MOUNTAIN LIFE - Coast Mountains | Summer 2018

SUMMER 2018 MLCM 97 words :: Ben Osborne “I don’t like the term ‘ski bum’ – it implies you are lazy.” Chris Winter is an under-the-radar Whistler legend. He’s a forward- thinking philanthropist and a race-trained freeskier with almost a decade of magazine and film coverage to his name. But let’s get one thing straight: Chris Winter is not, and never was, a ski bum. Certainly he has a ski bum-esque origin story. As an Ontario teen, he arrived in Whistler for ski racing summer camp in 1989. By 1992, he was graduated and back in town searching for freedom, big mountains and deep powder. Over the next few years, he skied, filmed with the big movie companies on even bigger mountains, and made the Whistler Blackcomb Freeride Team – but his true accomplishments lie in the annals of mountain bike history. Chris Winter is a mountain bike revolutionary. After a bad fall during a sunset ski shoot with Teton Gravity Research, Chris found himself with idle time in Whistler recovering from a torn ACL. In that year off snow, he began thinking about how to share his love of winter with those less fortunate, but as his knee healed, Chris found most of his attention drawn to the fledgling summertime sport of mountain biking. He’d been riding ‘mountain bikes’ since he was a child, and when his parents (Ottawa schoolteachers who started a global cycle-touring company in 1972) came home in the late '80s with three new bikes from out west called the Rocky Mountain Discovery, a seed was planted. CHRIS WINTER HOWTO SPEND FREE TIME WISELY LIFER Skier (not ski bum), biker, philanthropist. LEFT BLAKE JORGENSON, TOP FRANCOIS PANCHARD, BOTTOM COURTESY OF CHRIS WINTER