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Arthur De Jong

Engineer of Epic

Of all the places Arthur DeJong has skied at Whistler Blackcomb, all the hidden nooks and crannies, locals’ hideaways and secret stashes, it’s clear he has a soft spot for one place in particular.

And it’s not just because he has a run named after him there.

The way Arthur feels about the Crystal zone on Blackcomb Mountain is the way many locals feel about the Crystal zone — it just never disappoints.

So, coordinating the 2013’s $18 million expansion project that will transform Crystal on Blackcomb Mountain and the alpine experience on Whistler Mountain with two new lifts, is a project close to Arthur’s heart.

“The Crystal Chair, from a planners perspective, is right in the sweet zone,” he says. It’s far enough up the mountain to get the great snow, low enough to escape those killer coastal storms that can sometimes bring tough visibility and challenging snow conditions to the alpine.

Arthur knows. He has spent 34 years skiing here.

Little did he know, back when he skipped out on a Grade 11 English class with his best friend, that that decision would shape his life’s path.

It was a powder day and as everyone in Whistler knows — there are no friends on a powder day.

Arthur spent the day alone… crashing and burning… and loving every minute. A defining experience. But perhaps the most defining moment was when he decided on the way home: “I’ve got to find a way to make a living here.”

At 19, he landed his dream job — patroller on Blackcomb. It was the eighties — Whistler was a gold-rush town — booming, exciting, wild — climbing out of the deep recession of that decade and showing the world it was here to stay.

“I was very privileged to catch the wave of growth here,” he says. And as Whistler has grown, so too has Arthur.

He has carved out a niche at Whistler Blackcomb, now as the mountain planning and environmental resources manager — a job that speaks to his heart as he focuses on driving resource efficiency at the company.

He has no doubt that he found his true calling in Whistler, just as he had no doubt when the planners were carving out gladed runs on Blackcomb in the nineties where the best one was. Young Arthur put his fingers on the map and pointed.

“Arthur’s Choice” the marketing manager declared.

You’ll find it off the new Crystal Chair.

>ARTHUR’S FAVOURITE RUN:

Rock N Roll, of course