The Great Yank-Euro Ski-Off

Part 4: Clubbing!

Mar 1, 2006
Outside Magazine

To determine who has real bonhomie and people skills.

SUSHI VILLAGE, arguably the toughest dinner reservation in town, is packed to its uncooked gills on this Saturday night. Over spider rolls and edamame, we discuss the rules of tonight's contest: Since "going big" applies to partying as much as freeriding, the skiers will tour Whistler's wildest clubs, drinking, dancing, and flirting with the ladies. (The flirting is for simulation purposes only: Black has a serious girlfriend, so he would be competing illegally, so to speak.) Whoever folds first loses.

The journey begins at Tommy Africa's, a legendary Whistler hangout. Perret swooshes in wearing a silky red Chinese-flavored shirt from his lone American sponsor, Oakley. Black wears a Dickies workin'-man shirt with a logo from Spyder, his main clothing sponsor; a tie adorned with a skier doing a back-scratcher; and a poofy white pimp cap, given to him by a woman at a Mötley Crüe concert in exchange for a camouflage trucker hat and a T-shirt claiming I PARTIED ALL NIGHT WITH TOMMY LEE.

Perret cuts through a fog machine's effluvium and onto the dance floor. Below an elevated go-go dancer, he boogies to Sir Mix-a-Lot's "Baby Got Back," displaying impressive rhythm for a Swiss engineer.

We roll on to Garfinkel's, another jammed club with vibrating walls. Black enters with panache. "Here I am," he announces to a Hindi girl who's too hot not to have a portfolio or her own Web site. She ignores him, but few others do. Two guys in hoodies, clearly TGR fans, yell "That was Micah Black!" after he passes. Black chats up a beautiful Polish blonde, who gushes, "I'm drunk right now, but you inspire me because you love what you do, and I want to ski because of you."

The night rolls on. And on. The skiers' endurance is most impressive. Girls come and go, including Colleen, an ex-girlfriend of Black's who lives in Whistler. But it's Perret who wins her over with some whispered French. Nevertheless, after a while Colleen leaves alone.

Whistler—a no-holds-barred tourist magnet that's as close as British Columbia ever comes to Vegas—energizes both Black and Perret. And it bonds them, too. The two skiers end up watching the sunrise from the same place, a hot tub on a balcony of the Sundial Boutique Hotel. Though they've both pulled the all-nighter, Perret gets the edge thanks to his Swiss charm and lack of inhibition on the dance floor.

Tie game!