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  1. #1
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    Our Whistler Trip, 2008

    (This will be in three posts, 10 pictures each.)

    Iíve wanted to do this trip forever and finally made it happen in 2008. Chris M. and his wife, Paula, planned this trip for themselves, me, my wife Kristin, my son Ben, and a friend Kevin. Unfortunately Chris broke himself at Pajarito one week before the trip so he and Paula had to postpone. My family and Kevin decided to stick with the trip and had a killer (in more ways than one) time! This might be more of a passion post but Iíd like to share the trip with all of us people who live in Mexico (thatís what everyone thinks in Canada) coming from someone many of you know. For anyone planning on going in the future just do whatever you can to make it happen. It will be worth it! Just make sure to bring lots of body armor, spare bike parts, and enough extra money to pay for the Canadian health clinics .

    We flew into Seattle Thursday using Southwest frequent flyers and only having to pay $50 per bike each direction (better than most airlines). We rented a big F150 to fit all our bikes, gear, and Kevin who we picked up in Vancouver where he and his family were visiting the in-laws and drove to Whistler.

    Rental:
    RentalTruck.jpg

    Sea To Sky Highway:
    SeaToSkyHighway.jpg

    Chris lined up a good deal at the Tantalus Resort Lodge (http://www.tantaluslodge.com/index.html) which was in easy biking distance to the lifts and had a kitchen and plenty of space for four people. This also happened to be the place where the gravity camps stayed so we ran into some big name Pros including Andrew Shandro, Matt Hunter, and Jordie Lunn.

    On Friday Kristin took a half day guided tour with lessons while Kevin gave me and Ben the serious tour of the mountain.

    View from high up the mountain:
    View.jpg

    For Saturday and Sunday Kristin was signed up for an incredible skills course taught by Dirt Series Mountain Bike Camps Ltd. (http://www.dirtseries.com). This course was taught by numerous big name pros (http://www.dirtseries.com/coaches.htm).

    Kristin with former Olympian, Andreas Hestler:
    KristinAndOlympicInstructor.jpg

    Kristin in Class:
    KristinClass.jpg


    OK, onto the good stuff . I really didnít take enough pictures to do this hill justice. We were having too much fun to stop for pictures very often and you didnít want to lose your rhythm in the gnarly stuff. I did manage to snap a few and crop a few from videos that Kevin or I took on my camera.

    Ben on Dirt Merchant Rock Drop to Table
    BenDirtMerchantRockDropToTable.jpg

    Me on Dirt Merchant Creek Gap
    NealDirtMerchantCreekGap.jpg

    Kevin on the Crank It Up wall ride:
    KevinCrankItUpWallRide.jpg

    Me on the drop near the bottom:
    NealBottomDrop.jpg

    Kevin on a Rock Wall Ride
    KevinWallRide.jpg

  2. #2
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    Whistler, Post 2/3

    Ben on the Clown Shoes Drop (one of the toughest trails on the mountain!)
    BenClownShoesDrop.jpg

    Ben on classic Whistler Hip Jump (notice jersey, tell Tony at Bike-n-Sport that Ben is representing him well):
    BenHipWhistlerBG.jpg

    Ben on Container Step Up (fun stunt! ):
    BenContainerStepUp.jpg

    Ben on Container Step Down (other side):
    BenContainerStepDown.jpg

    Ben on A-Line
    BenALine.jpg

    Kevin on A-Line:
    KevinALine.jpg

    Ben and Kevin on top of Freight Train from upper mountain:
    BenKevinFreightTrain.jpg

    Ben near a Bear at top of first chair (these guys were all over the mountain):
    BenBear.jpg

    Ben on Double Vision
    BenDoubleVision.jpg

    Ben managed to wait until the very end of the very last day of our four days of riding to slam his face into the ground on Double Vision and was basically seeing double vision for a few seconds . He had his full face on but somehow pushed his goggles into his eye and slammed his lips into his braces:
    BensFace.jpg
    Last edited by nealpederson; 07-30-2008 at 10:22 PM.

