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Crankworx – Enduro & Garbo DH

I can’t believe Crankworx has come and gone so quickly.  It has been a few years since I have been in Whistler for this amazing mountain bike festival and it seems as though I spent all summer looking forward to it and it just blew by.  Although I was working long hours during the week, I did manage to get out and catch a couple of events.

I definitely haven’t got biking/sports photography dialed, but I suppose it’s all about getting out there and practicing.  So here are a few photos from the Canadian Open Enduro (Stage 2) & the Garbonzo DH races.

Click a thumbnail to flick through photos!

Enduro Pics:

 

Garbo DH Pics:

I’ll try to get my photos of the always epic “Joyride” and “Canadian Open DH” events up asap!

The Big Move

Hi everyone,

I have decided that I am going to move my blog from the hosted wordpress.com to a self-hosted site using wordpress.org.  Thank you to everyone who is following me and hopefully you should still get notifications about my posts.  I am seconds away from posting at the new site so if you don’t get a notification about it you can sign up at http://www.onelifeonewhistler.com.

Hopefully you will continue to enjoy what I have to offer and as always any feedback or comments are welcome.

 

Bluebird day after day…..

In my recent posts I have commented on the glorious weather we are currently being blessed with in Whistler.  Well, it’s still here and still amazing.  When I woke up yesterday, the first thing I saw out my window got me pretty pumped to get out there and ride some trails.

Bluebird

Bluebird

Unfortunately my attempts to get out on my bike were thwarted by a broken bottom bracket.  I figured once I had that replaced, I may as well put on all the new drivetrain components that had just come in the post.  As it turns out, I am not a bike mechanic and after hours of fiddling, tweaking and cursing I only had my shifter to hook up.  It was broken.  Perfect.  At my wits end, I told my buddy to head on without me, as I had exhausted all my knowledge and patience.  He promptly came over and set about trying to help.  It took him about an hour and half to sort it, but he finally cracked it.  We had long since given up on our ride and had cracked our first beers.  At least I would be good to go the next day.

Before that day came around, I managed to get myself to Araxi Restaurant for dinner.  Its a great time of year in Whistler because during the slow season a lot of restaurants put on amazing specials.  This allows a lot of locals, seasonaires and tourists who couldn’t usually afford some of the higher end places to get out and test their menus.  Araxi puts on a fantastic five course meal for $31, and it is phenomenal.  Definitely worth checking out.  24 hours later I would be dining in another popular venue, the Rimrock Cafe.  The Rimrock are putting on a great four course menu for the same price, and it also exceeds expectations.

It was tough to wake up this morning, still deep in my food coma, but 0700 rolled around and out on the trails I went.  Peddled out to Alpine Meadows, for a sneaky little climb up to Cat Scratch Fever and Mandatory Suicide.  These two trails are steep, technical and always get my blood pumping.  Once Mandatory Suicide is over, the trail mellows out a lot into Mel’s Dilemma and Emerald Forest which are both fairly easy undulating terrain.

Climbing

Climbing

I won’t go on to much about disc golf as I have covered it before,  however it was an absolute scorcher out there today and some of the views were incredible.

Negotiating trees on the third

Negotiating trees on the third

View from behind the trees above the 18th hole.  Not a cloud in sight.

View from behind the trees above the 18th hole. Not a cloud in sight.

At the end of the game, I had one thing on my mind.  Iced coffee.  It was hot.  I was thirsty and tired.  I couldn’t bike there quick enough.  With coffee in hand, it was to the couch for a little rest before heading down to the Rimrock Cafe for dinner.

We just caught the dying moments of the sunset down by Alta Lake.  It would have been great to have been there earlier however we still scored some pretty incredible views.

Big fan of Instagram. Helping out mediocre photographers everywhere.

Big fan of Instagram. Helping out mediocre photographers everywhere.

Testing out a new lens.  The shots will get better.  I hope.

Testing out a new lens. The shots will get better. I hope.

Ahhhhh what a sensational couple of days.

Summer is here early!

We have had some incredible days in Whistler recently. Very warm temperatures and cloudless skies has caught many off guard and there is a lot of red and sore people wandering around the village. I don’t know what the mercury rose to today, but it is 18:50 right now and it is still 24 degrees Celsius out there.

