At 26 years old, with eight seasons at Whistler in British Columbia under his belt, mountain biker and professional action sports photographer Mason Mashon knows the iconic resort’s bike trails, boating options, and more as well as anyone. On any given day, you’re likely to find him hucking huge in Whistler’s trend-setting bike park (hint: just because he lands something, doesn’t mean you should necessarily follow), followed by dipping a blade on local waterways to cool off afterward. But all that’s to be expected. Unlike most people who move to the resort for its skiing and then stay afterward, Mashon moved there for the biking, with the skiing as an added bonus.
Here are a few of his favorite things about Whistler:
Aspect of the region in the off-season: The mountain biking, by far. I moved to Whistler for the biking, so I actually consider the summer my on-season and winter my off-season. It’s a little backwards.
Place to mountain bike ride: I’m only running a downhill bike at the moment, so the Bike Park has been my spot this summer. And it’s truly fantastic. However, there are countless all-mountain trails all around the valley that are wicked to ride as well.
Place to road ride: The road up to the Nordic Center in Callaghan Valley.
Place to ride with the family: The valley trail network is great for the whole family, as well as the Lost Lake trails.
Place to paddle (flatwater): Alta Lake to the River of Golden dreams is a great slow-moving cruise. And you can see the mountains of the resort and beyond all around you.
Place to paddle (whitewater): The Elaho River near Squamish.
Place to paddle with the family: Alta Lake. There’s a little rental shop at Lakeside Park where you can hire out SUP boards, canoes, and kayaks. It’s amazing to have a lake like that right at the base of the resort.
Place to re-fuel: I usually grab a quick snack and a coffee at the Garbanzo Bike and Bean before I ride.
Place for a beer afterwards: I follow up a good shred at the GLC right at the resort’s base. It’s always hopping and filled with other riders.
Photo courtesy Whistler, Mashon