks.

Mindy assembled all the necessary bits....skis and poles from one shop, a pair of ski pants from another, helmet from somewhere else and googles from her "last season" box in the unit.

And as if Mac wasn't funny enough, Ian was hysterical. He has never been on skis before and he was even practising the crazy boot walk up and down the hallways of The Aspens...without boots. Mindy did the teching and adjustment of the skis on the floor of the apartment and I am not quite sure how she coped with the duet of "silly buggers" ...but somehow she did. Must be the years of experience with all and sundry of Whistler Blackcomb coming through rental.

I nearly lost an eye on the walk out of the building. The boys were all kitted up and swinging their stocks around over their shoulders. Declared they needed a hula hoop safety bubble around them.

It was a funny walk through The Aspens and the store as Mindy and Ian were heckled by the locals they knew. It was like a "walk of shame" - apparently boarders and skiers are a world apart. And as "boarders" they were coping heaps from all and sundry...all dished out with lashings of good humour.

Ian has declared he now understands why skiers are so jealous .... they have to cope with so much gear and so many equipment adjustments just to get out the door! Add to that the stuff you have to carry! And then of course there is the crazy boot walk.

But they did survive because we didn't have far to go - the back gate for The Aspens is the last 60 metres at the base of a groomed beginners run. Puffed with confidence the Virgin and The Old Fella joined the gaggle of people putting on their skis.

I have to confess, Mac handled it effortlessly. He needed Mindy's help with the helmet and goggle combination. But other than that...The Old Fella was smooth. Clicked his boots in. Bent his knees a few times to test the skis. And he was off. Magnificent Mac brought his own magic to the mountain. Slow and steady, a twist, a turn, a little beginner's snow plough and he was back.

The grin was enormous! Loved it from the get go. And he loved that Mindy made it all possible.

The Virgin on the other hand was all arms and legs and had no idea where to put what, in which order. With the top half sliding one way and the bottom half sliding in two distinct directions Ian was a bouncing bundle of brown inelegance. There were some thumps and thuds and skids and slides and a few expletives but give him credit...he kept clawing his way back into a standing position and somehow kept the lid on the frustration to get through round one of the virgin ski run. Certainly not pretty but you have to reward persistence.

Mindy was the epitome of patience and encouragement. Although now a converted boarder she still has ski power. Managed to look after the boys and to find just the right words of encouragement and advice and to keep all the other innocent riders around our own little corner of carnage safe from harm. No mean feat.

Armed with an all day Magic Chair pass for the princely sum of $21 Mac was ready for the mountain ascent.....along with about 238 riders under the age of 8. Straight to the top...a run of about 600 metres....and again, the Old Fella was grace in motion. The Virgin was like a gangly octopus on the first run, but with each twist and turn and tumble there was improvement. After two runs, The Virgin had found the sweet spot. And on the third run, Mindy and Mac stopped and turned to wait for Ian....only to find that he was further down the mountain waving and waiting for them. And he was upright!

Don't hold your breathe, waiting for Ian to cross to "the dark side" - definitely can't see him abandoning his board any time soon - but at least the enthusiasm for the after lunch run and a traverse of Blackcomb was greeted with genuine enthusiasm.

Mindy abandoned her ski poles after the first run because they were getting in the road of her filming (Footage pending) . There was just so much action to capture. Sure there will be some fun times to relive.

And we know there is always a competition between father and daughter. Have to give Mac credit for being so great after almost 32 years absence but he was certainly a distant second in terms of style, grace and speed. Mindy was the winner today...not sure about the next run on Christmas Day. Think Mindy will need to have her game face on. And you can bet that Ian will be back to his board.

Anthony missed the excitement because he had spent the night in Vancouver and only got home after we had left. He disappeared in to the "bat cave" of the unit and caught some zzzzzzs.

Michael was on his trek from Banff to Whistler...a car ride, a flight and a bus. He left at 5.30 am and arrived in Whistler at 4 pm. A long day of travel punctuated with lots of messages backwards and forwards getting snow reports and gear updates.

Whistler did not disappoint and right on queue the snow started falling again around 3 pm.

The afternoon session was a Mindy//Mummy shopping adventure. We zoomed in and out of the favourite shops and purchased a couple of essentials.

We finally all gathered in the one spot for dinner around 7 pm and after a 45 minute lineup were eventually seated and digging in to all the unhealthy choices on the menu, washed down with local brews and polished off with donuts and caramel sauce. So many stories. So much excitement about the days to come. Noise, laughter, jokes, banter, quips and plans.

And our first Christmas presents! A treat from Mindy and Ian. Lift passes for Christmas Day! Gold! We are set for fresh tracks and boarding and skiing adventures on Christmas morning.

And for those following I am not skiing or boarding...I'll be riding the sh$@ out of the gondolas.
PS Was hard to believe as I glanced around the table that we were all here! It worked! We were in the bubble of "family."

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