Whistler While you Work: Skiing's Best Employees

Tom Richards—Journeyman Millwright. Tom Richards’ day begins each morning at 4:30. By 6 a.m., he’s on the mountain. The same meteorological conditions that bring heavy snow and glorious storm skiing to Whistler make Tom’s job of inspecting, maintaining and repairing the lifts a difficult one. High winds, sideways snowfall, and temperatures cold or dynamic all make for a herculean task keeping the chairs moving up and down North America’s most expansive lift infrastructure.  - ©Jordan Manley

Tom Richards—Journeyman Millwright. Tom Richards’ day begins each morning at 4:30. By 6 a.m., he’s on the mountain. The same meteorological conditions that bring heavy snow and glorious storm skiing to Whistler make Tom’s job of inspecting, maintaining and repairing the lifts a difficult one. High winds, sideways snowfall, and temperatures cold or dynamic all make for a herculean task keeping the chairs moving up and down North America’s most expansive lift infrastructure.
Copyright: Jordan Manley

Tom Richards—Journeyman Millwright. Tom Richards’ day begins each morning at 4:30. By 6 a.m., he’s on the mountain. The same meteorological conditions that bring heavy snow and glorious storm skiing to Whistler make Tom’s job of inspecting, maintaining and repairing the lifts a difficult one. High winds, sideways snowfall, and temperatures cold or dynamic all make for a herculean task keeping the chairs moving up and down North America’s most expansive lift infrastructure.  - ©Jordan Manley
Tom Richards—Journeyman Millwright. In the event of a lift malfunction of breakdown, Richards sees himself as a kind of technological or mechanical paramedic—working as quickly, efficiently and effectively as possible in the elements to get things back up and running, get people back skiing. And of course “keeping people safe is a crucial part of our role,” he says. - ©Jordan Manley

Tom Richards—Journeyman Millwright. In the event of a lift malfunction of breakdown, Richards sees himself as a kind of technological or mechanical paramedic—working as quickly, efficiently and effectively as possible in the elements to get things back up and running, get people back skiing. And of course “keeping people safe is a crucial part of our role,” he says.
Copyright: Jordan Manley

Tom Richards—Journeyman Millwright. In the event of a lift malfunction of breakdown, Richards sees himself as a kind of technological or mechanical paramedic—working as quickly, efficiently and effectively as possible in the elements to get things back up and running, get people back skiing. And of course “keeping people safe is a crucial part of our role,” he says. - ©Jordan Manley
Ryan Bougie—Ski Patroller. Ryan Bougie’s young, handsome (and mustached) face belies his tremendous experience in the mountains. Amongst a core group of committed backcountry skiers in Whistler, Bougie is known as the guy who takes on the most extended, immersive and by all accounts extremely difficult self-propelled escapes into North American wilderness.   The 30-year-old modern day explorer has recently returned to his patrolling post on Blackcomb after a winter-long hiatus last season: a five-and-a-half-month, 1500 km walking, skiing, pack-rafting and bushwhacking journey from Vancouver to Alaska.  Bougie’s commitment to the long-form format began when he left high school early to walk down the Pacific Crest trail from Canada to Mexico. Since then, he has cycled across Canada, made remote, committed ski-mountaineering first descents on Mount Foraker (Alaska's 4th highest peak), amongst yearly self-propelled pilgrimages through BC, Alaska and Arctic wilderness, culminating in his mega-transect of the BC coast range last year shared by two friends.  Guided by curiosity more than novelty, Bougie flies well under radar amongst the broader ski community. In fact, his personal achievements in wilderness often remain just that—unsung physical and mental journeys through massive and un-trafficked landscapes, inquisitions into the beauty of distant mountain ecosystems, bearing witness to remote industrial projects that most people never see. Perhaps most significantly, Bougie’s journeys are experiments-of-the-possible. - ©Jordan Manley

Ryan Bougie—Ski Patroller. Ryan Bougie’s young, handsome (and mustached) face belies his tremendous experience in the mountains. Amongst a core group of committed backcountry skiers in Whistler, Bougie is known as the guy who takes on the most extended, immersive and by all accounts extremely difficult self-propelled escapes into North American wilderness. The 30-year-old modern day explorer has recently returned to his patrolling post on Blackcomb after a winter-long hiatus last season: a five-and-a-half-month, 1500 km walking, skiing, pack-rafting and bushwhacking journey from Vancouver to Alaska. Bougie’s commitment to the long-form format began when he left high school early to walk down the Pacific Crest trail from Canada to Mexico. Since then, he has cycled across Canada, made remote, committed ski-mountaineering first descents on Mount Foraker (Alaska's 4th highest peak), amongst yearly self-propelled pilgrimages through BC, Alaska and Arctic wilderness, culminating in his mega-transect of the BC coast range last year shared by two friends. Guided by curiosity more than novelty, Bougie flies well under radar amongst the broader ski community. In fact, his personal achievements in wilderness often remain just that—unsung physical and mental journeys through massive and un-trafficked landscapes, inquisitions into the beauty of distant mountain ecosystems, bearing witness to remote industrial projects that most people never see. Perhaps most significantly, Bougie’s journeys are experiments-of-the-possible.
Copyright: Jordan Manley

