The Fro Riders in Disneyland

Dec 19, 2014 at 8:34
by Ale Di Lullo  

Crankworx is the biggest, baddest MTB festival around, and holy smokes does it leave you exhausted. After ten days of riding, jumping, shooting, drinking, winning, drinking, crashing and cheering, it leaves people needing some decompressing. Ale Di Lullo, Richie Schley and Brett Tippie were coming off their Crankworx Deep Summer Photo Challenge win - they definitely needed a change of pace, and were keen for some killer singletrack. As for myself, a couple days prior to Crankworx, I had an opportunity to shoot a video for the GoPro Dirt Diaries contest. One of the locations I chose was an epic old-school trail called Disneyland, located between Squamish and Vancouver. Filming Disneyland reminded me of how bloody sick this network is; it had been a popular destination 5-10 years ago in the “freeride” heyday.

That trip confirmed it is the best bang-for-your-buck heli-drop in the Sea to Sky corridor. So I planned for a repeat heli-drop the day after Crankworx to satisfy our needs. It is possible to climb/hike up Disneyland if one has a full day to kill and the goat legs for it, but the preferred method is to heli, and at that, it still takes 6+hours to ride out. If you find yourself sessioning along the way, it’s more like an 8-9 hour day. Cheap for the $150 scenic flight!

Logistics are always a large part of the story.
He may be the happiest man alive. The Tippler.
It s a bit of a jigsaw puzzle getting the dismantled bikes to fit in the chopper.
The Froriders together again. In the selfies era
Every ride in a heli is a treat.
The small world below from above.
How sound from above.
Beautiful BC.
Bird s eye view.
Best shuttle vehicle ever.
bigquotesThe truth is, Disneyland is only one trail among many in the vast network, but the name seems to embody it all. Starting at 1700m in the alpine high up on Goat Ridge, the trail is faintly marked with cairns left by motorcycle trials riders, the original creators, and has plenty of craggy alpine features to ride and shoot. This was the time for a safety meeting with Tippie: "Dude, we are out here so don't get messed up!' A bad crash or a broken bike would mean an ugly hike out.
Building up the bikes after the flight is always a defining moment. Will everything work
The ominous alpine with the threat of a storm always ads to the adventure
Wade hangin it out on the edge
Since we were all kids we have been finding steep lines everywhere. The search never ends.
Hitting the tree-line and things are about to get real steep that is.
Lunch at the office
Grizzly bear like euphoria
The Godfather takes a break.
After a life time of hangin out we still have so many laughs
Chicken anyone
The sub-Alpine is my favorite place on earth. There is just something about it.

Burning through two hours way too quickly, we basically had to peel Ale away from the scenic alpine and get moving; ahead was still four to five hours of mind-blowing riding. Nearing the end of the ridge, we eventually passed a couple of lakes terminating the subalpine experience. This is the point where shit gets serious. Riding through the last of the alpine berry bushes the floor appears to drop away as if god himself wanted to pour you out. I had been anticipating this, wanting and waiting to see the look of fear on the guy’s faces! From here down, riders are thrown into an elevator-like descent through woods that seem to go on forever. These pitches are the steepest I have ever ridden. It’s daunting because the conditions are always perfect skiddy loam and the pitch doesn’t ease for a good 10 minutes. It’s described best as bicycle powder skiing down unstoppable chutes. Either you ride or you crash.

No shortage of beautiful spot along the way.
Tippie s nose for finding steep ride-able lines is second to none

Relieved to escape the “hellevators” unscathed, we were stoked to see the trail level off a bit take on a different nature entering the land of gnomes and mossy old growth forest. This is where the many granite slabs that made Disneyland famous are found. Continuing on, the trail predominately descends, but is punctuated by healthy un-rideable climbs reminding us we are at the mercy of trials motorcycle terrain.

Descending on, the obvious glaciated islands of the Howe Sound revealed themselves as the trail weaved through forest linking various granite slabs in a repeated sequence. We attempted to stop at every worthy shoot location but there were just too many for the waning light.

Wade and I carve along the exposed ridges. Many no fall zones on this epic descent
New View cabin is a must stop for a snack to look out at BC s majesty
Steep and Deep in the woods. The rock lines stack up on top of each other like a waterfall.
Wade loving the vertical lines.
Tippie doing what he does best dropping into to very steep things.
Lord of the Chain Rings.

Who needs Moab when you can ride the pristine loam of BC straight into a natural granite skate park.
Rock Rolls like quarter pipe drop-ins everywhere and they all have smooth trannies.

Ripping past the epic views of Howe Sound.
Pretty much faking our smiles at this point as we are so hungry and blown. Loving every minute of it though

Taking a quick breather on one of the last rock outcroppings and soaking up the lazy sun, we laughed at the contrast of our lives and of this sport over the last 10 days. From the crazy Crankworx circus to an empty amusement park, we agreed it was odd that we had to come to a place called Disneyland to get away from Crankworx. It very well may be “the happiest place on earth!”

