The 2013 Bearclaw Invitational Details

May 30, 2013 at 12:15
by Darren Berrecloth  
The Bearclaw Invitational is a Gold level slopestyle mountain bike event built and designed by myself, Darren Berrecloth. In partnership with Mount Washington Alpine Resort I’ve been able to pull off six successful years of contest innovation since its birth in 2005. The course itself is built in and amongst massive cedar and fir trees along with many wood built feature to promote a West Coast feel. Not only is it the best looking course on the FMBA World Tour, but I’m proud to say is now a permanent course. While watching the action, riders and spectators alike can take in panoramic views of Strathcona Park valley while to cheering from the beer garden. Although this event is one of the most challenging of the season, it’s always a rider favourite!

Here is a look at the course finals from 2012:
Views: 61,077    Faves: 698    Comments: 39

A savings in course construction pictured here in 2011 is making the purse bigger for 2012. Photo Credit Harookz
  Making things happen.

bigquotesBearclaw Invitational is definitely my favorite event of the year! The atmosphere is insane, we are in the middle of the forest and the track looks like it's been there since forever! Skinny drops, logs, big jumps, it's a proper slopestyle course! I can't wait to be there again! - Yannick Granieri

Event Schedule:

August 23rd
Amateur competition
Pro qualifying

August 24th
Bearclaw invatational slopestyle event
Whip off competition
Mile DH race

Twenty five of the worlds best international slope style riders will once again throw down for the $35,000 prize purse. The weekend of the even has been moved to August 22-24th. In addition to the pro event there will be an amateur contest as well so all the shredders out there can throw down on the smaller side of the course. The top two riders from the amateur event will be invited to compete in the pro event, so all you shredders out there that want to break into the Freeride World Tour, this is your chance, so put it in your calendars and don’t miss out!

Anthony Messere tailwhipping off the step down in his way to 3rd place and 5000

bigquotesIt's a rider's comp. Built by riders, for riders and everyone is genuinely pumped to be there. - Cam Zink

Seating runs will go down Friday evening for the pros and the finals will be held on Saturday at 1pm for the pros. The amateur contest will be held on Friday at 2pm. Competitors that are under the age of 18 please read the waiver details on the website. Practice starts on Thursday for the pros and amateurs, but check the website for all the details.

Rider List:
Kelly McGarry
Justin Wyper
Jordie Lunn
Jamie Goldman
Jakub Vencl
Jack Fogelquist
Greg Watts
Graham Agassiz
Geoff Gulevich
Darren Berrecloth
Casey Groves
Cameron Zink
Cam McCaul
Brett Rheeder
Brandon Semenuk
Antoine Bizet
Anthony Messere
Andrew Taylor
Andreu Lacondeguy
Yannick Granieri
Tyler McCaul
Tomas Zejda
Thomas Genon
Teo Gustavson
Szymon Godziek
Sam Dueck
Sam Reynolds
Sam Pilgrim
Ryan Howard
Peter Henke
Paul Genovese
Niki Leitner
Mitch Chubey
Mike Montgomery
Martin Söderström
Leo Delfour-Barsacq
Kyle Strait
Kurtis Sorge

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Photo sequence by Ian Hylands

bigquotesClaw's contest is rad because he knows what the riders like. Being in the scene himself, he designs the course, format, atmosphere and the general feel of the contest to cater to the riders. A fun course and a fun atmosphere to compete in always makes for an epic event and an even better show for the fans. - Greg Watts

About Mount Washington -
Mount Washington Alpine Resort is located in one of the most beautiful geographical locations on the planet. It is located in the middle of Vancouver Island on the eastern side. The resort is 3 hours north of Victoria, BCʼs capital, and over 300,000 Islanders live within an hour and half drive to the mountain. Vancouver is 3 hours from Mount Washington (ferry time included). The resort is easily accessible via the four lane Inland Island Highway from each major centre. On mountain, riders are treated to views of the Pacific Ocean, Strathcona Provincial Park and the stunning Coast Mountain Range, all while negotiating a world-class network of trails a vertical mile above sea level. The mountain is the third most visited resort in BC for both skiing and summer hiking.


