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Wordsmith and story-teller. Has-been shred and climber.

Dear Whistler, Thanks For Helping Us Step Off the Concrete

Before my family and I moved from the city to Whistler we had made a pretty good list of reasons why we should quit our well paying jobs with benefits, a future, and a Christmas bonus. But in the end the list of reasons didn’t really matter, what mattered was that we be where we were supposed to be. And to be honest, the process of it all hasn’t been particularly easy but it has been incredibly rewarding.

Artist Chili Thom in his presentation at Mountain Life Magazine’s Mountain Multiplicity Show at the World Ski & Snowboard Festival clarified some of our process for us when he said this:

Step off the concrete.

For us the concrete was literal and symbolic. Literal in that my wife and I wanted to raise our kids outside and show them how amazing the mountains, forests, and lakes are. I don’t believe there is any other more powerful way to inspire people to protect creation and work towards its’ restoration than by showing people how amazing it is. And we wanted to start with our kids.

Symbolic because suddenly our way of life was less-than-certain. Paychecks, food on the table, and friends to enjoy it with stopped being a sure-thing, something taken for granted. Now, a table full of food and surrounded by friends is a moment of pause and a time to be thankful. And even though there are all kinds of question marks about how to make a go of life here, we’re commited to it because life stepped off the concrete is exactly the vision we have for our family.

The mountains have become a very special place to us because they bring people together and community is born. There is something special and unique, even redemptive, of life lived in the mountains shared with other mountain people. Our dreams, our values, the people we call friends, and many of our livelihoods are shaped and defined by the geography surrounding us. Michael Kennedy in his forward to Mark Twight’s Extreme Alpinism explains it this way:

Mountains are fantastic examples of the power and mystery of nature, and the routes we climb on them are expressions of all that is best in the human spirit. Mountains and routes are only animated by our interaction with them, however, and it is the people we share the mountains with – the relationships we have with them – that are ultimately the most important.

And so as the season changes and Whistler rotates its’ gear closet from winter to summer, we’re taking a moment to be thankful for life lived in the mountains. And even though we’re only a couple of winter’s into life in Whistler, we’re so thankful for the community we’ve been welcomed into. So to the strangers and acquaintances who have become friends and to those who will, thanks for being part of our lives! See ya at the crags, the lake, on the bike trails, and around a table at some point. Step off the concrete.

-The Postal’s

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