Tag Archives: black tusk

Never Ceases to Amaze

What a valley!

Riding Peak Chair on Whistler in late February, I unloaded at the top, chuckled at all the ‘tourists’ taking their holiday snaps,

Tourist

stopped a moment to look at their subject and was blown away.  I can’t tell you how many times I have looked upon this view, however it never, never ceases to amaze me.

Black Tusk

Black Tusk Winter

Random Skier

Great Valley

Ak Grab

Pink tusk

 

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Top of the World

A view from above

A view from above

The Whistler Mountain Bike Park certainly has a lot to offer.  A great deal of variety in the trails.  Steep, difficult technical.  Fast and smooth jump trails.  Trails full of wooden bridges.  Even green trails for the first timers.  One incredible trail that opened in 2012 is the Top of the World.

Top of the World

Top of the World

It is a trail that starts at the peak of Whistler Mountain and allows a biker the potential to descend almost 5000 vertical feet to the valley floor.

Entering the 'Top of the World'

Entering the ‘Top of the World’

Some mates and I went up for one epic lap last week.  We stopped at various places on the way down to take some photos.

Top of the World

Top of the World

 

Black Tusk

Standing at the top of either Whistler or Blackcomb it is impossible not to notice the Black Tusk.  It is probably one of the most recognizable landmarks in the Garibaldi National park.  What I didn’t realize when I first came to Whistler is that you can climb it.  It took me four and a half years to make the trek.

View of the Black Tusk from the top of the Peak Chair, Whistler Mountain.

View of the Black Tusk from the top of the Peak Chair, Whistler Mountain.

It can be done in one day, one epic day.  It can also be done an overnight trip, which is what we did.  The most popular route is the Black Tusk/Garibaldi Lake trek which starts about a 20-25 minute drive south of Whistler.  We chose a different, slightly less traveled route.  The Cheakamus Lake trail head is where we began; about 20 minutes in we turned right, crossed the river and then begin our climb up to the Helm Creek campsite.  It took us around four hours to hike in.

Campsite at dawn

Campsite at dawn

The Bivy sack that I slept in.

The Bivy sack that I slept in.

The campsite at Helm Creek is great.  Very basic;  a few wooden tent sites, a running stream and a bear cache.  And an incredible view of the Black Tusk.

Black Tusk at dawn from Helm Creek campsite

Black Tusk at dawn from Helm Creek campsite

The hike to the ‘Tusk’ from camp is fairly simple.  A well beaten path that is easy to follow.  The day was just starting as we began and some of the views along the way were incredible.  I could easily spend a couple of days and nights up there, ascending some of the other peaks around that area.

Trek to the Tusk

Trek to the Tusk

Still trekking to the Tusk

Still trekking to the Tusk

Stunning

Stunning

Mellow river crossing

Mellow river crossing

Garibaldi Lake

Garibaldi Lake

As we climbed higher, some awe-inspiring vistas appeared.  We had incredible views of Garibaldi lake, the backside of Whistler mountain and the ‘Tusk’ began to loom larger as we headed for the final ascent.

Whistler from a very different angle

Whistler from a very different angle

Inukshuk on the top of the Black Tusk

Inukshuk on the top of the Black Tusk

Once at the base of the ‘Tusk’ all that is left is the chimney up to the peak.  This bit can be quite hair-raising if heights aren’t your thing.  It is fairly simple, however the rocks feel loose so that gets the heart pumping.

Chimney up to or down from the peak

Chimney up to or down from the peak

It is well worth the adrenaline because once we were at the top the 360 degree panoramic views were absolutely phenomenal.  We were fortunate to pick a beautiful day and we could see for miles.

Black Tusk peak

Black Tusk peak

No matter where we stood, there was a great view to capture

No matter where we stood, there was a great view to capture

Looking back at what has been conquered
Looking back at what has been conquered

The hike out was straightforward.  We cut back to camp, packed up and headed out.  It was a fairly big day, I think about 9 hours of hiking, but we weren’t rushing at all.

Tredding carefully

Treading carefully

Tredding carefully

Treading carefully

This hike is definitely one of the more well trodden paths around the Whistler area and there is a large chance you will pass many people along the way.  It is all well worth it once you reach the top.

The Countdown is on!

Freight Train

Freight Train

Many people around Whistler are currently thinking “…less than a week to go…less than a week to go!”  On Friday (17th May) Whistler Mountain Bike Park will open for the 2013 summer season.  A lot of Whistler residents can’t wait for the winter season to be over, the snow to melt and for the biking season to commence.  For me nothing can beat an epic powder day however, I definitely can’t wait to get up into the bike park.  Having spent way to many $$$ fixing and upgrading my bikes, they are just about ready.  The XC bike is good to go and has been getting use, the DH is just a small wheel true away.

Rocky

When the bike park opens it brings a lot of people into town.  Summer weekends feel just as busy as any winter weekend.  There seems to be a great vibe around the town.  Relaxed.  Chilled.  Festive.  There’s not many things better than a full, sunny, dusty day followed by one, maybe more beers on a hot patio.

Freight Train

Freight Train

Last season was my first season in the bike park and it was incredible.  I learnt to ride trails I thought would be impossible and although I didn’t escape unscathed (separated shoulder) I managed to keep the adrenalin levels extremely high for the majority of the summer.

Learning the trails...slowly

Learning the trails…slowly

Spending the 2012 summer in the bike park also gave me a chance to try and snap some action shots.  I didn’t take my camera up many days, however when I did the scenery and backdrops were incredible.

Top of the World rock roll with Black Tusk in the background

Top of the World rock roll with Black Tusk in the background

5 days! Stoked!

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.

Image

Campsite at Helm Creek en route to Black Tusk