In through the out door

Mar 20, 2012
by Margus Riga  
 
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Driving east from the life-sucking drizzle of the Vancouver winter, the landscape changes pretty fast. Within an hour you reach the flat, aromatic farmland valley of Chilliwack. Then another half-hour has you at the gateway town of Hope...gateway to good times that is. After Hope the highway winds itself through arguably BC’s most treacherous stretch of the trans Canada highway. Aptly named “death highway” by the truckers. There are sheer cliffs that rain boulders on unsuspecting motorists on the right and to the left it drops precipitously down to the Fraser River. Add to that constatntly changing mountain weather and a narrow, winding, steep road, and it’s no wonder there's more highway accident closures here than anywhere else in BC. Then, another hour north, if you make it out in one piece...BAM!.. you’re in another land. The desert to be exact. Where it’s usually sunny and ten degrees warmer. This is what we came for.



Spences Bridge, can you spot the tumbleweeds?

James Doerfling and Garett Buehler in Spences Bridge with Margus Riga.

After settling in to our Motel beside the railway tracks, we tried some oven-baked, pre-deep-fried, un-home cooking at the local pub. Then set off to find something…anything.

Spences Bridge

Garett Buehler in Spences Bridge.

It didn't take long before we were in business. Five minutes to be exact, was all it took to get Garett squeezing through this little hourglass line.

James Doerfling in Spences Bridge with Margus Riga.

Doerfling.

Garett Buehler in Spences Bridge with Margus Riga.

Buehler.

Spences Bridge

Lost and found. After some initial warm up runs, we decided to look a little further and our efforts were rewarded with a massive zone, complete with thousand-foot scree chutes of varying steepness and difficulty; with the main chute snaking down a canyon to a lake, with a fire pit. We scoped and hiked the lines before nightfall to make sure they were good to go, and then set off back to the pub for some burgers and beers and a history lesson on the local biker culture.

Spences Bridge

The Log Cabin Pub. The food's not the greatest, but the atmosphere more than makes up for it.



Breakfast at Rumor's Restaurant with homemade menu signs written in black marker on white pieces of paper. Seats patched up with so much duct tape that it looked like they were made of duct tape. Enough to deter most, but going against the grain again, we opted to try it out, and to our surprise the food was some of the best roadside diner food I've ever had, complete with complimentary pie served with some local flair.

James Doerfling and Garett Buehler in Spences Bridge with Margus Riga.

This whole scene reminds me of sled skiing. Roll in, scope your lines, hit your lines, and admire your lines.

Spences Bridge with Margus Riga.

Mitch Cheek of Solos Productions checking the angles, while James and Garett contemplate the meaning of life.

Rocks
James Doerfling and Garett Buehler in Spences Bridge.

Left...James guinea pigs the first run. Apparently it was a lot steeper and faster than first expected. Right...Garett basically skied the line like a skier, at ski speed. A quick note: Darren Berrecloth sent this same line in NWD 10 right into the lake. Garett and James opted for a different exit. One that kept them dry.

Rocks


James Doerfling and Garett Buehler in Spences Bridge with Margus Riga.

Garett coming in. James going out.

James Doerfling and Garett Buehler in Spences Bridge with Margus Riga.

Three, two, one...dropping.
James Doerfling and Garett Buehler in Spences Bridge with Margus Riga.

James Doerfling in Spences Bridge with Margus Riga.

Last big line of the day, and the trip. This shot was super sketchy to get. One - It was a lot steeper than it looks, and I had to scurry up and place a flash up high and make sure it didn't fall off the mountain. Two - James was coming through this spot so fast, that if I didn't jump to my left right after I took the photo he would probably clip me coming through.

James Doerfling and lifestyle in Spences Bridge with Margus Riga.

After a successful super session on the chute line, Doerfling cools down with a mellow road gap.

James Doerfling and Garett Buehler in Spences Bridge with Margus Riga.

Final thoughts..."Yup, this place rocks."

