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Himeji Castle

Slap the Face of Adversity

Fate did everything in her power to ruin my trip to Whistler yesterday, but I ended up having a great day anyway, just to spite her. Not owning a car in Canada meant I needed to get the bus, and not wanting to pay a ridiculous amount for a night's accomodation meant that I needed to catch the Zombie Express at 6:30am. Many other people have the same idea though, so I needed to get there half an hour earlier to beat the queue. So, I'm up at 5am, at the station at 6am, ticket purchased at 6:05am, and standing in line and feeling like crap at 6:06am. Unfortunately, there I stayed for over an hour, as the bus was delayed. This really sucked, because early morning is primo mountain time. Early morning snow is fresh and smooth, and hasn't been chopped into lumpy porridge by everyone else's trails. To add insult to injury, Greyhound sent a woman with a radio out to inform us that our bus was "having engine trouble" but she didn't even sound like she believed that dodgy line herself. I tried and get a drink out of the vending machine - it ate my money. Some kids started smoking cheap cigars, and one of them dropped a large bottle of vodka, which shattered everywhere. Fun.

We finally got going at 7:30am, and the bus was absolutely full. So full that a few people were left behind to wait another hour for the next bus. I'm glad that wasn't me, as I probably would've punched the woman with the radio in the throat and set the building on fire. One of the cigar-smoking kids sat next to me, and started turning green at a rapid rate of knots. He eventually puked in a bag, twice. When the bus got close to Whistler, we were stuck in traffic for another half an hour, as everyone else seemed to have Whistler plans as well. Another half an hour of our snow time lost. We arrived, and most of North America was at the Whistler Village. I endured the lift lines at the village, and then more lines halfway up Blackcomb mountain, and more lines further up, and more lines near the peak. The snow was very chopped up, and there were people everywhere, cutting me off and trying to run into each other. At this stage, I was about ready to throw the whole thing in.

Luckily for me though, I shared a lift with a guy who mentioned Blackcomb Glacier, which is reachable via a short hike off the top of the Showcase T-bar. I took his advice, and... wow. Blasting down that enormous, majestic expanse with fresh powder lapping at my thighs made everything else that happened in the day seem unimportant. There were only a handful of others out there, and they were just tiny black dots in the distance, engulfed by the craggy peaks far above and the white world all around. It was a fabulous feeling, but I didn't have time to stand around and remark about how fabulous it was, or reflect on the view. I was completely engaged, concentrating physically and mentally to hold my line, to adjust for the curves of the terrain, to dodge rocks, and to maintain my speed so I didn't nosedive and go tumbling off into the snow. When I finally got to the bottom and had to hike out for about ten minutes, I was still grinning like a fool. I'm still grinning today, actually.