WinterPRIDE 2012 In Whistler: Dancin’, Drinkin’ and Dudes

Well, another ski week has come and gone and so far nothing burns when I pee so let’s declare this one a total success! I didn’t end up meeting my international prince charming so not a TOTAL conquest, but low drama, high fun and minimal hangovers definitely score big time in my books so I’ve got nothing but great things to say re: this year’s WinterPRIDE.

Interestingly, about 4 years ago to the day was the first ever post I published on Homorazzi and how things have changed! But, what hasn’t are my closest friends and co-owners of the site: Donovan and Patrick who came up en masse with a throng of razzi writers (Tyrell, Nic, Tommy, Rich, Stephen and Jonny) to enjoy the festivities to their fullest. True, a maxed out gay ski week experience starts the Sunday earlier but busy lives and jobs prevail so we restricted our adventures to this past weekend and boy did we make up for lost time!

Gay ski week is a decades old tradition in Whistler B.C., one of Canada’s most pristine and wondrous towns. Admittedly, it costs a pretty penny to get to, live, and party there: the scenery is triple A grade and the options for fun once up there are unending. Specifically during Gay Ski Week (which historically occurs around mid Feb annually), the whole village is taken over by mo’s from all across Canada and in fact the world. I’d argue it’s the most international week they get up there: it’s certainly the hottest 😉 We’ve been opting for condo living for the past few years now as it offers pret-a-habiter housing for a very reasonable price… and you always get your own hot tub woof. So, this year, most of the Homorazzi crew were collected and determined to have an amazing time out, and we did.

Arriving on the Friday, we hit that highway up the mountain as early as possible to ensure proper prep time for the Apres opener of the weekend (Tyrell and Patrick at the Apres pictured above with Jake Mossop from MTV’s ‘1 Girl 5 Gays‘). As gays skied in off the mountain fashionably late became quite en vogue as the party took a little while to start up, but once it did, the Telus centre (the large, open space venue for the event) became packed wall-to-wall. A bit sprawled I will argue, it’s a little hard to effectively cruise these parties, especially at my palsy 5″10 stature as the whole space is on one floor so hunting a vantage point to find that perfect muscle daddy becomes a bit of an issue. As such, pretty early on I decided to make this a friend-centric weekend as there were so many guys I only get to see once a year at this weekend and just as many who live in Van but rarely go out so it was the perfect time to take advantage of my reasonable sobriety and make some actual connections. The Apres was a great kick off to the weekend and a very good way to see just who the hell came out this year and for those looking to, scope out the hottie you were going to get the liquid courage up to say hi to later that evening.

That night was one of the biggest parties of that weekend at the Celebrities Snowstorm event at Garfinkels. DJ’d by resident muscle man- and my good friend Nick Bertossi– and featuring our very own Tommy D as his alter and outrageous ego Syren, the party was (pardon the 90s expression) completely off the hook. Hosted at the basement club Garfinkels, this large space venue was lined with handsome homos looking to have a great time. The music was just how I like it: lyrical, house and fun and had everyone dancing until they had to drag us kickin’ and screaming at the end of the night. Actually, the end of the night was spent lining like lemmings for an impossible coat check line so definitely leave the gortex at home next time is my tip to the wise. It was a night to drink and be merry as different spots around the club offered you a place to sit, to chat or just to dance sans shirt until you got dragged on stage (I’m hoping Donovan plays the video of our handsome friend Josh who got pulled up by Syren to gogo into the night at this point haha). Nick definitely knows how to read a crowd and this one was young, lively and not looking to stop until the ugly lights came on. A highlight of the weekend for sure!

The next day was spent attempting to eat food to recover and keep the ol’ ticker going through till the circuit event that night: if Friday was for catching up with friends, Saturday was for lovin’! Donovan and our friend Ardee from Seattle decided to switch it up this afternoon and hit the Bobsledding… chute? I and the other boys of course opted to hit the packed T-Dance and see Tyrell perform on the main stage. Yet another busy affair, I managed to spackle myself (vaguely) together and we slipped in right in time to catch Patrick’s fiance take up the mic. Backed by some gorgeously tight dancers (girls thank god), Tyrell did a great job performing three of his big songs and filling that huge space DESPITE the insanely ridiculous timing of Whitney Houston’s death literally to 400+ gay guys’ phones within the first minute of his show. Personally, I’d be terrified if a handful of gays started tearing up and panicking during me on-stageness but I have to hand it to the kid, he played his part without missing a beat! The party was extended an extra hour to allow for proper cruising and boozing but alas… still no boyfriend for me ha.

As the night started to fall on most men’s “last call” big party, house parties galore took up all around the village. We hauled up in our place playing “celebrities” and laughing our ass off as I continually bombed every attempt to figure out the name pasted to my forehead. Deciding that a huge party party wasn’t for everyone we split into two groups as some headed to the straight clubs for the night and the rest of us returned to the suddenly decorated and gorgeously adorned Telus centre for Snowball. Opened by my ever-handsome and always smilin’ friend DJ Adam Dreaddy, the night kicked off to a great start. A vast dance floor filled with quickly disrobing, topless men, I was instantly in a great mood. Not sure if it was outside factors but it just seemed to be a great energy all about the place as laughter and dancing took over every guy there.

Now, I’m not sure if you’ve ever been to a circuit party, but to put the next boon I’m about to tell you in perspective I have to explain that the last one I went to literally turned OFF the cold water in the washroom as they jacked the H20 bottle prices up to 7 bucks a pop. SO, when I turned around from the dance floor to find a free (YUP, FREE) offering of cold, Whistler fresh water and unending cups, I nearly couldn’t believe it. It may sound a little cheap of me, or small potatoes to care about but it was such a healthy and generous offer from the party throwers that I had to mention it here: maybe you had to be there haha. While DJ Dreaddy always does (and this night was no different!) a great job giving me some recent songs revamped for that hard pumpin’ evening of dance, I have to admit that the headliner: DJ Manny Lehman wasn’t the biggest draw for me. Having heard him before in San D, I appreciate the experience and work but do find him a bit dated for the modernity of Whistler Pride. Personally, I’m looking for a bit of a fresher face laying down some tracks that mix the newest and best coming out of today’s biggest singers. Still, not a single person dropped the smile as the night went on and the crowd stayed strong.

Overall, the weekend was a freaking blast. Not a dip to speak of as party to party went off without a hit and each event went harder and longer than the first (haha, yeah, I just said it ;). I am now 6 years deep with Gay Ski Week’s and plan to keep it going strong. Congrats to Dean and Ken for pulling off one helluva time for scarf-bound and secretly leather-clad men all weekend long. I’m on countdown mode until the next one: three hundred and sixty something to go ha.

Homorazzi Does WinterPRIDE 2012