When I found out that I was gonna get to spend my summer digging at Momentum I couldn't have been more stoked. Having only gotten the news a couple of days before I needed to be there I didn't have too much time to really think about what I was getting myself into. I quit my well paying job as office slave at a law firm and hopped on a plane to Van.
Me… so stoked.
After making the way up to Whistler on the sketchiest/oldest Perimeter bus ever with the AC on max (magazine doubling as a blanket... but street bums figured that out way before me). I got set up with my accommodations and met the rest of the digging crew. On first meeting these guys I thought... "Great... I'm the only chick digging with these guys who have been best friends since the womb". Wrong! These broads had actually only met a week earlier and had already become this tight I would later learn. The crew consisted of me, Kieran/Chip Nikula, Tyler/PB Lillico, Rob/Bobby Harrison, Arden/Piano Man Schiller, John Macgregor/Riddle, Sash Lazic, and Mark Drebit in the beginning, with Pat Kerzetski and Jon Brogan as the illest dig-to-rides ever. Lord of dogtown, Brett (Thee Twins on Facebook… ladies…), joined us later on in the summer as a full time digger. Dane Tudor helped out as much as a one armed monkey could and managed to forget to bring me candy everyday but threw down fatter tricks than your mom's hips. Kaya Bamba/Turski was there shredding when she wasn't coaching, and the filming nerds Alex Mathers and Craig Lamond also got their dig on some days... so yeah, pretty much we had a really duuu crew for sure!!
Diggers, lookin’ good.
The first couple of days we were together were during the first adult session. Man, were some of these campers gnarly! One guy even had a deeeep purple bruise covering one whole ass cheek. The adults definitely know how to send it on the hill but in the bar as well. The end of session party took over Buffalo Bill's and Johnny owned everyone in downing extra fizzy wobbly pops including Mr. Smart himself. There was also an absurd number of cougars at the bar that night just prowling around the rest of the diggers. One digger dropped the ball a little bit and may or may not have gotten himself kicked out of the bar for slithering around with his hood on and basically being a really awesome creep show... thata boy!!
No better way to start your day… MEEEERLINS!!
No lack of love here.
Let me tell you digging ain't always easy kids. Especially when you're all pretty much rookies and there's no head digger to kick you in the ass when you're being a fool. I experienced many a foolish moments on the glacier as I learned how to dig through experience. Take one day... the boss man is looking everywhere for the hand-held saw. Being a dumb girl who never works with power tools I don't know what this thing looks like but the name is pretty self explanatory you'd think right? So I go looking for the damn thing and can't find it anywhere. I do however come across some hand held sort of power tool. But I know by looking at it that it's definitely not a saw... it's a grinder for sure. But here it is in this little box way off to the side of home base and if I don't make sure this isn't the thing maybe it'll sit here for the rest of the summer and no one will ever find it. Besides... maybe it has a saw attachment? Semi-rational thinking right? These were all my thoughts as I brought this hand-held GRINDER to the boss to see if this was what he was looking for. He takes a look at it... then me... then back at it and says: "That's a grinder Jen." I know, Trennon.
Lose a bet Bobeh?
Around the end of session two though we heard a new head digger was coming in to give us a little more direction and experience. His name was J.A. Maheu and man was Jah ever the bomb diggity. We were all pretty stoked on this friendly Frenchie but our first day working all together Jah took a wee little tumble. Someone said he was just side slipping but someone else said he was one upping Spriggs and throwing a switch dub cork 1400 before Spriggs could even get to Whis. Either way after day one with him our new head digger was down a collarbone. We were all super bummed but it didn't seem to phase Jah at all and he still managed to swindle us some digger beers and party with us at Sushi that night.
Mason and Meg with the fresh new Voleurz gear.
Aaahhh yes camp dinners at Sushi Village. I live for these nights. The night before every new session begins Smarty Pants oh so graciously takes the staff out for the best damn dinner ever. The food is so good you just want to rub it all over your face and the beverages go down smoother than peach iced tea. You gotta watch out if there's a dumbo around and you're out of sake marg to chase that microwaved rubbing alcohol with though. There were some good shoes done this summer... I can still taste the toe jam from Pat's fur lined shoes (he wore those bad boys every day to the ski hill for a year... chew on that yuminess) and Spriggs man-ing up and taking the shoe that was rightly his was also pretty sweet. You could pretty much punch me in the face, dig my skis into the snow and salt them in, then only give me cooked spaghetti noodles to dig them out with but if we were going to sushi dinner that night I'd still be the most pumped person ever. Sushi got epic when Bibby would throw down his freestyle of Billy’s "We didn't start the fire".