Reminiscing about the good old days with my best buddies.
Getting your shoes of at the end of a huge day is a little slice of heaven. Not to mention a beer.
Always a starved feast after the 10 hours on the bike eating only energy bars. Notice Tippie is already finished.

Wade put together this POV footage video of himself, Richie Schley, and Brett Tippie as they ride Disneyland:
Views: 15,633    Faves: 82    Comments: 4



MENTIONS @aledilullo @wadevsimmons @bretttippie @richieschley @RockyMountainBicycles




89 Comments

  • + 105
 every shot was absolutely incredible......except for that closeup of that piece of chicken or whatever the hell that was.
  • - 26
flag bikecustomizer (Jan 8, 2015 at 2:57) (Below Threshold)
 +1 for that "exept..."...daaamn Smile
  • + 48
 I am entertained. This was not Enduro, this was not steeze, this was authentic and original! No bias to promote anything more but riding a bike in the woods. You guys created a brilliant master piece. Ale Di Lullo I love your stuff! - Sterling Lorence, for me the benchmark, has found his match Big Grin Looking forward to your projects in 2015
  • + 23
 Many thanks for this comment man! nothing but happy to see my name together with Sterl. His work is amazing and always been inspirational for me.
  • + 2
 Grande, continua così! Usi una full-frame suppongo (:
  • + 2
 Ale, great to see your photos all over the place... I don't think you could have paired up with a better crew! Awesome adventures always awaiting, not I mention, loads of laughs.
  • + 1
 My dream job right there!! Always looking for people to inspire me!! Thank you Ale Di Lullo for creating such inspirational art!!
  • + 27
 I used to watch Kranked in the late 90's and thought these guys were living the dream, now 17+ years later the same 3 guys are shredding the trails, exploring the world and still having fun on their MTB's. For almost 2 decades these guys have been an inspiration to get out and ride when its too hot, cold, rainy etc just think of the fro riders and I'm up off the couch Smile
  • + 23
 James Robbins is correct in that Disneyland is a very small part of that riding paradise, with most of the pictures being taken on The Goat, and various bits of Blue Toque, 7 Creeks through Handlebar Heights, New View, and if following the "standard" mtb line, Glen's Glenn, Dim Eyes and the 401.

Another thing that should be considered is that the trail was built without mountain biking in mind, and is therefore not built to handle the volume of traffic that could result from heavy marketing of the route. If it was to again become a heavily used trail system by the mtb community, then an mtb/trials trail crew should get together to built a more sustainable line.

We in the trials community would encourage this, and have been working with builders from the mtb community in the area with excellent results on other new lines benefitting both riding groups.

I really enjoyed the photo diary of the day; excellent pictures!

Spencer
  • + 8
 Thanks Spenser for being so diplomatic! Hope the route doesn't get too popular but it's now back in the public eye so it'll see more traffic no doubt.
  • + 11
 I'm not convinced it will....The commerical rec tenure holder isn't really interested in guiding on it due to it's remoteness and steepness, and the average joe won't be able to get up there on their own accord, let alone navigate the maze of trails....I'd like to think everything will work out okay on this.
  • + 21
 you know something's steep when it looks that way on GoPro footage . .. . ..
  • + 2
 That one kind of open section with he rocks on the left looked sooo steep!
  • + 8
 And they earn money by doing that? I am agnostic, but I am starting to believe, there is at least... a paradise!!!

