I was fortunate enough to attend the screening of 50 Years of Going Beyond. The event took place in Whistler and was attended by about 250 people, mostly locals. The audience was a potpourri of young and old, athletes and ex-athletes, Whistler originals and newcomers. I expected to see a Warren Miller type of film, with skiers and boarders jumping off cliffs and sun worshippers galore. Instead the film was a clever, concise documentary of the birth, struggles and success of a world-class ski resort.
One of the more poignant moments occurred when the moderator asked the audience to stand up. Confused by the request, we did as asked. He then asked all those who have used Whistler for less than 10 years to sit down. Then he asked for those who have used Whistler for 20 years or less to sit down, then 30 years, then 40 years. At 45 years a few were still standing but at over 50 years, just a handful l of gray haired athletes and founders were left standing. The standing ovation for them was emotional for all.
The producers of the film had interviewed the founders and managers of both Whistler and Blackcomb. It was fascinating to hear about the difficulties of these startups. The extreme competition between the two enterprises finally came to a head. A merger took place that would impact the development of future facilities in the Pacific Northwest. Standout moments in the film include the merger, the 2010 Olympics and the Peak 2 Peak gondola. Yes, there were ski and snowboard shots in the film too. Having some of the main principals in attendance was a bonus as was the ensuing question and answer period.
50 Years of Going Beyond is outstanding. See for yourself! Watch the full movie above