When VW met Cam McCaul at the Vancouver International Airport and handed over the keys for their Sportwagen All Track they may not have realized the boundaries that were about to be pushed! "When they first handed me the keys I was thinking, 'they have no idea how sketchy I am in a car. . . this is a bad idea and they don't even realize it, '" jokes Cam.
Adam Billinghurst and Fraser Newton accompanied Cam on his #VWadventure
to Squamish, British Columbia where they were treated to some world renowned dirt—and a snowstorm. But improvisations, chainsaws, and the 4Motion all-wheel-drive system won out for a road trip of a lifetime!
The guys headed up to ride the morning after the first snowfall of the season, there were a lot of trees down but they were equipped with an axe which provided a comfy case of “hot-back” for Adam. Between that and Fraser's pocket saw they had the road cleared in no time. In retrospect they realized that the drive up should have foreshadowed the trail conditions—anyone who is halfway aware may have recognized the connection. No backpacks on a powder day!
|Squamish is a place I feel like I've never properly experienced even though I've done a few film shoots there and I've driven through it at least once, sometimes twice, a year for the last 14 years. I really enjoy the old school, technical style trails that are hidden in those woods, and I've always wanted an excuse to go ride them.Cam McCaul|
|Riding with these two is a blast. I've worked and filmed with both these lads loads, and I was pumped to join in and put rubber down—on snow! There's a recurring theme of riding frozen terrain with Cam and Adam, and Squamish delivered day one. We even got first tracks on Half Nelson! Fraser Newton|The first snow of the season meant fresh tracks on Half Nelson. The rider breaking the trail had the easiest job; everyone coming behind didn't have much line choice, contrary to summer riding where you can learn from the people in front of you.
|The first morning we looked out the window and it was a full on snowstorm. We rode a ton of stuff where you couldn't see the trail at all and it ended up being a blast. You'd lose control every five seconds and have to figure out how to save it. Cam McCaul|Psueda Psuga was handling the drainage well and Adam was cornering like it was a dry and dusty day.
|The snow was actually pretty fun to slide around on—the rain that was falling on it was the bad part.Adam Billinghurst|The boys warmed up with some local indian food from Essence of India.
|A safe, stylish vehicle that can get the kids to school on time is a necessity, but wouldn't it be great if that same vehicle is also right at home with a couple bikes on the roof or drifting a gravel corner?Cam McCaul|
|The fit and finish of the Sportswagen was all-time; and the all wheel drive too. Of course it's their top tier model with a touchscreen and leather inside. Having the ability to interact with the car's computer and being able to control the drive mode was great for cutting loose. The stereo was insane too!Fraser Newton|"Cause shotgun bullets are bad for your health." ~ Ice Cube
|I realized when I rolled my first car that maybe I should leave the recreational drifting to my bike; but it's been 10 years since I rolled that car and it was time to get back on the horse. The VW made it easy for me to drive above my ability level and before long I was getting into some nice drifts. I started to be able to pick lines on the road with the drift in mind. Cam McCaul| Rallying the car was a good time, there were enough bodies for a poor man’s road closure (read: hollering when corners were clear). The whole time Adam was beat-boxing with the multi-pitch proximity sensors with Cam’s harmonic fills. This exchange went like this; “nice horse”, “nice van”. So stoic bro.
|For this project there needed to be a lot of driving shots in the VW so the dirt logging roads in Squamish seemed pretty appealing.Cam McCaul|
|The Sportwagen had some feature that were pretty convenient for mountain bikers—like the lever in the trunk that made the back seats go down.Adam Billinghurst|
This is 20 kilometres up the Squamish Valley; we were exploring.
Getting very Canadian while out for dinner at the Copper Coil; lots of meat, brisket, burnt tips, and poutine.
|Keeping up with Cam's humour is a full time job. He's got some lucky kids.Fraser Newton|
Hanging out with local trail builder, Big Red Ted (aka Tedward Shovelhands) and talking about the portal to Mordor.
This lower section of Half Nelson was new this past season from Ted and his crew. These new berms, flow section, and bridges helped to avoid dangerous trail merge. The new berms were rated 'insane.'Gouranga trail at the top of the rocks, next to Highway to Hell in the Alice Lake/Slabs of Squamish area. Warming up around a staple pallet fire for the final night's celebrations after revisiting old haunts and touring Cam around some of the places he recognized from old videos. The snow meant not getting to ride everything they wanted to but getting to hang out for a weekend was well worth the trip! Squamish mountain biking trails
|My favourite part of the whole trip was simply getting to hang out with Cam and Fraser!Adam Billinghust|
Images by Reuben Krabbe.