Oh man... and I am here right now, at the office working as a engineer... kill me now!!!
  • + 6
 Thats their job... I feel your pain, sitting in an office myself right now... I would ditch my 5 year egeneering major for this life at any moment!!
  • + 10
 Ok, just watching that gave me arm cramps and I've changed my brake pads twice. That's proper riding!
  • + 1
 Hold on for dear life!
  • + 9
 Can anyone offer me a job in BC? I really need to move there!
  • + 5
 Let's go, I will be there in July! Any dish washer job will do!
  • + 7
 Any job will do, dishwasher, pole dancer, mechanic. Come on BC government, three energetic guys wanting jobs
  • + 2
 make that 4.
  • - 2
 Then you realize that it is BC and there are simply no jobs. I've been trying to find a reason to move away from Alberta for years and every time I almost pull the trigger I look at the fact that I'd need to fly back to Calgary every week to hold a job that could pay for housing in the GVA or Squamish/Whistler.
  • + 3
 Be a bike courier in Vancouver!
  • + 3
 @cueTIP Maybe your standards are too high!
I would like to spend maybe 4 months in BC riding, so literally anything would do!
  • + 6
 Well, I can see Disneyland from my kitchen window, and I've got a job. And so do most people living here. It may not be like Alberta where all u need is a heartbeat to make a hundred grand but many people do just fine here.
  • - 1
 I've got an Honours degree in Geology from U of C, a Bachelors of GIS from SAIT and a Masters of GIS from UC in New Zealand and I still can't find a job that pays even 1/3 of what I make in Calgary. I love biking, but honestly at 28 I'd rather have a decent place and retirement plan PLUS monthly trips to BC, plus once per year trips to Europe or NZ than live hand-to-mouth in BC. But everyone is different and if you're just travelling then by all means, grab a temp job in BC and ride, did that for 5 years during my undergrads.
  • + 8
 Yeah, but living in Calgary isn't really living. That's why you spend every second you can somewhere else. If you tried, you would be able to buy a house, live in Squamish and ride whenever you like as well as enjoy everything else BC has to offer on a daily basis. My brother-in-law is also a geologist with a GIS specialty, and he's doing just that. Maybe you'll come ride the trail we're building from the Gondola someday. Sorry to belittle you, but there's tons of ways to live the dream here. Everyone I know is doing just that, so don't diss BC living.
  • + 1
 Now I want even more to go to Whistler! I have never been to Canada, is it worth to spend my whole time in Whistler, since I will get a season pass, or I would be better off looking for a job somewhere nearby, like Squamish? I am taking enough money to spend a month without working, but after that I will either have to come back or get an income. It it easy to get to Whistler from Squamish without owning a car?
  • + 1
 @Caiokv, the whole country is epic not just BC. I was in alberta for 3 weeks and every day was a new experience. The people are so friendly, laws seem normal and stuff is quite cheap.

Come on BC government, loads of guys wanting meanial jobs just to pay our way for riding
  • + 3
 "laws seem normal" I just put a cozy around my beer can and no one bothers me.
  • + 6
 Hey @paulwatt Squamish is full! Wink
  • + 1
 Oops! Yeah, I forgot!
  • + 4
 My comment was intended for the pinkbike masses.
It was not intended to question the integrity/passion/skill of Wade, Schley, or Tippie. Photos were stellar and write up was excellent.

Goat Ridge can be accessed by a lengthy bike ride, followed by 1 1/2 hour hike.

The top section of Goat Ridge is not capable of handling an increase in mtb traffic unless a new line is built. It can be done, but would involve collaboration between trials riders and mtb-ers.

My fear of this article, is suddenly every Tom/Dick and Harry are now going to add this trip to their Whistler itinerary and the "perfect skiddy loam" will be death baby heads in a trench. The goat ridge descent is hard, and I honestly do not know many riders who would like that type of riding. Fly a bunch of not so talented riders to the top, to fend for themselves, and I cringe to see the footage.

Obviously, these guys know how to ride. The footage shows that.

I know! I sound some like old dodgy curmudgeon. I don't mean to be! I am just one of the people that built some of the trails up there.
  • - 1
 Too late dave. Genie's out of the bottle. Already saw this article republished to endurobro.com
  • + 5
 Trail bike. Check!
Plane tickets to British Columbia? Check!
$150 for heli ride. Check!
Skills to survive the trail....eh...not so much...
(I'm sure a life-flight out costs more than the leisurely flight in)
  • + 7
 Shout out for Mags99! Those are some tastey fish tacos!
  • + 4
 Last picture makes me wants some MAGS 99 food so bad right now! haha If you are ever in the Squamish or passing through make you sure you stop by MAGS 99!
  • + 5
 epic photos!!! great adventure!
  • + 1
 I was intrigued to read and view this article when I read Tippie, Simmons, and "Disneyland". That video was the icing on the cake for me after reading some of the descriptions of this trail. Very cool and outstanding photography, thanks to the awesome people who made viewing this magic on a screen while lying in bed possible.
  • + 2
 Very nice photos! I've know about DL since forever, but heli drop is too rich for my clan of cheap ass buds. Strange that it looks well traveled, there must be another *cough* way up?
  • + 1
 Nice report. I wish we had such remote spots here in North Germany.
One question for the heli-drop. Does it really just cost 150$ or 150 per person? It seems pretty cheap, but this is out of my depth.
  • + 4
 The Fro rider all together?!! If I wasn't so sad, it could Christmas!
  • + 3
 i feel ya bro!
  • + 4
 Amazing, love these guys!
  • + 4
 and this is essence of mountain biking to me.
  • + 2
 Incredible photography, but in the video, no doubt that it was damn steep but with all helmet cam struggled to realise the gradient
  • + 4
 Tippie's smile in every pic = Epic win!
  • + 3
 that shit looks steep and fun!
  • + 2
 legendary trail net work riden by legendary peeps. BC has too many gems to ride in one life time. But im tryin!
  • + 2
 l should start saving money for a heli drop ride. looks super fun all the way around
  • + 3
 The video made my arms hurt!
  • + 2
 Hollywood blockbuster ...........
  • + 1
 I was supposed to ride that on a BC trip years ago but it didn't happen...think I'll have to make another trip someday..
  • + 2
 More features just like this! All day long!
  • + 2
 Steep faces, what mountain biking is about!
  • + 1
 wich rocky mountain bike was used and brutalized in this movie by tippie and wade
  • + 2
 What no Rockshox or Fox sus. products to be seen!!!
  • + 2
 Looks like a dream come true.
  • + 1
 If they're riding that slow...that must be STEEP!
  • + 1
 That 14th photo (from the top)!!!
RAD!!!
  • + 1
 Your rite thats Disneyland
  • + 1
 Where is this place? I need to go there NOW!!
  • + 1
 Awesome! Made my morning!
  • + 1
 Morning wood. Another Photo epic.
  • + 0
 Great pictures, nice trail.... Next time do it without taking an helicopter and it will really be MTB spirit !!
  • + 11
 We have done it several times without the hell, but you can't quite get all of the Alpine in one day and we didn't want to kill Ale with his heavy pack. Either way that is one of the coolest challenging rides on earth. If you ever get the chance, you should do it. Heli or just ride to New View. Absolutely sick!
  • + 7
 Have to agree with Grononosse on this one.
I am one of the newer builders in Britannia. It makes much more sense to hike-a-bike.
It takes me 4 hours to get to the heli drop. 3 hours to get to the 1 st alpine tarn lake. And I am just a common joe. Not some billy-goat superstar.

