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Fall Lines - Finn Finestone

by WhistlerMountain BikePark 
 
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Images for Fall Lines - Finn Finestone

Fall is by its very nature a time of urgency. Modern humans have lost touch with what fall means in the animal kingdom. Our little screens and big grocery stores have insulated us from nature’s call to action to get ready for winter. All around us the signs of impending winter roll in like low cloud to the valley. The bears make a final showing, fat from a summer of working to round out their figures for the big sleep. The salmon show up like clockwork finding their natal streams to spawn a future generation of progeny they will not live to see. Let’s not forget the obvious dustings of snow that start on the peaks of the Coast Range and begin their hopeful creep to lower elevations while their images clog the feeds of our social media from friends who would forgo the season of anticipation for eternal winter.

Images for Fall Lines - Finn Finestone
High on the Blue Velvet rock wall-ride.

Images for Fall Lines - Finn Finestone
The snowline in the alpine begins the slow creep to the valley.

Fall is a season better measured in hours not days or weeks. For a pair of riders that hang the bikes up for snowboards the sense of urgency to get in those last rides before it’s all over must be balanced with the desire to chase nature’s limited time offer of hooking those wild salmon while they are fresh from the ocean. The sensation of being taken for a ride, spooling line at high speed by a powerful fish on one of nature’s great migrations rivals the exhilaration of a trip down A-Line and can last three times as long.

Images for Fall Lines - Finn Finestone
Tree island hip

Fall is sand through an hourglass only the glass is opaque and you can’t see how much is left inside. Daylight wanes by four minutes a day in September and snow can close trails at higher elevations virtually anytime. Conditions on the trails flip from dusty to tacky overnight, often from one perfect weather event coming in slowly with 5mm of rain in the evening and slowly building to 15-20mm overnight. Enough moisture to knock down the dust and inject the soil with the catalyst to hold itself together again. Too much too soon and the ground can’t keep up, the perfect conditions will be delayed another day until nature finds that perfect balance.

Images for Fall Lines - Finn Finestone
Garbo. Rising up through the mist.

A natural one-arm bandit needing the three cherries of temperature, moisture and soil compaction to align, the pay dirt is exactly that riding conditions that can’t be beat. Riding skills reach their peak and spring’s new bike finally feels like an extension of the body, floating over tech sections picking up only the bits of trail you want to tap while skipping over discarded features that won’t be pumped on this lap. Fall riding is ticking the boxes on features that have been nagging you to clean all season. Predictable traction and speeds mean getting more sideways or deeper into that elusive landing.

Images for Fall Lines - Finn Finestone
In deep on In Deep

Images for Fall Lines - Finn Finestone
Crabapple Hits with style

For us, fall is a time of father and son bonding. It’s the time when we can show each other how far our riding has come, one of us improving while the other just works to maintain. Fall is cleaning bikes after each ride and shoes that are banned from the house. For us Fall Time is All Time.

Images for Fall Lines - Finn Finestone
Taking advantage of the salmon run in Squamish, BC.

Words by: Brian Finestone - Whistler BC resident, father, husband, and Whistler Mountain Bike Park Manager. @Finestone

Photography by: Brian Finestone of Finn Finestone - Whistler BC resident, elementary school student, mountain biker, and snowboarder.

About FALL LINES
A rider driven story series shining light into their moments at the Whistler Mountain Bike Park. @WhistlerMountainBikePark
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8 Comments

  • + 6
 Fall is *the* time to visit the Whistler bike park. Cooler temps, some actual moisture in the dirt, vacation crowd gone, and the colours just seem to pop! Last year I headed out in Sept and Oct but this year nada and it makes me sad. Next year I'll have to make up for it!
  • + 1
 Great article Brian. Well written.
  • + 1
 Awesome! Two of the best!
  • + 1
 Great way to sum up the fall! My favorite time of year.
  • + 0
 Sorry ^ ^ was a typo. Great photos, great story...
  • + 0
 Always wanted to go to whistler in the fall. Maybe one day.
  • + 0
 ...????

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