monday 15th september
Finally I managed to go streetboarding in the legendary Squamish Skatepark - 14,000sq feet of marble smooth concrete, designed by someone who knows what they are doing. I journeyed down with my compatriot Jonny Scully (from NZ'05 & '06) and found a skatepark with enough transition, flatbank, rail and mini packed in to keep everyone happy, and provide endless lines to keep the interest level high.
The snake-run/bowl was a little tight for streetboarders, throwing you back up before you had almost finished dropping in, but the curved shape provided a continuously varying width, which helped alleviate the problem - and had a large vert wall at the end of the elbow. It had loads of blocks of various heights and many different levels and bowled sections to move between - there was so much potential here, it was almost difficult to know where to begin...
We had a good day - apart from being bitten by more mosquitos than I have ever encontered before - honestly, when I say clouds, I mean THICK WITH THEM. Unreal - it got so bad that in the end we legged it - vowing to come back soon!
I have spent most of my time since them streetboarding at the Whistler AirDome. Mentioned briefly in a previous article, this is a fantastic mountain-bike training facility near the Blackcomb Gondola midstation - a bike park consisting on a vast foampit, jumps of various sizes and a huge vert pipe at the back end.
The 30ft drop-in is a scary affair (being designed for bikes not streetboards!), rolling in to the foam pit - so the freestyle riders can practise their tricks and get them nailed, before taking them onto the hill. Unfortunately, all their wood jumps have step-up landings, with nothing of an equivalent size to the foam pit to hit with the streetboard.
That said - it is fantastic to be able to try all my new tricks without the fear of injury - so I'm making the most of it while I'm here...
Our crew went on a long weekend trip to Tofino - the famous surf town on the west coast of Vancouver Island - as we'd heard good things about the town and surrounding area.
After crossing on the ferry from Horseshoe Bay, our convoy drove across the island, through Sproat Lake and Stamp River Provincial Parks - stopping along the way to take in some of the fantastic scenery, before setting up camp in Surfers Junction just outside Ucluelet.
We spent the Saturday Surfing at Wickaninnish Beach - us beginners enjoying the smaller waves at one end, while the more experienced aussie Stranger brothers moved up the beach to the bigger waves and set about riding some large swell. Everyone got up onto their boards and enjoyed the day - so we're looking forward to more surfing back in Bournemouth!
CJ & I joined Sebastian (our snowboarding/wallriding friend from Whistler) on the Sunday for a trip to the Hot Springs Cove in Northern Clayoquot Sound. We spent about an hour whale-watching on the way out, and we very lucky to join a pod of Orca's (Killer Whales) swimming about 20ft away - a very eye-opening experience, and one I cna heartily recommend to anyone who finds themselves here...
More recently, CJ had heard about a trail leading up to Joffre Lakes - 3 lakes nestling under the Joffre Glacier, about 40kms beyond the Mt.Currie reservation, outside Pemberton, north of Whistler.
Driving out beyond Pemberton, we took a wrong-turn at Mt.Currie (taking us 30kms out of our way!) but soon got on the right road - which took us past the stunning Lillooet Lake, with views like this from the road...
The Joffre Lakes trail wound up from the car park, high in the mountains, for about 5.5km - doesn't sound much, but the trail was very wet, as it had just rained, making the going treacherous - especially as I was (ill-)equipped with trainers not boots...
In the end it took 5hours up and down - bur the weather was beautiful and the views were well-worth the occasional slip and fall...
On the way back we stopped in Pemberton, and I saw this flamed-painted Corvette Stingray. What a beautiful car!
Why is it that the Americans have the monopoly on beautiful cars, while we have to put up with such pedestrian designs?
Lastly, a big shout out to CJ - who turned 30 on 12th September, and now understands that 30 is the new 20 ;)
Big up the Bus Party!
tuesday 30th september
The last couple of weeks have seen us starting to wind down our occupation of Whistler Creekside, and tie up loose ends.
Although streetboarding has had to take a backseat - still taken time out to hit the AirDome to get some big-air training in.
CJ & I are going to Portland and Mt.Hood tomorrow for a week - I'm going to stay in Mt.Hood with Jon Chester, our housemate from Rossland, and will be visiting Timberline Lodge (the Overlook Hotel from the film "The Shining") - cool!
Gonna stay in Portland for 4 days - #1 stop on my list is a visit the legendary Burnside Skatepark! Gonna get some shots and footage for the record - Tour *on*...
CJ & I took a trip out the other side of Pemberton to visit the Meager Creek Hot Springs - geothermally-heated pools accessed by a crazy 50km gravel drive! Some fantastic views, with a relaxing soak to boot - sweet!
Check out the new galleries:
Be back from Portland with more media for ya!