Monday, October 3, 2011

Fall in Whistler.

A few days ago Stevie, Skippy, and I loaded 3 bikes, a duffel apiece, and a heap of spare parts into the E and hit the road.

22.5 hours of driving later we rolled through Squamish and onto the home stretch.

We arrived at our palatial imitation condo in Whizzler at dark thirty then crashed out immediately, expecting to wake to more of the rain we'd driven through. It's October--fall--in coastal BC; What else could we expect?

To our delight we peeled back eyelids to find extremely late summer instead.

We suited up, bought fall passes and were at the lift 10 minutes prior to opening. Holy tourists! Once they let us up the hill we introduced Stevie to our favorite lines: B-Line and Crank it Up as warm ups, then Dirt Merchant and A-Line laps for most of the day. If speed, flow, and air are your thing (they are! they are!) it'd be hard to imagine a better way to spend a day.

Unbelievably, the weather mostly held for the first three days and we rode, at worst, through fog and intermittent light drizzle.

Skippy surprised all of us by riding hard all day on day three, then racing up to the Air Dome for an evening session with the local groms.

A bit more on that later.

On Saturday the upper mountain was open, and that's where all of the really good stuff lives. If you've ridden it, you know, and if you haven't...

...I can't possibly help you to understand just how special it is. 3400' vertical feet of everything you could imagine, and lots of things you'd never have guessed, from a bike park.

Rain and fog increased throughout the day, somehow increasing our enjoyment of the trails. We rode in fog so thick I couldn't see Skippy two bike lengths ahead of me at times. And I daresay we rode faster than at any other time of the trip. Full speed, through the fog, into the biggest booters of the week? Go Skippy go!

That day seemed to be the tipping point where the last hints of summer got flushed down the creek and fall flowed briskly over the mountains to replace it. We've had heaps of rain the past few days, forcing us to to relearn and remember how to cope. No one has hit the ground yet, though we've all had several near misses and Stevie got up close and personal with a spruce.

Where are the riding shots, you ask?

Movin' pictures are still being captured! I'll share those sometime next week.

For now, we're savoring the last few days in BC before heading back home. The rain continues day and night, and short breaks show a rapidly falling snowline. This climate couldn't be more different from my own backyard, so I've been enjoying daily nose-in-the-ferns walks around the perimeter of the village.

Breakfast table discussion this AM has revolved around each of our respective 'must do' lists. Time is getting short with only two days left to ride before heading home, and each of us has at least one personal dragon to slay. Butterflies in the stomach just typing that last bit.

Leisurely finishing breakfast, slowly suiting up to ride, and enjoying these views out the window...