Empty pitchers… that’s no good.
Bravo Spriggs, shoe well done.
Diggers came and went throughout the summer. Dreb left us early on to enlighten his mind with academics. Right around session 3 was when Meg Olenick showed up. The biceps on this brunette were ridiculous. We clicked pretty much instantly. It was fun to have another chick to shred with. Not long after Meg joined us that spicy little pipe killa Dania Assaly gave us a hand digging and also tore up the lane. I heard she kissed a girl and liked it too. Canada Day was a rager with these girls in town. The Digger Haus held it down with a bumpin gathering. Even our really sweet neighbours were stoked on it. They didn't try to block in anyone's cars with cement baricades or make death threats or anything else crazy like that.
Dania, me, and Meg… Rihanna kissed us and we liked it.
Canada eeehhh!! Dreb, Craig, Alex, Brett, me, Johnay, Shmeg, Sash… only 3 of us showing our pride, one being American.
The digger house was sweeter than Katy Perry's cherry chapstick. Right smackdab on Lake Alta with a pirate dock and Bibby's pride and joy canoe, Ely Mae, we had lots of good times. Closing doors or windows was optional. This way we really got to know our friends of the forest quite well. Those raccoons were so ballsy when it came to snatching food, the chipmunks were cute and the crazy blue bird was just plain freaky. Arden brought up his keyboard to keep his skills fresh and amazed us on a regular basis with his ridiculous talent; the next Elton John for sure. There was a layer of air soft pellets on the floors at all times and that's the way we liked it; it felt more home-y that way.
Welcome to the good life.
When it came time for Meg to leave it shook me to the core. For a while there I was lost and confused, couldn't eat, couldn't sleep, I just played with a rubik's cube all day. Sushi dinner shook me out of my funk and I realized that I had to keep on keeping on. By this point Chris Turpin and Dana Flahr had taken over as joint-head digger and the lane was looking deeeeaaaammnnn fine. The diggers felt pretty special having two Dads instead of one like most losers. Not to mention these big poppas were certified dope boy fresh.
The nightlife in Whis is obviously bumpin but I gotta say that my funnest night of the summer was when the diggers and coaches all stayed up on the glacier for the annual Momentum sunset shoot. After all the regular folk headed down for the day our group chilled in the Horstman hut and trundled, bbq'd and threw back some cold ones down the wind pipe. We were all pretty skeptical of the weather but it ended up clearing and was sooo epic!! The tunes were blasting and the vibe was super chill it was so fun to session the jump. Everybody threw down some bangers and got some shots and we finished off the night getting to ride down 7th Heaven at warp speed.
Cosco after the night shoot straight outta Turpin’s boot.
Having the best time ever… photo: Dan Carr
As the last session came to a close Turpin declared it tight jean and comb-over day. The diggers looked damn sexy that day and were throwing down old school trains like nobody's business. After the last kiddie session was done some of the staff got to head up to Pemberton to the Lillooet River where Eric Pehota took us ripping through rapids on his pimp boat. The best way to describe this guy is bad ass... I was just so in awe being in a boat with such a legend meanwhile I was also holding on for dear life cause he rips just as hard with his boat as he does on skis. After bbq'ing by the riverside, me, Kieran, Tyler, and Rob ventured off into a junkyard and found a toys r' us of really hardcore machinery... did lots of heavy duty serious man shit y’know? It didn't take long for the rest of the crew to realize that the keys were in the ignition to some of these beasts and we were running our own lumber yard before you could say "that's what Craig said".
On toight jeans day… Dana, Bibs, Me, Tyler, Rob, Kieran, Pat, Brett, Johnay, Brogan, __?__, Sash.
Eric Pehota with the staff tearing thru the Lillooet River.
We may or may not have moved some serious wood.
This summer was definitely one for the books! Before I knew it it was the end of summer, everyone’s leaving and shots of 151 are flowing through the bar fast like Ely Mae down the River of Golden Dreams. I miss Whistler and the people but nothing gold can stay I guess. Writing this update kinda really sorta maybe almost felt really shitty and was a struggle for me cause it was hard to put into words how sick/fun/awesome/dope/mexican/obama/mccain/weird(hehe) this summer was... I did my best... and you should all check out Momentum next summer cause it's the funnest place west of Canada's Wonderland!
Thanks soo much to Momentum (John, Trennon), Ali T and Tyler at Salomon, and everyone who’s pictures I borrowed for this update… Chelsea Heni, Meg, Alex, Craig, Kieran… giddy up you’re all the best!!