Who Parties the Hardest? At the WSSF, it’s Anybody’s Game.

With the 20th annual World Ski & Snowboard Festival just firing up and Whistler locals staring down ten nights of music, sport, art and hedonistic mayhem, we figured now is a good time to digitize this story from the February 2015 “Tribe Issue” of Mountain Life: Coast Mountains. 
After all, The WSSF motto is “Party in April, Sleep in May.”
You've been here before, right?!
You’ve been here before, right?!   Dave Barnes Illustration.
Who Parties the Hardest?

It doesn’t really matter, but we had to ask . . .

It’s never difficult to find a reason to celebrate in the mountains. It’s always someone’s birthday, or last day in town, or first day, or whatever, and the simple beauty of where we live is reason enough. But when the time comes to really let loose, what tribe does it best?

Using anecdotal evidence gleaned from professional athletes, local bartenders, team managers and two DJs, Mountain Life has come up with a very non-scientific study to discover just that.

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Mountain Bikers

Too cheap to really party properly because their gear costs so much, mountain bikers generally only turn things up a notch when someone else is paying the tab (and then, due to their lack of practice, they usually self-destruct). For sure, there are some heavy-metal-listening, dirt-shredding, raging legends out there, but for the most part the two-wheeled crowd is not in contention.

Rituals — Talking about their gear, Jager Bombs and shotgunning beers.
Gathering ­— Crankworx Whistler, August 7 – 16, 2015

Rock Climbers

Too broke and dirtbag to really navigate any kind of social situation correctly, few rock climbers achieve the status of party hero (the exception that proves the rule is a guy named Johnny Thrash). Also, rock climbing is not hangover friendly — fighting gravity while placing safety gear is not a lot of fun when your vision is blurred and your tongue feels like someone rammed a fresh roll of toilet paper into your mouth.

Rituals Beer, wine and whiskey on the summit, the Food Bank, and smoking.

Gathering — Squamish Mountain Festival, July 15 – 18, 2015


A lot of them have real jobs and they have to drive to and from their spots, so these cats really only get to party when they’re on holiday ripping warm water in the tropics. Which totally counts, but they lose points for not doing it here at home.
Rituals — Topless ragers you never hear about because they’re on a boat in the South Pacific three days from civilization.

Gathering — Squamish Wind Festival, July 24 – 26, 2015


Hahahahaha. Apparently they can party quite well, but most of them seem too tapped into the natural flow of life and the universe to bother.

Rituals — Acoustic guitar, the 100-mile stare, knowing that there’s way more to life than puking on your flip flops.
Gathering —Rip Curl Pro, Tofino, date TBA

Fly Fishermen + Fisherwomen

These heavy hitters do their thing out on the edges of civilization, on remote lakes and rivers far from cops, closing times or families looking to lodge a noise complaint. Plus, their entire sense of being revolves around clean, cold, constantly flowing water — hangovers are no biggie when you can dip your head in a pristine BC river at any time. Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him to fish and he will out-party almost anyone.

Rituals — Campfires, rye, smokes, and pissing in your waders.
Gathering — Squamish Cast & Blast, April 3 – 5, 2015

WINNERS! Skiers &Snowboarders

Either tribe could take the title on any given night, but few subcultures party as hard, as often, or as naked as the wintersports crews. Backcountry cabins, snowcaves, Toad Hall, The Boot, Dusty’s, Seppo’s, The GLC, Sushi Village — Whistler was built on the partying antics of skiers and snowboarders so it’s a double gold with a slim advantage to the skiers because snowboarders still care what other people think. Skiers know they are never going to be the coolest, and they don’t care.

Rituals — Drinking from a shoe if you spill a drink, getting Smirnoff “Iced”, ripping off shirts (own or others) while someone videos it, sake bombs, Jack Daniels, and Fireball.

Gatherings — World Ski & Snowboard Festival, April 10 – 19, 2015

MJ Castor