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july 2008 articles

thursday 24th july

Dom and Mak in front of the Whistler 8ft quarter...Well I have finally met another streetboarder in North America - it's only taken 7 months!

Mak is only here for a week, but its been great streetboarding with a fellow rider again and- his enthusiasm has prompted me to try different lines and tricks than normal...

The AirDome foampit - wooden ramps designed for bikes, used for streetboarding!The Whistler AirDome is a foampit designed for mountain bikes, so riders can hone their tricks prior to riding the park.

With all wood construction it is the perfect set-up for streetboarding, similar to the 2002 French World Championships launchbox.

With a set-up designed for bikes, the 30ft high drop-in is about as scary as it gets - and the 7ft ramps are only a foot wide, leaving room for no error! I have been using the AirDome to practise my inverted tricks again - it's a great facility to have, and I am looking to use it to learn some new ones before taking them to Whistler skatepark launch ramp...

CJ and I have been looking to make the most of our time here in Whistler, and get out and see the local countryside. To this end we decided to climb "The Chief" - a famous mountain overlooking the nearby town of Squamish, its faces home to some very well known rock-climbing routes.

The view across Howe Sound and Squamish from the 1st peak of The Chief

A logging truck pulling lumber from the Stawamus Chief... This is the start of the trail up The Chief - giving an indication of the type of climb to come... Chipmunks - the cutest, coolest critters in Canada ;o)

A 2 hour climb, complete with loads of scrambling and lots of adorable little chipmunks (think half-size little squirrels) brought us to the top of the 1st peak of The Chief - with a fantastic view of Howe Sound and the logging town of Squamish laid out below.

We needed to surrender our US visas, and took the opportunity to visit Vancouver - specifically Stanley Park, a large urban park on the north-west tip of Vancouver.

The port across from Stanley Park on the North Shore. Check the size of the vast sulphur pile..! The traditional-style carved statue outside Stanley Park aquarium... Dom is startled to discover his trusty steed might not be all it seems to be...

We visited the Aquarium just as the fire alarm was going off and the fire trucks were pulling up - so photographed the traditionally-carved dolphin statue outside, then took a walk around the sea wall instead. Across the river we could see the north shore docks with a VAST sulphur pile being loaded onto ships...

Vancouver marina. Vancouver crowded highrises look like an asian city - hence its nickname of Hongcouver...

The last part of the walk encloses the Vancouver marina, with the highrises of the CBD providing a dramatic backdrop. The density and look of the highrise buildings give them an atmosphere very remeniscent of large asian cities - a fact not lost of the city, which has been given the nickname "Hong-couver"..!

I am looking to go back there soon to skate - as the city is street skating heaven...

Joe - double backflip from the tree swing at Alpha Lake...

Our friends Mick and Joe have been discovered a huge tree swing at one of the lakes near us - the upswing reaches about 40ft off the water at full speed. Joe is a very good skier, and used to being inverted - and has started to perform double backflips off this swing into the lake. Very impressive indeed...

Vancouver Island is a large island (slightly smaller than England) off the coast from Vancouver. The capital of BC, Victoria, is located in the very south of the island - and where our australian friend Tom Stranger relocated to a couple of months ago. One of the "must-see" destinations in BC - we decided to pay our pal Tom a visit...

Victoria harbour - enclosing the marina, public sailing area and float plane terminal

Victoria's impressive Legislation Hall - designed by a 25 year old!

Our good mate Pat - from Rossland - accompanied us for our 3 day excursion, and provided us with hours of laughter while Tom acted as tour guide, showing us the sights.

Victoria has a wonderful harbour, which the public can sail or canoe in, as well as housing the ferry lanes for commercial traffic - but the most distinctive feature are the floatplanes which take off and land every few minutes in the centre of the harbour. An unusual sight...

We explored the town, saw Toms house on the clifftop, met his housemates puppy (the smallest and cutest dog EVER!) and spent some quality time on the beach there. Joe, enjoying his first ever visit to the ocean, dived in and picked a starfish up from the bottom of the seabed - boy, are they weird; both slimy and hard, sticking onto anything they find (including Joes head)...

Joe & Mick doing their catalogue poses with CJ on the Vancouver Island ferry The puppy at Toms house - the tiniest and cutest dog in the world..! Chinatown in Victoria - isn't it funny how Chinatown gates always look the same..? Counterweight bridge, showing overhead concrete counterweights, crossing Victoria Harbour
Pat, CJ and Dom enjoying weekend breakfast Victoria-style... Tom admires the starfish that Joe pulled from the sea bed - purple starfish being common around Victoria Canoeing in Victoria Harbour, under the landing floatplanes! A floatplane taxi's through the harbour before take-off

We had a great time; canoeing through the harbour under the landing planes, eating fantastic breakfasts Victoria-style, seeing the harbour seals up close and generally chilling out in the hot weather. A great weekend with the lads...

Day out at Playland adventure park- Emily, CJ, Dom, Amber, Bear, Matty, Pip, Rachael and Derek.Our most recent excursion was back to Vancouver with our friends form our previous house in Creekside, to the PlayLand adventure park. $30 secured entrance to all the rides there, including "The Corkscrew" inverted rollercoaster, the famous 50-year old wooden rollercoaster, and The Hellevator - 4.5G's of skyward acceleration! Wow ;o)

Going to Squamish to skate the park - back soon...