Whistler isn't real10 juillet
This blog entry has been inspired by the good times and great people with whom we've shared the last week in Whistler.
When we left Quebec for BC, we set the GPS arrival point to “Whislter” where Camp of Champions is based out of. After meeting up with Ken and Jeff in Vegas at Interbike last fall, we proceeded to work out a partnership for the summer of 2010 where campers and coaches would get to ride NS bikes, Morewood bikes and Kali helmets. Jeff invited us over to see what camp was all about.
Upon arrival, Jeff Young, the camp director, immediately hooked us up with a room and access to the compound. For those of you who don't know what the compound is, it's the coolest place on earth! Walk in and you'll find a basketball court, pool table, ping pong table, couches with frikin' huge TVs hooked up to playstation 3s, a half pipe, a few quarter pipes and boxes/banks, some gnarly dirt jumps with a mulch landing on the last one and a wicked air bag for practicing tricks (way cooler than the foam pit btw). So basically it's a place to chill after a good day of riding in the Whistler Bike park.
So we got all our stuff out of the Lama-mobile and quickly made ourselves at home in one of the dorms. Camp is rad! I just love chillin' in a room full of bikes with good music and friends. And that's what it was all about.
Friday was our first day in the bike park and we were stoked! We got up and got dressed as quickly as we could, hurried over to the meet point and tried to contain ourselves during breakfast and while waiting in line for our lift passes. So excited to get on the hill!! Once all of that was done and dealt with, we were on the lifts, only a few minutes to freedom.
We rode all day, following Ryan Berrecloth and Gareth Dyer anywhere they would take us. It was great to follow these guys since they new exactly where they were going and which lines to hit. It allowed us to pin-it down trails we had never seen or heard of before. Good stuff. I have to mention the fantastic lunch we had at the GLC. Try the GLC burger if you're in Whistler ;)
Evenings are filled with extra curricular activities and the compound is the place to be if you want to see insane tricks going down. Mike Montgomery came up with the “California Roll” one night. Check it out on pinkbike.com
The riding in whistler is insanely fun. Trail maintenance is impressive and the stunts are fun to ride. We captured some video for you guys to see what it's like.
We also hit one of the local pump tracks. Props to the boys building and maintaining these sexy playgrounds. You need to be quite fit to make your way around one of these. They are great training for all kinds of MTBing.
The difference this year, a part from the incredible setup we had, was riding Garbanzo. The Garbanzo chairlift take you almost as high as you can go on Whistler and gives you access to delightful trails and jaw dropping views. I only really realized how replenishing the Garbanzo experience was when Jeff pointed it out at super on our last night. It has this effect of allowing you to re-center yourself, gather your thoughts and let your passion for mountain biking take over. Deep stuff I know but you'll get it once you're up there.
We were blessed with good weather, particularly the last few days, great riding and awesome company. I must say, we felt right at home with the crew and the campers. On Sunday we took part of the group to a more challenging trail (In deep) and we did a “race clinic”. Basically we worked on line choices and techniques to make it through a ruff section with speed. Chocho and Yann were doing demos, trying to bomb down as fast as they could, showing the kids how lines don't always work like you want them to. The guys dug it and will most likely be applying those tips and tricks to their race runs in the future. Most of them are on their first year of racing or will be racing next year. So cheers boy! May your race careers be long and prosperous (sigh!)
To sum up, I can't think of a better way to spend time in Whistler then with some down to earth, good hearted fellow riders like the guys from Camp of Champions. Although our road trip must continue, it saddens me to watch the Mecca of mountain biking disappear in my rear view mirror. I'll just have to bide my time t'ill next year.
P.S. The title of this article “Whistler isn't real” is the property of Jeff Young ;) haha!