Posted by: Feet Banks
As Thanksgiving arrives in Whistler the traditions of family dinners and being thankful are accompanied by the annual Whistler Turkey Sale: a massive, town-wide shopping spree with sweet deals on new and used ski and snowboard gear. Guest Blogger and 2010 Olympian Julia Murray grew up in Whistler and has been hitting the Turkey Sale her whole life. We asked her to reflect on her childhood growing up here and set up the biggest weekend of the autumn.
Julia then and now. RIGHT PHOTO BY JIM MARTINELLO
“What was it like growing up in Whistler?”
I’ve been asked that question countless times over the years and it’s usually accompanied with a deep gaze of wonder and disbelief (and a hint of jealousy). My go-to answer is typically formed from a grab-bag of phrases like “Epic” or “Exciting” or even “One with the mountains.” As I’ve grown from a Whistler child to a Whistler teenager to an honest-to-goodness grown-up one word I always fall back on about this place is “Inspiring.” I'm constantly inspired by the environment here, by the people, and especially by the plethora of things to do.
Each season in Whistler presents a constantly changing itinerary of excellent things to do, each with its own buzz that resonates throughout town. This time of year it’s the anticipation of snowflakes in the valley, as evident in the consistent flow of snowy mountain posts in the #WhistlerUnfiltered Instragram feed.
Autumn also means getting those last wet, chilly-fingered, head-lamp-guided mountain bike rides in before the snows arrive. It means fighting the downpours by throwing on a wetsuit and paddleboarding a river. It means the Heavy Hitting HorrorFest will bring everyone together for laughs and screams and it means Thanksgiving weekend will dish up a full serving of “stoked for winter” madness this coming weekend with the iF3 ski movie premieres and the annual Whistler Turkey Sale (October 11-14, 2013) .
The International Freeski Film Fest has graced screens in Montreal, France and Austria but this year will be the inaugural year for iF3 in Whistler. Featuring 11 screenings over a day and a half iF3 kicks off with Into The Mind, the latest from Whistler-based Sherpas Cinema.
It's one of the most artistic, intense, awe-inspiring ski movies I've ever seen and movies like those shown at iF3 have inspired me since the days of my first cliff jump. Whistler’s love for freeskiing is contagious so hopefully the iF3 screenings will fuel snow-god Ullr’s first big offering of valley snow.
In the meantime, there is even more anticipation and action to be had in Whistler’s Upper Village this weekend for the legendary Whistler Turkey Sale. I've been a Turkey Sale attendee since back in my youth when I raced with the Whistler Mountain Ski Club and it’s one of those special annual events that gets everyone stoked and really makes Whistler unique.
The 20,000 square-foot tented area becomes a land of opportunity for huge savings on your favourite ski and snowboard brands. Used gear, new gear, kids gear, gear your buddy has that you always wanted, gear you’ve never seen before, it’s crazy. I dare you to stop in the Ski Swap tent and try to find my old World Cup race skis for sale. You might just need them under your feet to take the trophy from me and my teammates at the next Peak to Valley Race. Happy Thanksgiving everyone, and bring on the snow.
JIM MARTINELLO PHOTO
Julia (right) is a born-and-raised Whistler kid who grew up ski racing and competed in Ski Cross at the 2010 Winter Games. Now retired, Julia has multiple World Cup podium finishes and was the silver medalist at the 2011 Ski Cross World Championships. These days she teaches special Ski with an Olympian private lessons in Whistler throughout the winter and has her own healthy breakfast cereal called Jules Fuel.