Whistler, Whistler, Whistler

Long time no post on this blog… I’m still in Whistler. A lot happened, I met a lot of nice people, was riding a lot of crazy trails, just had a lot of fun.

Right, I’m a lucky guy to be here. My arm doesn’t hurt anymore that bad and for over a week now I can ride the park again. And that’s what I am here for!

When I got back from Vancouver Island there was the big Pemberton Music Festival going on on Pemby’s airport area, an open-air event with over 40,000 people. I got up with Anne right before the concert of Tom Petty started and instead of watching the concert from somewhere up on the mountain we just sneaked in jumping over a tiny creek. It was a great concert! Free falling…!! With a lot of dust in the air but we survived that.

Once my arm got better I started to ride again on those Lost Lake trails like Peaches en Regalia, Dinah Moe Humm, Fountain of Love, Pinocchio’s Furniture, Dwarf Nebula, Zoot Alures, Toads of the short forest, Gee I like your pants, Son of Mr Green Genes, Jellyroll Gumdrop – nice names, huh? To round this trip up, get up on the hill above Alpine, ride all the way up and take one of those steep downhill trails which brings you down to „A River Runs Through It“ – a wonderful trail with tons of ladder bridges and teeter-totters.

Every Wednesday night they play a movie at Lost Lake – you should definitely check this out! (see Lunafliks) It’s wonderful to sit under the starry sky. Just watch out when you get out there on the valley trail, don’t run into a bear. Last time I almost did, just suddenly saw something black right in front of me. And look at this lovely bear:

On August 1st I met some Swiss guys, Sascha & Aurelia which I knew from back home. It was nice meeting them but we missed each other in the evening and I couldn’t celebrate Swiss national day  with them, there were just Czechs and Solovaks (thanks to Petr) around me at Merlin’s.

Aug 2nd Lili invited us for dinner at her apartment in Emerald’s. She prepared wonderful fish food and we spent such a funny night…
Beware of Emerald’s hoodie gang!

Now I’m ripping the park as much as I can. A week ago I met Jean and Mariana and did some great top-to-bottom riding with them. They are great riders! Look at Mariana’s wonderful smile after some wonderful tables on Freight Train:

The week after Crankworx I will go with her to rip the trails in Kamloops & Silver Star. This is gonna be great!

Last Wednesday Petr, Dom & Pascale took me up on the peak of Whistler mountain and we did some great DH all the way down to Creekside. You can get up there by chairlift only if you’re together with a bike patrol, so thanks a lot Dom for taking us up there!

Let’s make the rest of this post short… it’s just a lot of fun over here. That’s my plans: riding the park this last week and watch at least Crankworx’s slopestyle event on Saturday. Then some days with Mariana in Kamloops & Silver Star – will be great riding our bike there. After that I’m going on a road trip in the US to Yellowstone national park together with Lili. This will be great, she’s such a wonderful girl and we’re going to take our tent and rent a car in Seattle. That’s her:

Gotta get to the park now, Crankworx is going on…

Back in Whistler

Back in Whistler means back in the park, back on the steep trails, back crashing again on Schleyer. I twisted my arm and again, I’m out after just riding the park for another 3 days. Hell, I can’t go on like this. I’m here to ride my bike and not hanging around the whole day. At least, the weather’s nice so I’m heading again to Lost Lake.

This definitely was not my mistake, it was Schley’s. He shouldn’t have built that trail! We met Richie Schley at the after-Loonie-race-party and I gave him a punch for that…

At least I’m able to use my camera with my right arm. I took some nice shots of Arnaud, the Swiss rider I met in the park:

nice, ey?

Whistler park riding

Whistler’s bike park is just sick! There are still trails I haven’t seen so far, the whole Whistler mountain is just full of trails, like a big labyrinth. You find everything, the steepiest most technical downhill tracks and the highest jumps I’ve ever seen, flowy burms and crazy ladder bridges (the thing we call „North Shores“ back in Europe but nobody calls them like this over here).

I gotta get back to the park now. It’s Jake’s last day in Whistler, the crazy guy from Maui (Hawaii). We gotta rip down those tracks together. It’s so much fun riding with him. He’s riding his bike like a pro but he still doesn’t speed up too fast risking his life like a lot of guys do in the park. Yesterday his friend did that huge double with the huge gap down in the X cross park, the biggest double in the whole park. I was almost following him, but glad I didn’t… He just lost his bike in the middle of the air and bumped right into the landing wall. Damn, that was bad! He broke his clavicle (collar bone) on his last days in Whistler.

So, that’s us, the remaining ones:

Look at that kid to our right, he’s from Geneva, Switzerland. He’s riding his bike like nuts and does all kind of tricks in the air. It’s really fun riding with him. When we took him all on the top and rode all the way down he just had such a huge smile. Look at his teeth!

Last Sunday I was riding together with Petr on Whistler’s west-side mountain. There are just so many trails there, all real biking trails, hiking strictly forbidded! In Switzerland it’s just the other way round. We did some steep uphill and I was sweatening quite a bit with my heavy downhill bike. Petr showed me a steep downhill, a wonderful track. It ended up in the valley trail which is full of ladder bridges.

And after every ride… back in the Village at Miro’s coffee shop, Esquire’s:

Hey, besides, we got the apartment! $900 for 5 weeks, right in Upper Village, isn’t that great? I’m going to share the 2bdrm apartment with Anne, the German girl from the hostel. But first, I’m heading off to Vancouver for the next 3 days. And now I definitely gotta get back to the park to join Jake for some last great rides. See you soon!

Welcome to Whistler!

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.

The flight

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!

Greenland

And look at those glaciers…

Greenland 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!

Petr & me

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.

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