Words and Photos by Corbin Crimmins
It was a very last minute trip. Usually my first trip to Whistler to mountain bike is in June when the trails have melted off a bit and more trails are open. I typically try for a mid-week journey to avoid some of the crowds. This year is different. The family and I moved from Hood River, Oregon to Leavenworth, Washington last fall, so now I live a bit closer to Whistler. Being a biker/photographer I’m always cruising the web for inspiration and motivation. The news feed on my Facebook account started to blow up with the latest Whistler Bike Park promotional video Force of Nature (watch it HERE). The video showed perfect dirt for a mid-May park opening. That was all it took for me to casually mention the idea to my wife. We already have two months planned to live in Whistler, so this idea seemed a bit excessive. The pros and cons of a quick trip started to really toy with me. It would be a lot of driving solo for one day of bike photography and some riding. Jill’s response was “if you really want to do it you should.” Late Thursday, the day before the bike park’s opening I was on the road to Whistler.
How to lead by example. This lucky kid and his Dad Brian Stanton were at the park almost an hour before the lifts started loading on the first day of the 2013 Whistler Bike Park Season. The little guy’s name is Gavin Stanton. I want my five year old to ride with this shredder this summer.
This is Jackson Goldstone of Lil Shredder fame. He is in videos all over Pinkbike and Vital MTB. Seeing him waiting so patiently for the Whistler Bike Park season to begin got me even more excited to get on the lift and shred some laps myself. So many kids riding such awesome bikes sure gives mountain biking a very bright future.
Good morning from Captain Stoke! This is Brian Finestone who is the Whistler Bike Park manager and father of little Finn who is also riding a $3000.00 full suspension kids’ mountain bike. Brian is a great role model for all of the other Rad Dads out there. Thanks for Leading the Charge, Brian!
Look at all of these fresh Giant Glory Downhill rental bikes. The smell of fresh tires and all of the bling made me jones for a fresh bike. I have an older model of this bike and love it so much. I named my bike “the dream chaser.” The trails at the Whistler Bike Park are so well suited for this rig. A bit big for some of the trails but when roots and rocks on a steep tight trail come into play I can’t imagine riding any thing else.
The Garbanzo Bike and Bean at the base of the Whistler Bike Park is one of my favorite bike shops in Whistler: spacious, stocked with all of the raddest parts, bikes and apparel for Moms, Dads and the Radddest Kids. Plus they offer a good discount to pass holders. The coffee is top-shelf as well.
The energy at the base area the morning of opening day was off the charts for me. Maybe I’ve seen a few too many rock concerts, but the energy was like the Rolling Stones or Pearl Jam was about to take the stage. This is Rob McSkimming, the Operations manager of Whistler Blackcomb. The way he casually strolled through the base area was reminiscent of Mick or Eddie as they walk on to the stage to begin a show. And then the band began to Play!
This is where I begin everyday of riding the Bike Park. Why? Because I’m 42 years old, my back is tweaked from many years of doing construction, and rubbing these rocks together at the start of the Karate Monkey trail helps me. I believe that these rocks, when rubbed together, help me center my Chi and find my focus for another day of chasing after my dreams of big air, rowdy trails and a safe full day in the park.
The last few berms before the liftline were riding beautifully! This picture is from the last few hours of the day before the afternoon rains came in and the crowd cleared out. Shortly after this was taken I put some fuel in my tank, ditched the camera pack, put on my rain gear and rode till the park closed.
I had a few issues during the day. I thought I’d lost my gloves, riding with a camera pack was a bit awkward, and I wasn’t eating. So I left the park and headed for Zog’s at the base area for some poutine. This is for sure one of my must-do’s when riding the Bike Park. With a full belly I went back to the hotel to drop the pack and found my gloves. Then the day quickly improved even with the afternoon rain. This was the perfect transition from photographer back into biker mode.