  3. #3
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    Whistler, Post 2/3

    On Saturday afternoon Ben and I couldn’t resist the fact that Whistler has a foam pit in the Air Dome . We got tickets for the 5-8pm session which only had a handful of riders in it. When we got there pro-freerider Jordie Lunn was practicing in the foam pit after finishing a recent class for the gravity camp riders who had just left. He was cool enough to talk me through all the tips for doing back flips and Ben and I began to practice them. At first it was weird as hell making your body go upside down with a bike underneath it. The best advice Jordy gave me was to hold onto the bike at all costs to make sure it didn’t land on me. Landing in foam was awesome except getting out of it sucked, especially when you’re upside down with a bike above you. I pulled my groin a couple of times just climbing out of the foam but was having too much fun to stop riding. Both Ben and I got the back flip down but neither one of us want to try it on dirt yet. If I get around to it I’ll post video but here are a couple shots I took from video on successful flips.

    Me flipping:
    NealBackFlip.jpg

    Ben flipping:
    BenBackFlip.jpg

    On Sunday afternoon Whistler had an invitation only Red Bull Round Up event with several pro judges including Robbie Bourdon and Darren Barrecloth.

    Here’s the big step down the riders had to do at the bottom:
    RoundupJump.jpg

    Here’s Darren Barrecloth (Specialized Pro Freerider) and some of the riders from the comp:
    DarrenBarrecloth.jpg


    We met up with Kristin on Friday and Sunday night to do a few after her classes. She was totally amazed by what she learned and can’t wait to teach our daughter her new skills. She kept asking me why I never taught her all this stuff.

    All of us at the top of the first chair trails:
    BenNealKristinKevin.jpg

    Kristin on Crank It Up:
    KristinCrankItUp.jpg

    Kristin went down a slippery “Devils Club” plank trail for what was going to be her last ride of the weekend. I was taking this picture when she locked up her wheels and slid her side and back into a sharp stump (read her lips! ):
    KristinFall.jpg

    After the fall:
    KristinBooboo.jpg

    X-rays next morning (broken rib just above cursor):
    KristinRibs.jpg

    Yeah, broken rib, broken finger, and slightly sprained ankle . She’s doing well now and stayed in great spirits all weekend. It’s a bummer but part of the sport.


    We were going to ride “The Shore” near Vancouver on Tuesday but Kristin wasn’t in very good shape for driving shuttle, we were fairly burnt after four days at Whistler, and it ended up raining all day Tuesday so we just took it easy returning to Seattle that day. We flew back Wednesday morning and Ben took a cool shot of Mt Rainier from the airplane window:
    MtRainier.jpg
    Last edited by nealpederson; 07-31-2008 at 09:32 AM.

  4. #4
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    That boy of yours has got skills! Congrats on the trip. I hope to make it up there some day.

  5. #5
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    Yumpin' yiminy. Looks like a sweet trip.

    When you guys gonna build a foam pit at Pajarito? If you'd put one below every stunt, heck I might even go out there and do them.
    "My life's ambition is to see a musical version of MacBeth performed by chickens."

  6. #6
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    Wow! Thats what I'm talking about. Awesome pics and thread, thanks

  7. #7
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    Woah!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mtn. Biker123
    That boy of yours has got skills! Congrats on the trip. I hope to make it up there some day.
    I am counting the days on Ben passing me up . Actually, he was jumping out in front of me about half the time in Whistler. Keep training that kid of yours and I'm sure he'll be joining you when you do make it.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rotmilky
    Yumpin' yiminy. Looks like a sweet trip.

    When you guys gonna build a foam pit at Pajarito? If you'd put one below every stunt, heck I might even go out there and do them.
    Someone told me there is $30k worth of foam in the Whistler pit. So basically, no time soon . The kids we were riding with theorized that they could find a gymnastics foam pit that has to be replaced every so many years and maybe get that foam for free. The step between foam pit and dirt is a bark or mulch landing so maybe we'll do one of those someday in NM.

  10. #10
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    Good God!, I freakin' hope not.

  11. #11
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    Incredible shots. Bears??

    How big was that gap jump you did?


    Maybe someone could teach a class at Pajarito (hint, hint)

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by NE2NM
    Incredible shots. Bears??

    How big was that gap jump you did?

    Maybe someone could teach a class at Pajarito (hint, hint)
    Yeah, Bears . After you got used to seeing them they were more like cows. They just roamed around ignoring people and getting in your way. My wife's scarriest encounter was on Crank it Up where a mother and baby bear were inbetween the trail on a hairpin corner. She was with Ben and they just kept rolling.

