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Author Launches Cheeky History of Whistler

Posted: November 4, 2009

Stephen Vogler is one of those rare Whistlerites who actually grew up in Whistler and he has for some years been running a one-man crusade as writer, broadcaster and author of books to prove his hometown is not only a bona fide community, but a uniquely interesting one.

His new book, Only in Whistler: Tales of a Mountain Town, will prove his point by revealing Whistler’s unconventional and eccentric history.

Vogler will launch Only in Whistler at Roland’s Creekside Pub (2129 Lake Placid Road in Whistler) on Saturday, November 7 at 7pm and in Vancouver at Aphrodite’s Organic Café (3598 West 4th Avenue) on Tuesday, November 10 at 7pm. There will be a reading and slide presentation at 7:30pm at both events.  People will also have the opportunity to meet Stephen at a book signing at Armchair Books on Saturday, November 28 from 2-4pm

Only in Whistler begins in the days when the town had a mere 500 year-round residents who referred to weekend visitors as “turkeys” or “gorbies.” His parents were old-school European alpinists who had given up a comfortable life in Vancouver so they could teach their children how to yodel and schuss in an appropriate setting. People like them, with names like Ples and Wilhelmsen, had developed the ski hill in the 1960s and together formed one of Whistler’s founding cultures. The other founding culture was a swarming, partying mass of snow-hippies who lived rent-free in rough squatters’ shacks and liked marijuana as much as they didn’t like wearing clothes. Their “high” spirits melded with the soberer tradition of the transplanted Tyroleans to produce a hybrid “only in Whistler” character that is equally devoted to serious skiing and unserious living.

Stephen Vogler has written for national publications, including the Globe and Mail and Explore Magazine, as well as for CBC Radio’s Ideas, DNTO and Outfront programs. He is the author of Whistler Features and Top of the Pass: Whistler and the Sea-to-Sky Country. Vogler moved to Whistler as a child in 1976 and now raises his own family there.

The Only in Whistler book launch is free and open to the public; the events are sponsored by Roland’s Creekside Pub, Whistler Brewing Company, Aphrodite’s Organic Café and Harbour Publishing. For more information, email