The first time I came to Whistler was in 1965 when I was 16 years old. After having only skied on Mt Baker — Whistler Mountain was enormous, even back then.
Since 1965 I have made more trips to Whistler for skiing than I can even begin to count. I have always loved the kindness of the people and the international feel of mountain staff.
I have come to love this mountain and its people to the point that I consider it my “home” mountain for winter sports. At 63 years old — I still ski the backcountry and off couloirs.
In January 2011, my wife Connie and I were on a “couples get-away” with five couples renting a home in Kadenwood. One day while skiing on Whistler Peak Chair, I dropped into Whistler bowl, made a few turns, caught an edge and had a yard sale that covered over 30 meters of mountain terrain.
Unbeknownst to me — I had ripped the pocket of ski coat and lost my brand-new Luminex camera. As if that wasn’t bad enough, I hadn’t uploaded the 300+ pictures that were still in the camera and on the extra memory card in the case. These pictures included: my daughter’s pregnancy, the birth of my grandson, my nephew’s wedding, and the sunset photo contest pictures we took in Hawaii (a friendly competition amongst friends).
I realized I had lost the camera when we went in for lunch, so I immediately spoke with the ski patrol, who advised me to contact lost and found. After going back up to look for it on the slope, I contacted both Whistler and Blackcomb lost and found and was hopeful that the camera would be found — perhaps after the snow melted in the summer.
Losing those pictures was pretty upsetting to me, and when the summer of 2011 came and went, I realized that my camera was lost to me forever. Eventually I purchased a new camera and began capturing new memories, often retelling the story of my lost camera as if retelling the story kept the lost memories alive.
Time kept marching on, and so the winter and summer of 2012 came and went. Then, on Oct. 30 I came home from work and found a package in the mailbox addressed to my wife. I tossed the package on the counter, had dinner and settled down for the evening. When my wife opened the package — I heard her shout out a big “NO WAY!!” Inside the package was my missing camera.
This camera had been hanging out on the mountain for almost two years until a tourist from Austria, Wolfgang, found it on a hike. The camera travelled to Austria with Wolfgang, where he discovered that our name/address was affixed to the camera. The camera was sent back to Canlups with Wolfgang’s friend who sent it to us in Issaquah, WA.
Not only did we get all the pictures back, the camera looks and works perfect. All I can say is … only in Whistler.
Thanks for the over-the-top memories!