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Blackcomb Surprise

by jim moran

In 1987, I was still an East Coaster living in the town of Stowe, Vermont. I was only 15, but I always hung out with an older crowd. The group had found a trip to the town of Blackcomb, British Columbia that included an 8-day ski pass, airfare from Montreal, seven nights at a hotel, and the whole trip would only cost $650 each. All we would have to do is feed ourselves.

There were eight of us that decided to go, so we all piled into a car, and made the trip up to Montreal. I remember stopping before we got to the Canadian border. We all talked about illegal substances, and we all said that we were clean so there was nothing to worry about. We crossed the border and made it about two miles down the road before my friend Chris drove by in another car roasting a "J" laughing at us. None of us could help letting out a bit of a chuckle.

The weather on our first day in Blackcomb was ugly, but we had already bought the pass so we went up anyway. It was raining hard on the first two chairs, but halfway up the third, we broke through the clouds and it was beautiful and blue. We rode the T-bar on top all day, and had a blast.

"Let's check out the Blackcomb glacier," said my friend Justin. We all agreed, and started to make our way up. My friend Chris rode up the T-bar with a local cinematographer, who told us, "you guys should come with us, this run is sick." We figured what the hell, this guy is a local, and he's a good skier.

We all went to the glacier, traversed the whole thing, and then began our 15-minute hike to the peak. When we all arrived, we were amazed at the view of the other side. It looked like a meteor landed. We were going to ski down into this perfect circle of mountains; there was a little nook on the other side that we planned to hike out of. The powder was over our head, and the hike on the other side took about 5 minutes. It was a steep, narrow chute that took us back to the Blackcomb glacier. We were all very good skiers, and had no problems.

At the bottom this guy said, "why don't you meet me at Cheetas around 7:00. Just ask for the film crew." We all agreed and went on having a great day.

We all kept our word and went up to Cheetas for a brew. I was only 15, about to turn 16, but the drinking age was 18. We walked in, asked for the film crew, and were directed upstairs. We didn't know what was going to be there, but it was more than we expected.

I knew who the guys in front of us were, but they were introduced to us anyway. "This is Greg Stump, Mike Hattrup, Scott Schmidt, Glen Plake some guy, some guy, and some guy."

"Holy shit!" I was 15 and sitting down to dinner with all of my biggest idols. I took a seat next to Scott, and Mike.

"We have already heard a lot about you Jim," Scott said. "Our friend tells use you're a pretty sick little skier. Do you compete?"

"Ah ya, I'm a mogul competitor."

"Cool. I used to race. I thought it was a bunch of fun."

Scott made such a big impression on me. Mike was also incredibly nice to me. I felt he was very, very cool as well. Glen and Greg were at the other end of the table. They were busy with a few ladies, but I would eventually meet them in 10 years when I skied in Greg Stump's film "Fistful of Moguls."

The ski industry makes miracles.