Wow was it ever hard to come back to earth after a week in Whistler! We had a great time up there; but it was definitely too short. Did not get to do everything we set out to do up there, like riding all the cool trails off the mountain (like River Runs Through It, etc.). And, we didn’t get a chance to ride with Maelstrom; although we at least got to meet him and chat some over coffee one afternoon.
Luke and I got three-day passes, which gave us a chance to space out our time on the mountain and still spend some family time doing other things. We ended up doing Monday, Wed. and Friday. [Note that Garbanzo was not open yet as the snow has been slow to leave; so we had to satisfy ourselves with the lower half of the mountain (the crosses we must bear!)]
Monday was a warm-up day to get the feel of things so we started with the obligatory run down A-Line to get our air game on. Boy did I feel like a putz - - launching cockeyed, casing the tops of the jumps and just generally feeling rusty and tentative. Things were feeling better by the time we’d done Dirt Merchant, Crabapple Hits and back to A-Line. Then it was off to Luke’s favorites - - the techier trails like Schleyer, Detroit Rock City and Lower Whistler Downhill. I remember being freaked out by the big roll-downs, drops and such when I was there 3 years ago; so I surprised myself by actually doing it all and liking it this time. Then it was back to some of the higher-speed stuff like Crabapple Hits (another of Luke’s favorites) to finish the day. It was a blast to sky those bigger jumps and actually reach the trannies for a change. Got in 11 runs on day one. But I wussed out the creek gap on Dirt Merchant every time. That was going to be one of my week’s goals.
Day two we warmed up on Rock City (or was it Clown Shoes? - - I’m forgetting already) then moved over and caught Crabapple Hits and were finishing out the bottom of A-Line when it happened. Luke was out ahead of me (as usual) and I was over-rotating some landings back on the smaller jumps of A-Line. Well, Luke was evidently really overshooting stuff and came off the last lip nose-high and flat-landed way down in the hole below the tranny. I did almost the same thing but fortunately caught the bottom of the tranny so I only slapped down kinda hard. Luke wasn’t as lucky and had piled it pretty hard so we hung it up and got him down the hill for some first aid. Nothing broken, but he was pretty sore and gouged up (sorry, no picts ). A day of layover and healing was in order to get a strong finish on Friday. Runs = only 3.
Friday started wet, rainy, windy and generally miserable. The ride up the chair was cold and wet, we warmed up on B-Line or one of the easier runs and both REALLY weren’t feeling it. We went in to see if we could get our one crappy run negated and a day added back to our passes for some other time. Well, while we were dinking around with that, it cleared off some and we started kicking ourselves for wanting to wuss out (don’t laugh Maelstrom - - I know: “Fair-Weather Rider”). So we went back in, reversed the credit and headed back up for another try. Boy am I glad we did that! We had a BLAST! Despite the wet, we hit the rocks and steeps of Rock City, Schleyer and then tried our hand at Crack Addict. Whoa! There’s a small drop into a steep wood roll-down and as soon as my back tire hit wood below it was gone - - I piled head-first into the trees below but nothing was broken and only had a slightly mashed pinky. Luke came down and did the same thing but managed to miss crashing into me (thankfully). We decided the wood stunts weren’t the place for us that day. The rocks were all fine though; and I think I have two new favorite trails up there: Schleyer and Detroit Rock City. My son has converted me I guess. Next up was Dirt Merchant so I could finally hit the creek gap (but not the huge one off the wood ramp - - just the dirt one). Did that a couple of times that day and felt like I’d conquered another nemesis. Oh, and I was finally pushin’ the boy’s butt some and challenging him especially on the faster runs. Got in 10 good runs and called it a day. Sure sorry we missed connecting for dinner down in the village, Maelstrom; but we still were trying to make up for our late start on the day.
1 bruised heel (tripodding a landing on day 1)
1 good case of trail-rash (side, thigh)
1 banged-up hip
1 mashed little finger (me) - - not broken
1 scratched-up paint job - - the mud’s like sandpaper
1 semi-demolished chain guide - - guess I’ll have this one as ghetto-modified as the last one after all.
TOTAL: 1 happy son + 1 happy dad = 3 days of great riding on the mountain.