Caribou courage.

Cariboo courage in full effect.

Spences Bridge scenery with Margus Riga.

This trip was all about going against the grain and trying something different and getting out of your normal routine, and seeing what happens when you do that. Things are not always what they seem, and the more you test that fact, the more interesting life becomes.

www.knollybikes.com
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42 Comments

  • + 68
 One of the best photo documented road trips I have seen for a while. I feel like I was riding along with them, sweet.
  • + 5
 Very cool place, I went through Hell's Gate on a raft last year.
  • + 1
 Agreed, especially since I was just there like, oh I don't know, yesterday! I'll never think of Spences Bridge in the same way anymore.
[Reply]
  • + 14
 Wicked shots as always Margus! I think Buehler and Doerfling are nuts and embody the true freeride lifestyle! Keep 'er pinned guys!
[Reply]
  • + 16
 Hope u picked up those empty beer cans -.-
[Reply]
  • + 8
 Yay for suntour's dual crowns!
[Reply]
  • + 8
 Realy sick pictures! Great article too!
[Reply]
  • + 4
 Love these type of articles. Some of the articles look overly artsy and appear to have been by products of instagram, but others like that last photo of the shoot are breathtaking.
[Reply]
  • + 7
 In through the out door, that's what she said.
[Reply]
  • + 4
 When ever I am traveling through that area, I always want to go see if that stuff is rideable. And now I know! Also Fantastic Photography to top it off
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Those guys are great! I love their styles and it's just so much fun to watch them ride. I love how they don't give a shit about slopestyle and just go out to ride gnarly lines. And thanks Knolly for supporting riders like that.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Agreed. Really brilliant photo doc.

Great pics, great captions, great riding. Spot on. More of this please! Mind you a bit of vid wouldn't go astray. ;-)
[Reply]
  • + 4
 I rode that chute a while ago, and it's sick. - www.pinkbike.com/photo/6015600
[Reply]
  • + 6
 haha bitchin
  • + 0
 just a mellow road gap.. gotta love it
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Great images. Wonderful atmosphere. Shot on film? Looks like...

I'm lovin' it Wink
[Reply]
  • + 3
 The LOG CABIN! that place on a Friday long weekend summer night reads like a Hunter Thompsom meets Stephen King novel.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 it's abosuletly beautiful! i can't choose from the photos, which should i use to wallpaper because each is fantastic! Razz
[Reply]
  • + 2
 er does anyone else find the title "in through the out door" mildly amusing? sick article though
[Reply]
  • + 2
 in through the out door? i was expecting something quite different. i liked the pictures nonetheless.
[Reply]
  • + 0
 These are some great pics I love the style I just started doing downhill but nothing near what is shown here. I just got this bike www.2wheelbikes.com/sx40-mountain-bike.html and would love to get more into it
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Jealous much! Awesome guys
[Reply]
  • + 3
 So many POD's in there..!
[Reply]
  • + 4
 Awesome photos guys...
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Great pics!!! The in-chute pics portray the true steepness of the slope!!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Awesome stuff. Makes me wanna try does sicklines!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 you guys were so close to ashcroft i could of shown you the freeride trails and jump park i built
[Reply]
  • + 3
 so atmospheric photos!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Amazing set of images, how mtb photography should be.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 sucha sick article, amazing photography and riding. props for pushing the limits and sustaining big mountain freeride
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Great photography! Dope skills to the riders and Film crew. Thanks
[Reply]
  • + 2
 SWEET TACOMA'S !!!!!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 "smoke salmon not crack" lol Smile
[Reply]
  • + 2
 great photo diary
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Oh god, I wanna try big mountain lines now so bad
[Reply]
  • + 1
 ya men eilove this ride yaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Margus, what lens was used for the "fish eye" appearing photos??
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Man i wanna ride that badly now Razz
[Reply]
  • + 0
 Why are such awesome photos...JUST...SO...SMALL???
[Reply]

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