I worked late last night, however I managed to get up at a reasonable hour and headed out into the heat. First stop was the Frisbee golf course at Spruce Grove. 27 holes set in the forest between Lost Lake and Green Lake, it is an awesome way to pass time. It is a busy course and you often bump into a lot of people. There are some cool views of the valley, Green Lake and Rainbow and Sproatt Mountains.

One style of throwing the disc

Only armed with my Iphone and Instagram, I managed to capture a couple of ‘shots’

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After a hot yet fun 2 hours wandering around the forest throwing terrible shots at baskets and poles I had time for possibly Whistler’s premier summer activity, mountain biking. I figured I could hit up the XC trails around lost lake and then have time for some of the trails around the Alpine Meadows area. The Lost Lake trails are roughly a 9.5km loop from my house around and shouldn’t take much longer than 30 minutes. Nice mellow blue level climbs and descents with a couple of tricky features for the more daring.

IMG_0989 IMG_0990

Today wasn’t my day. I got a flat tire about 15 minutes in and realized I hadn’t mended my spare tube the last time I had this happen so instead of a quick transition it turned into a lengthy rest. Not the worst place to be while mending a tire. Deep in a beautiful coastal temperate rainforest. Fortunately in the shade. After getting the wheel back on the bike, the rest of the ride was fairly smooth, well apart from one over the handlebars (OTB) incident. All in a days ride really.

Once the ride is completed a couple of options are available to get back to the village. One can either head back into the forest and ride some green level single tracks which link up with some more blue climbs and descents or head back along the valley trail next to the Fitzsimmons Creek for an easy cruise.

Due to my incidents we weren’t able to hit up the Alpine Meadows trails, however it was still an awesome way to spend a day before heading to a full night of work, hopefully preparing to do it all again tomorrow.

Reminiscing

It’s a pretty miserable day outside today, or at least it looks that way from my window.  I am struggling to find the motivation needed to actually investigate the conditions further.  I figured while I am just sitting around, I could delve into my pictures and get excited for the fast approaching summer.

Green Lake looking towards the Armchair Glacier

Green Lake looking towards the Armchair Glacier

Before I tried (and became addicted to) mountain biking, I spent a lot of time at the lakes.  I had access to canoes and enjoyed spending a lot time on the water.  The River of Golden Dreams, a mellow two hour paddle from Alta Lake to Green Lake is an incredibly popular activity in Whistler.

Slow, playful paddle with sensational backdrops.

Slow, playful paddle with sensational backdrops.

In the early months of summer, depending on how fast the snow is melting the river can flow a little fast, however for the most part it is a super mellow float.  On a sunny day it delivers arguably some of the best views in Whistler.  Glorious scenery of the Armchair Glacier, Spearhead, Whistler & Blackcomb Mountains just to mention a few.

View from my Kayak.  Looking towards the Armchair Glacier and Wedge Mountain.

View from my Kayak. Looking towards the Armchair Glacier and Wedge Mountain.

Several companies in town offer a tour, either guided or unguided, starting you in Alta lake and depending on their respective pick up points, ending somewhere towards the end of the river or in Green lake itself.  The companies include; Whistler Eco Tours, The Adventure Group and Backroads Whistler.

Generally it takes two to three hours to complete, possibly shorter if you go for it and the river is flowing quickly.  Beware of the bends if it is flowing quickly, as it is definitely possible to capsize.  A lot of people assume that because it is so mellow it is just like paddling on a lake.  I have seen many a person struggling to get back into their boats and, having been in the water myself, I can tell you it is COLD.

A hazard of any water based activity.  The River of Golden dreams is glacially fed and therefore very cold.

A hazard of any water based activity. The River of Golden dreams is glacially fed and therefore very cold. If the weather is hot, it doesn’t take long to dry.

Along the way, there is the potential to see several types of wildlife including; black bears, deer, beavers, Whistler Locals and several types of birds.  Unfortunately the only one I can guarantee you will see are the Whistler Locals as they cruise down the river on various forms of floatation devices.

My favourite part of the whole adventure is entering Green lake.  The scenery changes from riverbanks with tall grass, scrubs and trees into an incredible mountainous backdrop.

