Rob came down from Kamloops and Dave and I drove up from Vancouver. The weather could not have been better. 24°C and not a cloud in the sky. The three of us were pumped. Dave was riding his Orange 224, Rob on his Santa Cruz Heckler and I was on my Banshee Rune.
I have never ridden Whistler on anything less than 7" of suspension on the front and normally 7-8" in the rear. Riding my 6"x6" single crown bike was something new that I have been looking forward to trying for some time. My Rune is light, strong and pretty fast. It has great angles and an active suspension on the brakes so I was pretty sure I was going to have some fun..........more on that later.
Last time Rob was up at Whistler, he had a 'incident' on Crank It Up on our warm up run. I managed to capture him on film slamming into a huge rock after jettisoning diagonally off the box near the top of the trail. He had a demon to exorcise so Crank It Up was the first trail we hit today.
Crank It Up
Rob cleaned the section that bit him last time at Whistler and Dave earned a new nick name after we watched his run on video (Mr. Whip).
I found immediately that the Rune is easily enough bike for park riding and in fact it excels in most places. The mid size jumps of Crank it up, I was rolling with the same speed as my buddies but boosting twice and high and landing trannies with little speed. I totally admit that in the true high speed gnarl it would be nice to have a bigger bike with 8" of cush, but if it's not super high speed and gnarly rocky, the Rune was exceptional. On smooth trails like A-Line I busted out huge air (for me at least) with ease and was able to move the bike in the air without any effort. Dirt Merchant was absolutely insane on this bike. In the Garbanzo Zone the trails were far less effort to ride than in the past because of the ideal wheel base and snappy handling the bike exhibits.
We spent a fair amount of time in the Garbanzo Zone (upper trails) on No Joke, Goats Gully, Original Sin, In Deep, Fatcrobat, Too Tight and FREIGHT TRAIN!!!.
Words cannot describe how much fun I/we had.
Original Sin and Goat's Gully
Goat's Gully was a hoot. In reality it is likely the most technical trail on the hill. I slapped the camera on Dave for the video footage above which gave us a lot of laughs reviewing the footage afterward.
A section of Freight Train
I managed to hook up to Freight Train for a small section. Oh my was that ever fun. It's A-Line with a little gnarl thrown in. The container step-up is so much fun.
Too tight is Rob's favorite trail. Tight turns with trees everywhere. If you go off line, prepare to get bounced around. WIDE BARS beware!!
Ninja Cougar.....imagine a downhill pump track. I'd love to spend a few hours riding this trail. We only managed to squeeze in one run on Ninja Cougar but man was it a blast.
A-Line, ooooooh A-line. What can I say.....I love it. Rob and Dave aren't huge fans of it, so I only managed to split off from them twice to hit this legendary trail. Man did I have fun. Every time I watch the video I re-live the ride anticipating the next time I am able to get to Whistler and go for a rip to catch some Air Miles.
Heart of Darkness
This was one of the first trails we rode on the day. Such a fun trail with tight turns, jumps and flow.
Fatcrobat is all about momentum, flow and good times. It's so much fun because of the low consequence nature wood work and the way everything links up. One of the best trails on the hill to ride with friends.
At the end of the day all three of us were spent. Rob and I were among the last riders up the lift at 5:15pm. Whistler has a HUGE following and is like Mecca for DH lift assisted riding. They set the bar to which all other venues in the world measure themselves and for good reason. Whistler is 110% pure biking enjoyment.