Ryan Bougie—Ski Patroller. Ryan Bougie’s young, handsome (and mustached) face belies his tremendous experience in the mountains. Amongst a core group of committed backcountry skiers in Whistler, Bougie is known as the guy who takes on the most extended, immersive and by all accounts extremely difficult self-propelled escapes into North American wilderness.   The 30-year-old modern day explorer has recently returned to his patrolling post on Blackcomb after a winter-long hiatus last season: a five-and-a-half-month, 1500 km walking, skiing, pack-rafting and bushwhacking journey from Vancouver to Alaska.  Bougie’s commitment to the long-form format began when he left high school early to walk down the Pacific Crest trail from Canada to Mexico. Since then, he has cycled across Canada, made remote, committed ski-mountaineering first descents on Mount Foraker (Alaska's 4th highest peak), amongst yearly self-propelled pilgrimages through BC, Alaska and Arctic wilderness, culminating in his mega-transect of the BC coast range last year shared by two friends.  Guided by curiosity more than novelty, Bougie flies well under radar amongst the broader ski community. In fact, his personal achievements in wilderness often remain just that—unsung physical and mental journeys through massive and un-trafficked landscapes, inquisitions into the beauty of distant mountain ecosystems, bearing witness to remote industrial projects that most people never see. Perhaps most significantly, Bougie’s journeys are experiments-of-the-possible. - ©Jordan Manley
Wayne Flann—Ski Patroller. Three years ago, the relatively stable coastal snowpack characteristic of British Columbia’s coast range developed some funky, dangerous layers. Wayne Flann, a 30-year veteran of Blackcomb’s ski patrol operation who lives with his nose in the snow began to blog with the goal of giving people the straight facts about what was happening in the snow. “My inspiration is to educate people and try to get out as much information as I can to the masses,” he says. Flann’s daily detailed weather, snowpack and snow safety observations have become a big success both in the Whistler valley and reaching people all over the globe. But there is more work to be done, he feels, lamenting that many people are still accessing Whistler’s backcountry unprepared and uninformed. Flann is currently drafting a Backcountry Responsibility Code, with plans to “do it as a pilot project, see how it goes and see how the science works and hopefully get it accepted throughout North America.” - ©Jordan Manley

Wayne Flann—Ski Patroller. Three years ago, the relatively stable coastal snowpack characteristic of British Columbia’s coast range developed some funky, dangerous layers. Wayne Flann, a 30-year veteran of Blackcomb’s ski patrol operation who lives with his nose in the snow began to blog with the goal of giving people the straight facts about what was happening in the snow. “My inspiration is to educate people and try to get out as much information as I can to the masses,” he says. Flann’s daily detailed weather, snowpack and snow safety observations have become a big success both in the Whistler valley and reaching people all over the globe. But there is more work to be done, he feels, lamenting that many people are still accessing Whistler’s backcountry unprepared and uninformed. Flann is currently drafting a Backcountry Responsibility Code, with plans to “do it as a pilot project, see how it goes and see how the science works and hopefully get it accepted throughout North America.”
Copyright: Jordan Manley

Wayne Flann—Ski Patroller. Three years ago, the relatively stable coastal snowpack characteristic of British Columbia’s coast range developed some funky, dangerous layers. Wayne Flann, a 30-year veteran of Blackcomb’s ski patrol operation who lives with his nose in the snow began to blog with the goal of giving people the straight facts about what was happening in the snow. “My inspiration is to educate people and try to get out as much information as I can to the masses,” he says. Flann’s daily detailed weather, snowpack and snow safety observations have become a big success both in the Whistler valley and reaching people all over the globe. But there is more work to be done, he feels, lamenting that many people are still accessing Whistler’s backcountry unprepared and uninformed. Flann is currently drafting a Backcountry Responsibility Code, with plans to “do it as a pilot project, see how it goes and see how the science works and hopefully get it accepted throughout North America.” - ©Jordan Manley
Ed Gordon—Parking Lot Shuttle Driver. More than most, Ed has seen a lot of changes in Whistler. When he arrived in 1976, he thought he’d only stay for a few days. He liked the “Woodsy” feel of the place. While some of his early friends left Whistler over the years as the town modernized, grew and became a world stage tourism economy, Ed has always embraced the continual evolution that defines Whistler. It’s Whistler’s landscape that keeps him here, he says, “it still is a beautiful, natural place, like a park” where he still finds quiet when he choses to. - ©Jordan Manley

