The slopes were icy, the village was embroiled in the sled dog cull controversy, but for many, it was the best WinterPride yet.
Last week, queers from all over North America (and as far away as Germany and Estonia) gathered in Whistler, B.C. for the 19th annual WinterPride ski week. The 2010 Winter Olympics made for dismal attendance during last year’s edition, but a faithful community of gay skiers and snowboarders returned to the mountain in full force this year, in what executive producer Dean Nelson described as a homecoming.
Wet and humid weather made for less than ideal conditions on the mountain at times, but teams of eager skiers and their guides persevered, taking every chance they could to enjoy Whistler’s world class runs. Old and new faces mingled at cozy aprésgatherings at the end of the day, while late night parties made it difficult for some to get up and do it all again at the break of dawn.
As the parties got bigger and the hills got busier, I was there to talk to people to find out what this quintessentially Canadian pride celebration was all about for participants this year.