As well, the simple process of hike-a-biking means you are more likely to work on the trail on the way up, and recognize its very fragile nature. The disneyland goat ridge descent can not handle much traffic. So its always good to "earn your turns".

If traffic increases in this area, in a couple years it will be crap. "Perfect Skiddy Loam" does not last.
  • + 4
 Heli's are nice and I get the rationale, but earning your turns adds something to this descent. And, David is right, this area is only as good as it is because of how little traffic it sees. The internet is great and all, but not every trail in the sea2sky needs to be on it (thinking this and the EWS vid of Trespasser last summer). Sometime the best secrets are the ones that stay secrets.
  • + 4
 Takes me 5 or 6 to the alpine at the Skypilot view but that includes BlackBerry eating, Instagram posting and alpine lake skinny dipping. Pics by request
  • + 5
 I imagine that throughout their careers, Wade, Schley and Tippie have all certainly 'earned their turns'. Brilliant stuff from Wade and Ale.
  • + 3
 The pictures would be equally stunning without the name dropping or any mention of the heli. Leave some mystery out there. The current ethic in this zone is to avoid the heli.
  • + 2
 So is this on the agenda for my next BC trip, Lee?
  • + 2
 Deathmarch SFU KRob
  • + 1
 I think if people are getting taken on heli drops to cool biking places more power to them!! Big Grin
  • + 1
 Now, I NEED to ride this trail
  • + 1
 Wow nice shots, definitely not pale Ale.
  • + 1
 Awesome Defined.
But why are they on all on Brand C suspension?
  • + 1
 you guys are rad, Wade's lines are sooo good!!!!!!!!!
  • + 1
 banger start to '15 so far.
  • + 1
 good job. that is awesome place.
  • + 0
 That wasn't Disneyland. Article title was deceiving.
  • + 3
 Every pic and the whole video was Disneyland, not the one in CA.
  • + 7
 No, not all of it is Disneyland. The lower trails you rode and took pictures on have different names and were built by someone besides moto trials riders (who happens to have commented here). Make sure props are given where they are due, especially when someone else's sweat and hard work makes your rad adventure possible.

Although I respect the pioneers involved in this article to no end, I also think putting a picture of an unsanctioned cabin in here is poor form. The more people that see it and try to find it, the more likely it is to disappear - sure then guys that took the time to build it would not be stoked about that.
  • + 6
 That person "who happens to have commented here" has seen the light and is now a moto trials rider as well.....some people aren't afraid to have a bit more fun riding the trails two directions.
  • + 2
 Ahh, yes, he has become both - my post was misleading, but he is not among the moto trials bros that built Goat Ridge and Disneyland proper. Believe me, I am convinced that a trials moto looks like a whole lotta fun! You only need to see Tinkerbell once and the die is cast. Pinching pennies and hoping to buy a used rig this late this summer. Riding the "Disneyland area" on a trials bike is clearly the way to go. Anyone who has pedaled up that grinder can tell you a throttle sure would be nice!
  • + 1
 Fawkin' eh.
  • + 1
 Superb!
  • - 3
 That wasn't Disneyland, Whisler Crankworx is Disneyland !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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