Entering Green Lake looking straight at the Armchair Glacier.

Entering Green Lake looking straight at the Armchair Glacier.

Green Lake can be a very active lake, with paddlers, wake boarders, water skiers and even float planes all coming in to the mix.  It doesn’t hurt that all this activity is set in surreal scenery making it very hard not to enjoy it.

Whistler Air's dock is on Green Lake near Nicklaus North Golf Course

Whistler Air’s dock is on Green Lake near Nicklaus North Golf Course

The River of Golden Dreams is an activity worth doing at least once.  Don’t prepare for the adrenline rush of the century, instead to just get ready to relax, sun bake and take in some incredible views.

Well, reminiscing over for now and although the weather isn’t improving today, I continue to list the things I must do over the next few months.

How can you not love spring?

Springtime in Whistler is one of my favourite times of year.  It is a great transitional period as skiing begins to wind down, the bike trails are steadily becoming clear of snow with many of the lower XC trails ready to go.  The Whistler Mountain Bike Park is gearing up to open on May 17.  And it won’t be long before we get out there and start camping and hiking, snow melt dependent.

Whistler mountain closed on April 21 and with that closure saw the end of the World Ski & Snowboard festival (WSSF).  This festival brings a terrific vibe to Whistler with an influx of athletes, music and cultural type events.  The sporting component of the festival brings in the world’s top freestyle skiers and snowboarders and has them competing in slopestyle and big air style events.  The music includes a host of acts, canadian and foreign, performing on an outdoor stage at the base of the mountains.  The cultural side showcases some incredible artists and producers in competitions like a “72 hour filmmaker showdown” and a “pro photographer” showdown.

As the week is the last busy push before our slow season begins I worked the majority of the festival.  I did, however, manage to head up and check out the Skier’s slope style.  It was fantastic.  The athletes really stepped it up this year and seeing the top pro’s like Tom Wallisch, James Woods, Gus Kenworthy & ‘Aussie’ Russ Henshaw, just to name a few, was a cool experience as these guys are household names in the skiing world.  It wasn’t only the guys throwing down their tricks though.  I managed to snap a couple of shots, although the sun was intermittent making it tricky at times.

Joss Christensen

Joss Christensen

i don't know who this guy is

i don’t know who this guy is.

Didn't catch who this guy is but he is throwing down.

Didn’t catch who this guy is but he is throwing down.

James 'Woodsy' Woods

James ‘Woodsy’ Woods

 

Gus Kenworthy went on to win the event

Gus Kenworthy went on to win the event

The music is always a great vibe with some great acts.  In years past I have seen Metric, Cat Empire, John Butler Trio & Michael Franti & Spearhead.  This year, at the outdoor stage, I only managed to see canadian act K-os, who put on a fantastic show.  I did, however, see Beats Antique (who performed on the outdoor stage) at the GLC.  These guys were awesome, playing a fun, funky and energetic gig.  An act that had a lot of people around town buzzing with excitement was old shcool rapper NAS.  The village was packed for this gig and everyone I spoke to said he can still put on a great show.

Unfortunately I missed all the cultural events, but I heard that all were a great success, in particular the Olympus Pro Photographer Showdown and Intersection, which is a 7 day filming and production competition.  The winning edit from Intersection can be seen here, Restless.

It is always sad to see the end of another winter season, and although there is still some skiing to be done, I am looking forward to the upcoming months of hiking, biking, camping, canoeing and whatever else this summer may throw my way.

View from the southend of Alta Lake.

View from the southend of Alta Lake.

Welcome

Welcome to my new and first blog page.  It’s taken me a long time to choose a topic to write about.  There’s so many options, but then someone said “why not write about Whistler?” and I thought why not?  There is so much to offer in the Whistler area, whether it be; skiing at Whistler Blackcomb, heading out into the backcountry, hiking, camping, biking, relaxing at the lakes or one of the many tour activities on offer in this town.  The list certainly doesn’t stop there.

So my mission is to write about my experiences living in one of the most amazing areas on earth and hopefully give everyone some ideas on what can be done in this area.  Maybe even entertaining some of you along the way.

Ideas, comments and/or feedback is always encouraged.

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Campsite at Helm Creek en route to Black Tusk