Despite everyone's hectic Crankworx schedules Pinkbike VIPs joined one another for an amazing day of heli-biking to one of Whistler's most iconic high alpine trails. We all met bright and early at the Whistler Municipal Heliport, the base of operations for Blackcomb Helicopters. After a classic Canadian breakfast of Tim Horton's donuts and coffee we sat down for a quick safety video followed by a briefing by pilot Adam Topshee. We learned that basically everything on a helicopter is trying to kill you, and if you don't respect the aircraft, then it won't respect you. Afterwards we were asked to choose a single person from each of the five groups to be the designated bike unloader. This task went to those we deemed the most responsible in the groups, or in Tahnee's case, the person who succumbed to the peer pressure.
Once the clouds finally lifted we were given the green light to take flight. Our quick helicopter trip took us over the the Whistler Valley and up to the high alpine peak of Rainbow. This location is a mountain bikers dream. A classic, above treeline area filled with small lakes and ponds. The downside to this however were the thousands of mosquitoes who were eagerly awaiting their next feast of mountain biker blood. As it turns out mosquitoes are quite the food bloggers, and apparently Rainbow peak is a prime tourist destination to try many different kinds of international cuisine. Once we survived the onslaught of the flying mini vampires, we posed for a few photos, took a few selfies, and had our pilot do a few flybys for us.
When we all decided it was time to actually ride bikes, we walked a quick five minutes to the trailhead. The view from behind the bars was epic to say the least, and we were staring down miles of beautiful singletrack all the way to the valley floor. The ride started off with alpine shale riding featuring rocky ruts and small drops all over the place. Once we descended into to forest things got quite greasy. The recent rain and mist kept the trail damp and the rocks and roots hadn't yet had time to dry out. People were slipping and sliding all over the place down the steep and technical trail. As we regrouped at the bottom we shared war stories of the crashes, hornet stings and bear sightings. Our day ended with a quick pedal on the Valley Trail back to Whistler Village where food and beers were awaiting our arrival.
Thanks so much to Blackcomb Helicopters, the staff at Pinkbike, and all the VIPs who made this an amazing day!
The mosquitoes were bad up top.