Telemark skier Christopher Graham put his Whitewater season pass to good use this winter. He went up to the resort every single day it was open, logging 122 straight ski days.
Typically it’s alpine skier Bud Stoll who puts in the most days on the mountain. For the past decade Stoll, a Nelson senior, has been skiing at least 100 days per season. This year he clocked 117 days, leaving him as runner up for most days skied.
Graham, who lives in Haida Gwaii between snow seasons, challenged himself two years back to ski every day of the season at Revelstoke Mountain and was successful in skiing 132 consecutive days. For 2013/14 he decided to do it again, but at Whitewater.
Once he set the goal for himself, Graham explained that he just had to convince himself that he had no other option but to go skiing each morning.
“In a lot of ways, it’s really simple.You know every morning you’re going to get up and go to the hill, and you don’t even think of there being an option to not go,” Graham said.
He also had mental tricks to avoid getting bored, like envisioning that everyday and every individual run would be his best ever. He always aimed to make first chair and find some fresh tracks, even during the two week drought in January.
In addition to skiing everyday, Graham wanted to have his pass scanned 1,000 times by the end of the season, which meant he couldn’t just go do a few laps and leave. Typically he’d spend five hour per day skiing, but as closing day approached he started staying until last chair, determined to get enough pass scans.
“I was a pretty hardcore athlete as a kid, so I get really into the numbers,” he said. “I try to keep skiing fun and non-competitive, but I when I set a goal I need to reach it.”
As part of pass holder appreciation day, during closing weekend, Whitewater staff rewarded Graham’s determination. Knowing that he’d hitchhiked up to the hill everyday, they gave him a shuttle pass and locker for the 2014/15 season. He also got to pick out a new jacket from the Whitewater store and was treated to his first ever Fresh Tracks Cafe lunch.
“The Whitewater team is so incredible,” said Graham, who left town after the hill closed. “I had an amazing season and I can’t wait to come back.”