Ed Gordon—Parking Lot Shuttle Driver. More than most, Ed has seen a lot of changes in Whistler. When he arrived in 1976, he thought he’d only stay for a few days. He liked the “Woodsy” feel of the place. While some of his early friends left Whistler over the years as the town modernized, grew and became a world stage tourism economy, Ed has always embraced the continual evolution that defines Whistler. It’s Whistler’s landscape that keeps him here, he says, “it still is a beautiful, natural place, like a park” where he still finds quiet when he choses to.
Copyright: Jordan Manley

Ed Gordon—Parking Lot Shuttle Driver. More than most, Ed has seen a lot of changes in Whistler. When he arrived in 1976, he thought he’d only stay for a few days. He liked the “Woodsy” feel of the place. While some of his early friends left Whistler over the years as the town modernized, grew and became a world stage tourism economy, Ed has always embraced the continual evolution that defines Whistler. It’s Whistler’s landscape that keeps him here, he says, “it still is a beautiful, natural place, like a park” where he still finds quiet when he choses to. - ©Jordan Manley
Vicky Melling—Lifty. Vicky is two weeks into the ski hill’s most visible job. Having come from Manchester, she’s planning on staying the year to work, ski and enjoy the nightlife. Vicky’s story is ubiquitous in Whistler. Many 20-somethings make the trip over from the UK or Australia, intend to work only a single season for Whistler Blackcomb, but fall in love with the lifestyle and end up staying for good… lifty turned lifer.   - ©Jordan Manley

Vicky Melling—Lifty. Vicky is two weeks into the ski hill’s most visible job. Having come from Manchester, she’s planning on staying the year to work, ski and enjoy the nightlife. Vicky’s story is ubiquitous in Whistler. Many 20-somethings make the trip over from the UK or Australia, intend to work only a single season for Whistler Blackcomb, but fall in love with the lifestyle and end up staying for good… lifty turned lifer.
Copyright: Jordan Manley

Vicky Melling—Lifty. Vicky is two weeks into the ski hill’s most visible job. Having come from Manchester, she’s planning on staying the year to work, ski and enjoy the nightlife. Vicky’s story is ubiquitous in Whistler. Many 20-somethings make the trip over from the UK or Australia, intend to work only a single season for Whistler Blackcomb, but fall in love with the lifestyle and end up staying for good… lifty turned lifer.   - ©Jordan Manley
Dale & Rosemary Hotell—Mountain Hosts. When Dale Hotell retired from a 35-year teaching career in Vancouver’s lower mainland, he decided he wanted another career, this time on the mountain running Whistler Blackcomb’s Mountain Host program. A volunteer since 1985, Dale and his wife Rosemary lived in a trailer on weekends just to do it. “Hosting gets in your blood” says the 69 year old,

Dale & Rosemary Hotell—Mountain Hosts. When Dale Hotell retired from a 35-year teaching career in Vancouver’s lower mainland, he decided he wanted another career, this time on the mountain running Whistler Blackcomb’s Mountain Host program. A volunteer since 1985, Dale and his wife Rosemary lived in a trailer on weekends just to do it. “Hosting gets in your blood” says the 69 year old, "you don’t want to give it up.” For the Hotells, who have been married 48 years, you get the sense that it’s as much about their health as it is about fun. “It keeps us young and active,” says Rosemary. “It’s hard to find an old person here—old in years but not in their minds,” adds Dale. When asked how long they’ll keep it up on the mountain, Dale says as long as they let him. "My dream is to drop dead at about 90 on skis!” Rosemary chuckles in response: “That means I’m going to need to keep skiing, too.”
Copyright: Jordan Manley

Dale & Rosemary Hotell—Mountain Hosts. When Dale Hotell retired from a 35-year teaching career in Vancouver’s lower mainland, he decided he wanted another career, this time on the mountain running Whistler Blackcomb’s Mountain Host program. A volunteer since 1985, Dale and his wife Rosemary lived in a trailer on weekends just to do it. “Hosting gets in your blood” says the 69 year old,
Felix Breault—Cook. Originally from Montreal, Felix migrated west in search of mountains and a different balance. “Life’s better over here,” he says. “I snowboard almost everyday, everyone is in a good mood and there are lots of foreign girls!

