Whistler, Canada

 

Back in British Columbia and Whistler!

This time with good old friends from my childhood: Micke, Hannes, Thomas and Ian. We have already done 4 days on the mountain and it’s time to share some pictures. The riding is insane. There’s anything you can dream of; full blast super technical downhill trails, freeride trails, huge jumps, rock jumps, steep cliffs, slope style, XC-like trails with DH speed, built up North Shore stuff, dirt and even a skate park.

Last year we saw a lot of bears close up, but this time it’s been close to hitting them. Sounds exotic I know, but I tell you it’s pretty scary when you come off a big drop with lots of speed and in the air realize that there is a big black bear on the trail where you intend to land…

Yesterday we finished off by taking part of the Sweep patrol to clear the mountain before closing => got home at nine and started at 11… Bodies are aching and we’ve been nibbling painkillers. Today is simply a day off. OK, to the pictures…

Here’s an overview picture of the valley taken from the top of Whistler Mountain

Part 1

Warning signs are interesting… In some cases they are rather inviting… Like the warning text on the records ”Parental Advisory Explicit Lyrics”… or these signs…

So, let’s get to the riding… Micke is showing how to tweak

…and how to greet the audience

…and how to catch air

…and how to drop

Thomas is hitting the wall

…and tight trails

Hannes goes wide

And demonstrate the old school style

Micke is behind the camera and I get to be in the pics. Step-up to a container

…and a regular step-up

Steep section

Ian pushing to the top

Worth while…

We are enjoying the of riding. Some pics from hanging out in the pool

As mentioned. Yesterday was finished off by taking part in the sweep patrol. Gathering and tactics:

I’ll be back with more within short

Part 2

The day off really became a day off. Then came the rain. Finally the trails would get nicely packed again. The rain continued also the day after. Some kind of rule to live by is to stick to the natural trails while it’s raining and when it’s drying up to go for the built freeride trails.

Maybe this is a Swedish thing, but the wet conditions got all of us super stoked. More technically demanding and the best trail biking so far. Like leaning the entire “Götaland” and pump in some steroids to beef up roots and rocks. Sort of. Except for a trip to the top to enjoy minus two degrees and sleet, we ripped double black diamonds in the lower part of the bike part until Hannes had a bad crash into a tree. Icing and heat…. but the lower part of his back just got more and more swollen along the evening. Obviously Hannes took a day off the following day. Time for XC hero Ian to kick ass. 6 tough hours on BC trails and the rented FS Rocky Mountain seemed more like a hardtail.

Meanwhile the mountain was drying up and we went for the freeride trails. Micke on Dirt Merchant:

The upper part of the park was still covered I a mystifying mist with some light rain. Check carefully and you’ll see Micke in the wallride on Freight Train (yellow windbreaker).

Tunnel section with wallrides:

Blurry but fun. Working up speed for a step-up further down the trail

The sun is breaking through. A-line full speed

Pic of the week. Micke shows the American continent what Olsson Airlines can do on A-line:

In North Van now – will do some trails tomorrow

Part 3

Another day of riding and pretty much the whole body is aching. Hannes crash in Whistler made it impossible to continue. He went back home to Oregon and left the four of us on the North Shore. We’re staying at Hannes’ and Thomas’ cousin only meters away from the trails at Mount Fromme. So naturally we went for the trails close by even though CBC and other trails would have been nice. We had to walk/push for quite some time to make our way up to the trail heads. The forest is just magic with magic shapes and a mesmerizing light. Check out this tree that in an alien-sort-of way has caught it’s pray.

Now some picture from “Seventh secret”, “Ladies Only” and “Skull”. All of them black diamond trails. The picture are not of the best quality – a bit hard to balance the sharp contrasts with a compact camera. Ian:

Micke is rolling a log – clicked in!

Thomas finds a log as well

Me droppin’

Micke is trying the built stuff

The normal trails are of course also built, but mostly it’s natural lines in spite of all cool features. Thomas:

Micke:

Thomas clears this at first attempt, but failed the second. I failed too and now have a giant bruise on my butt and strained my neck. Here’s Thomas (the ladder is twisting back the other way further down in the picture

More built stuff. Thomas:

Me:

Thomas is on a teeter-totter in a sick combination of narrow logs, a swamp and a plastic heron just to split your focus…

The outcome after a week of absolutely ass kicking mountain biking is that we’ve had a blast and have experienced an enormous development of our riding skills, but also… we are wrecks. One hand is double the other in size, same with an ankle, bruises all over, strains, sore muscles, blisters, sore periosteums and so on… But in a weird way you just want to have more. Last full day tomorrow will be spent back in Whistler. Then it’s time for the Swedish posse to head back to Sweden and Thomas to hang around some more days before heading back to California.

Part 4

As for now: just checked in and time to head back to Sweden, but I’ll share a bit from yesterday’s riding in Whistler. Some cruising on ”Express way”…

Only to dive into ”too tight”

In Whistler you see bears often, but we had another close encounter this day. The bear was like 2,5 meters from the trail as we were hammering down ”Heart of Darkness”. Strange feeling. Further up this dude was strolling along

In the afternoon the upper part of ”Freight Train” was closed for maintenance, but we managed to get some runs before that. Olsson airlines:

Micke hanging in the air. It’s not high but it’s a loooong jump

New kicker on an old step-up

At the top station it is cold but the 1200 meters vertical drop makes you warm!

Bit of a rare sight for us Swedes

Even on a sunny day you can find mud. If you look for it.

A ladder on ”In deep”

And a rocky section on the same trail

Sweet drop from different angles and different pilots

More flow

Time’s up – getting the stuff packed

…and enjoying the view on the way down to Vancouver. The Squamish rock in the background.

But all vacations eventually come to an end… We’ve had heaps of awesome riding and a fantastic time together. In fact so much riding that the body would need quite some days to recover. Actually it feels ok to leave but I know too well how it will be. Just having touched Swedish soil and I know that I want nothing else but going back…

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