    I think the gap was around 20-25'. It had a nice wood take off that gave you a good launch. There was also a dirt launch option that was about 10' shorter. Most of the jump trails in Whistler are really well built table tops so they're easy to learn on.

    I'll be teaching my 11-year-old daughter this Saturday since Kristin won't be riding with her. It would be cool if someone could teach all the skills that Kristin learned. I can ride most things but don't know how to translate my skills into words very well according to Kristin. Kristin's trying to make notes of everything she learned. They really need a DVD on the course that other people can buy.

  13. #13
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    Great write up and pictures. Sorry to hear about your wife's busted rib, finger, and sprained ankle...been there.

  14. #14
    Syrenne!
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    Wow! Very cool pics! I'm terribly envious.... Tell Kristin to heal up quick--she's gotta teach us what she learned!
    I'm so glad Whistler was really as awesome as everyone says...
    Go huck yourself.

  15. #15
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    wow Neal

    Excellent pictures, what a gret time. Thakns for sharing it with us. Some local friends of mine were up there alos. His pix are great, but knowing you and your family add value to yours.

    You guys got out just in time..This picture is a big rock slide that has shut down Sea to Sky highway since Tuesday night. Just south of Howe Sound...If you hadn't left when you did, you'd still be stuck in Whistler
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    "The search for a perfect pint should take lifetime." M.Jackson

    Ride bikes, not goats. Just good advice

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by sportsman
    ...You guys got out just in time..This picture is a big rock slide that has shut down Sea to Sky highway since Tuesday night. Just south of Howe Sound...If you hadn't left when you did, you'd still be stuck in Whistler
    We drove through that area less than half a day before the slide. Chris sent me this link about the slide a couple of hours ago: http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/n...1-b045d648c580. Pretty scary but getting stuck in Whistler for a few more days wouldn't have been all that bad .

  17. #17
    the cool nerd
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    Quote Originally Posted by nealpederson
    We drove through that area less than half a day before the slide. Chris sent me this link about the slide a couple of hours ago: http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/n...1-b045d648c580. Pretty scary but getting stuck in Whistler for a few more days wouldn't have been all that bad .
    kristen might not have enjoyed it very much....

    That is a massive amount of rock
    "The search for a perfect pint should take lifetime." M.Jackson

    Ride bikes, not goats. Just good advice

  18. #18
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    Very nice post.. great pictures... great riding... and sounds like an awesome trip other than Kristen getting hurt.

    I got to ride Whistler for the first time two years ago when I went up for the IMBA summit and for those of you that haven't been there, it's better than you think it might be. If there's a heaven, BC already has a version of it. It is fantastic.

  19. #19
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    My Amateur Whistler Video

    I'm a total amateur at videos but I have VISTA Premium and plenty of web space so I put a video together all of my camera video clips and posted it here:

    http://www.vicontrols.com/neal/PedersonWhistler2008.wmv (~7MB):

    Someday I'll get better at editing and learn how to use a YouTube or something to compress the file size more.

    It's short, has too much fading, but it is Whistler!

  20. #20
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    Wish I could have gone on this trip it looks awesome. I am healing and will go again. Makes me long for the craziness that is whistler. Everyone should go, I hope this makes people give up everything just to go. I am planning to go from September 11 to 21, it is going to be awesome, as long as I am healed up, which I think I should be. Well I will just have to ride anyway, anything for whistler right.

  21. #21
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    Cool Whistler Video

    I just found this on the DH-FR forum:
    http://sagecattabriga-alosa.com/

    It's a helmet cam video from top to bottom starting with Freight Train and ending with A-Line. It gives you a really good idea of what it's like to ride the jump trails at Whistler .

  22. #22
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    Tuff Riders Rock.. There will be some roughriders comin to pajarito ski soon.. August trippers.. Yall have done really well.. peace and hope all is well.. jamie

  23. #23
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    Looking forward to seeing you Jamie! If you make it for the next lift days, August 16th & 17th, Marble Brewery (beer) & Ryan McGarvey (tunes) will be here to greet you on the 16th.

  24. #24
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    Awesome write up! Thanks for sharing!!
    People wait for me on the way up. I wait for them on the way down.

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    I am keeping my fingers crossed.. it will be great to get back there..

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