RAVES & FAVES

A Lo­cal’s Per­spec­tive

Whistler Traveller Magazine - - TRAVELLER I CONTENT - STORY BY DARRYL PALMER

“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.

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