RAVES & FAVES
A Local’s Perspective
“Godfather of freestyle” Mike Douglas shares his favourite local on- and off- mountain haunts.
NAME: MIKE DOUGLAS
OCCUPATION: PROFESSIONAL SKIER & FILMMAKER
HOW LONG YOU HAVE LIVED IN WHISTLER: 27 YEARS
Mike Douglas is many things: professional skier, ambassador, family man, media personality, filmmaker and director. The one common denominator is his passion for everything he does. His love of skiing first brought Douglas to Whistler in 1988 and helped propel him to a spot on the Canadian Freestyle Ski Team. It was his hunger for the sport that led to his involvement in the development of the Twin Tip ski. Along with other members of the so-called “New Canadian Air Force,” he helped renew the ski industry at a time when it needed it. It was during this era he was dubbed the “Godfather of freeskiing.”
His desire to do more within the industry led to numerous segments in the top films of the era, working in television and eventually setting up his own production company, Switchback Entertainment. He began the award-winning web series Salomon Freeski TV nine years ago, travelling to all corners of the planet in search of epic snow and amazing stories. He has also made the jump to directing feature-length material with the recent release of the documentary Snowman. His latest film project, 50 Years of Going Beyond: The Movie, allowed him to “do it all” as writer, producer and director of the film produced by Switchback Entertainment.
What motivates you?
I’m really driven by storytelling. My primary goal as a filmmaker is to become a better and better storyteller. I think that’s one of those things you can’t fully become a master at, so you have to keep refining it and learning.
Favourite thing about Whistler?
Whistler is in a spectacular natural setting, but I think it’s the people that truly make the place special. Whistler is a place that attracts adventurous, forward-thinking people and that energy feeds me all the time. Whistler is the best place on Earth!
Favourite areas to ski?
The Peak Chair on Whistler is my favourite place on a sunny powder day. Of course the skiing is great, but watching people hit the Waterfall cliffs is one of the best live shows you’ll ever see. On stormy days I like to ski the steep tree lines in the Jersey Cream zone on Blackcomb.
Best place to meet locals?
Traditions die hard in ski towns. Dusty’s in Creekside has been a local meeting place for 50 years and a lot of the best local legends originated there. It still has great food, drinks and atmosphere, plus ample free parking.
Favourite family activity?
We enjoy skating at the outdoor ice arena at Whistler Olympic Plaza. It’s free, and my children love it.
Best romantic place to relax with your wife?
Whistler is a whole lot of hustle and bustle when the season is in full swing. The Scandinave Spa is exactly the opposite. It’s an oasis in a world of over-stimulation. I didn’t realize how great it can be to disconnect.