Felix Breault—Cook. Originally from Montreal, Felix migrated west in search of mountains and a different balance. “Life’s better over here,” he says. “I snowboard almost everyday, everyone is in a good mood and there are lots of foreign girls!"
Copyright: Jordan Manley

Felix Breault—Cook. Originally from Montreal, Felix migrated west in search of mountains and a different balance. “Life’s better over here,” he says. “I snowboard almost everyday, everyone is in a good mood and there are lots of foreign girls!
Joe Barnes—Snowmaking. When Mother Nature drops the ball, Joe Barnes and the snowmaking team are the unsung heroes that perform magic with air, water and cold temperatures. Joe’s job is unique in the valley, he says, and it’s amazing to work at night (shifts last 12hrs), cruising up and down the mountain on the snowmobile maintaining the snow guns. When Joe isn’t working, he’s slashing the piles of snow he helped create the night before or out ski touring, putting in more than a hundred days a season on skis. - ©Jordan Manley

Joe Barnes—Snowmaking. When Mother Nature drops the ball, Joe Barnes and the snowmaking team are the unsung heroes that perform magic with air, water and cold temperatures. Joe’s job is unique in the valley, he says, and it’s amazing to work at night (shifts last 12hrs), cruising up and down the mountain on the snowmobile maintaining the snow guns. When Joe isn’t working, he’s slashing the piles of snow he helped create the night before or out ski touring, putting in more than a hundred days a season on skis.
Copyright: Jordan Manley

Joe Barnes—Snowmaking. When Mother Nature drops the ball, Joe Barnes and the snowmaking team are the unsung heroes that perform magic with air, water and cold temperatures. Joe’s job is unique in the valley, he says, and it’s amazing to work at night (shifts last 12hrs), cruising up and down the mountain on the snowmobile maintaining the snow guns. When Joe isn’t working, he’s slashing the piles of snow he helped create the night before or out ski touring, putting in more than a hundred days a season on skis. - ©Jordan Manley
Rayne Brooksbank—Groomer. In 1976, when an 18-year-old Rayne Brooksbank went looking for a job and applied to be a cat operator, they asked her, “can you run farm equipment?” The Ontarion assured the supervisor she could drive a tractor and became Canada’s first female cat driver. Almost four decades later, she continues to love her job as lead hand and winch cat operator, and is one of 10 women on the grooming crew. She skis Sundays, and not surprisingly, she delights in skiing clean corduroy. - ©Jordan Manley

Rayne Brooksbank—Groomer. In 1976, when an 18-year-old Rayne Brooksbank went looking for a job and applied to be a cat operator, they asked her, “can you run farm equipment?” The Ontarion assured the supervisor she could drive a tractor and became Canada’s first female cat driver. Almost four decades later, she continues to love her job as lead hand and winch cat operator, and is one of 10 women on the grooming crew. She skis Sundays, and not surprisingly, she delights in skiing clean corduroy.
Copyright: Jordan Manley

Rayne Brooksbank—Groomer. In 1976, when an 18-year-old Rayne Brooksbank went looking for a job and applied to be a cat operator, they asked her, “can you run farm equipment?” The Ontarion assured the supervisor she could drive a tractor and became Canada’s first female cat driver. Almost four decades later, she continues to love her job as lead hand and winch cat operator, and is one of 10 women on the grooming crew. She skis Sundays, and not surprisingly, she delights in skiing clean corduroy. - ©Jordan Manley
Jeff Caldicott—Heavy-Duty Mechanic, Fleet Maintenance. Jeff Caldicott and the Fleet Maintenance crew at Whistler Mountain are leading the North American ski industry. Their state-of-the-art cats groom the slopes at the cutting edge and are often involved in testing prototype cats and grooming equipment. The job is a constant learning curve, Jeff says, where they find themselves increasingly giving up the wrench for a computer fix. - ©Jordan Manley

Jeff Caldicott—Heavy-Duty Mechanic, Fleet Maintenance. Jeff Caldicott and the Fleet Maintenance crew at Whistler Mountain are leading the North American ski industry. Their state-of-the-art cats groom the slopes at the cutting edge and are often involved in testing prototype cats and grooming equipment. The job is a constant learning curve, Jeff says, where they find themselves increasingly giving up the wrench for a computer fix.
Copyright: Jordan Manley

Jeff Caldicott—Heavy-Duty Mechanic, Fleet Maintenance. Jeff Caldicott and the Fleet Maintenance crew at Whistler Mountain are leading the North American ski industry. Their state-of-the-art cats groom the slopes at the cutting edge and are often involved in testing prototype cats and grooming equipment. The job is a constant learning curve, Jeff says, where they find themselves increasingly giving up the wrench for a computer fix. - ©Jordan Manley

Resort: Whistler Blackcomb