Driving past the mountain I could not believe how large it was, parking lot after parking lot there was no end in sight. Finally we were here, Whistler Mountain. I have read about this place so much and couldnt wait to hit the slopes. In the past few years it had become a huge deal as the sport started to grow at an amazing pace. We were pumped, and under dressed. In my measly helmet, shin gaurds, gloves and elbow pads I failed in comparison to the countless riders in full pressurized suites and full face helmets.
My riding partner who agreed to come on this 9000 miles road trip was geared up and ready to go. Whistler Bike Park was the place evrybody spoke about next to the North shore of Vancouver. A freeriders, downhillers heaven. Millions of dollars in bikes were adorning the roof racks in parking lot. A barrage of Intense M1’s, Bullits, RM9’s and Stabs.
We sat on the chairlift and looked back at the endless snow capped mountains, it was aperfect 75 degrees and clear blue sky. I wonder if there is any other frum people here riding? I thought to myself as aI looked down at the massive slalom/dirt jump course. Smmoth as silk berm turns leading into massive table tops dotting the slope. Riders flowed flawlessly over the jumps doing trundowns and no footers.
“You ready Yosef?”
“Yep, lets hit up the A-Line”,
The a-line is one of the most famous trails we have read about. A 3 mile long downhill trail that is nothing but continuous huge jumps, berm turns and smooth rock face chutes. I let Yosef lead the way, he was riding an old Kona Stab with 6 inches front and back travel and I was on my Santa Cruz Bullit with 7 in the rear. My fingers instinctively reached for my brakes as I slammed through the first turn a massive berm followed by a stomach twisting lip in front of a drop. I was flying, I could feel my rear shock soaking up the bumps and jumps, my brakes were heating up but the large 7 inch rotor in the front was doing a great job of cooling the heated pads.
Was I in heaven I thought to myself as I flew off a drop landing perfectly 6 feet below it and being thrust into the dual slalom course. People on the lifts were looking as me and yosef moved clumsily into this massive Dirt Jump fantasy. The berms were so huge, I remember being able to fly through the turns and clear all the jumps. This was pretty close to heaven- way better then plattekill I thought and commented several times to yosef, who readily agreed. Plattekill is the local downhill stomping grounds of New York. Its in the Catskills in Roxbury and features some really demaning terrain. It is extremely hard and you always brake a part or a bone. No one ever leaves without taking at least a few massive falls. Whistler by comparison was built with smoothness in mind, also whistler had tons of jumps, teeter totters and drops.
As I look back on that riding I come to terms with the fact that Whistler got boring after one day while Plattekill keeps on getting exciting every time.