Here I am, I finally made it to Whistler!
Currently I am staying at the HI-Hostel right at Alta Lake – a wonderful spot. The water is warm as this lake doesn’t seem to get fed by all the glaciers of the surrounding area. I can jump into it at any time. It’s just wonderful to get back sweatened from the bike park and go for a swim.
That’s how I got to Whistler… I took a flight with Airberlin changing airplane in Duesseldorf. The guy from Zurich, Ogi – a relative of the former Swiss president – sitting next to me told me about Greenland. He showed me his wonderful pictures he took last time visiting his girlfriend in Canada. And wow, we flew over Greenland again! What an amazing view!
And look at those glaciers…
This was really a wonderful flight. I was just missing a bit of sleep as we were following the sun all the time. I ended up in a 24hrs day without sleeping.
The bus dropped me off on highway 99 «sea to sky highway» at Wayside Park. I sat there next to the road with my huge backpack & bike box. I unpacked it and stuck it all together. It seemed almost impossible to ride that bike with all that luggage, but I managed to get over on the other side of Alta Lake reaching the wonderful HI-Hostel.
Whistler bike park
Here I am, riding my SantaCruz VPfree in Whistler bike park. And wow, it’s just great! I have never seen such huge trails with killing high jumps before. On my first day in the park I actually wanted to save up the A-line run for later on, but then I couldn’t hesitate to check it out.
I started with Crank It Up, a great trail with tons of tables and huge jumps. Then I checked out the A-line. Down at the lifts I heard a 10 year old kid shouting at his dad «Hey, I swear to God, A-line’s the best line in the world!» – he was right!
In the evening I met Petr, Kika’s friend. He was just around the corner at Rainbow Park finishing the Looney-race (the local weekly Thursday-night race). We went out for a beer and I had my first huge burger. I hope the weather on Sunday is better than the promised in the forecast as Petr wants to show me the «Disney Land» trail, some motocross trail nearby. Sounds like a great plan!
My second day in the park
Oh well, that was just too much. Lucky I’m still alive!
In the afternoon Shelvin from Ohio took me up on the Garbanzo lift at 1650m. We ripped down the Freight Train an A-line kind of trail just with even higher jumps. I was quite chilly up there. The upper lifts have just opened a week ago, before there was still snow.
I was following Shelvin. He rode like crazy taking all the biggest jumps and doing all kind of tricks in the air. I just trusted him and thought if he can do it, I can do it as well. Before the most crazy stunts he warned me and asked me if we should take the chicken run but I was fine and just followed him. I even jumped up that huge truck or whatever it was – I would have never done this by myself. This was my greatest run I’ve ever had.
Back down at the bottom I met this guy from Maui (Hawaii), Jake. He’s another crazy guy riding his bike like nuts. He was like «Huh, I’m going on my own now, the others are just sick, they are riding their bikes like they were motocross bikes. I’m off, I gotta do some real mountain biking, some technical stuff, I’m sick of all this who-can-fly-the-highest kind of shit!». Together we went up with the Garbanzo lift. We started with Original Sin a pretty tricky trail. We took all the double diamonds in between. Whistler bike park got green (easiest), blue (intermediate), and black (advanced) marked trails. The black ones are marked with a single black diamond. And then there are those double diamonds… When you see them you think those Canadians are just nuts. So, we ripped down Original Sin, Captain Safety (double-diamond), Fatcrobat (double-diamond), D1 (double-diamond, pro line), Schleyer (double-diamond), Lower Whistler Downhill (double-diamond), Lower A-line. That was a crazy run, some real technical stuff, more the thing I know from Switzerland.
Once we got back up again with the lifts it was already like 7:30 pm and the bike patrol asked us to do sweeping line 18 – a great line, actually just the same we did before. Weather conditions were a lot worse, we didn’t see anything up on the mountain. Some jumps just leaded into nowhere, into strong fog. We picked up a guy that was already wounded on his knee – a stupid guy running on trails that were way over his limits. Those sweeping lines are really a great idea. There are just too many trails for the bike patrol to check at the end of the day.
That’s Jake, a great rider from Mali (Hawaii) with the sweeping line card in his hand:
It’s Saturday now, gotta get out up to the bike park soon. Weather is pretty shitty but as soon as the sun comes out the trails dry so fast. First I need to check for the 2bdrm apartment in Whistler Upper Village, there might be a chance getting the rent for over a month together with Anna, a German girl I met in the hostel.