  • 61 3
 No offence to the Claw but I would have a hard time attending this when Mount Washington isn't even opening for riding this year. They were disappointed by the turnout but didn't put the dollars into getting the riding ready each year. Opening with two mucky trails due to the snow pack will never generate the excitement required for repeat visitors to the park. I would hope they reconsider in the future, but for now I will be spending my dollars elsewhere.
  • 15 128
flag MikewillBike (May 30, 2013 at 14:12) (Below Threshold)
 no offense to you but you spelled offence wrong breh
  • 182 14
 Offence: British English spelling. AKA. original, unbastardised English.

Aaaaand now I sit back and wait for the negs to roll in.....
  • 6 25
flag barbarosza (May 30, 2013 at 14:23) (Below Threshold)
  • 29 10
 I think (hope) I speak for most Americans when I say Facepalm
  • 30 16
 When you claim to speak for most Americans, that's rarely a good sign that what you're about to say will make much sense. So I conclude that you probably don't speak for most Americans
  • 14 2
 I'm glad you understand exactly what I was trying to say Smile
  • 43 32
 Consider how stupid the average American is... Now realize that half of them are even dumber.
  • 30 5
 i would like to guess that the average pinkbike american is somewhat more intelligent than the average non-pinkbiker american. i'm also guessing optimism will one day catch up to me Wink
  • 8 0
 I think Darren has proven that he has the knowledge, passion and skill to successfully carry out all kinds of varying mountain bike related projects. Why isnt he running the Mt. Washington bike park? Last time I rode there I almost asked for my money back. If Im not mistaken, I remember it being around early to mid August and runs were still snowed in. Pretty disappointing.
  • 7 1
 he's a pro mtn biker. not a resort ceo. maybe with his ability to call to arms and track record for organizing successful events he could eventually translate those skills into a successful business career.
  • 12 24
flag Chaindriven (May 30, 2013 at 18:36) (Below Threshold)
 Canada the superpower- not ever...
  • 7 2
 ^ I guess that day is today Frown
  • 4 1
 @cuban-b I went ahead and gave you all positive props. Murica the now half decent.
  • 3 3
 Face palm... BIG TIME for the offence vs offense comment guy... lol!
  • 4 0
 Wait what?!? I must be mistaken...Did I see Semenuk on the rider list?? Who is this kid..?
  • 2 6
flag Motoracer31 (May 31, 2013 at 21:57) (Below Threshold)
 merica has a way better nickname than canada.... nada? anada? so stupid. we win. And we have mexico under us, waves and beaches!
  • 14 0
 we're bigger and on top, if this was prison, you'd be out bitch.
  • 8 0
 im an american and as soon as im done with college off to canada i go. The enormous number of morons in america is causing the already scarce intelligent ones to move.
  • 2 0
 To be fair america is a pretty sweet place, I grew up in NY and if ur near a city it will probably be pretty nice, our rednecks just happen to be more adapt at pissing people off through means of stupidity
@billy you should go to canada for school, its a lot cheaper =)
  • 3 0
 id love to go to school in canada! but i dont think its gonna happen ): i do like the city and all but im sorta tired of milwaukee. kinda wanna move to vancouver
  • 28 0
 I feel ya folks, it definitely sucks the hill isn't open. All we can hope for is new owners so if you have any millionaire friends, get them to buy it and lets make that hill awesome. Feel free to boycott the hill but don't miss out on the live webcast if I can make it happen. Rock on folks.
  • 1 1
 the hill isnt open but the dh race is still going to run?
  • 1 0
 Shut up Joseph
  • 27 1
 I really doubt darren has anything to do with the mountains strategic planning regarding their bike park operations (or lack there of). What he is responsible for is bringing you (the viewer) one of, if not the best contest in slopestyle.

Support him, support the riders. Just don't give the mountain itself any money. Go watch the comp, stay off mountain, and sneak in lucky's. Simple
  • 4 0
  • 8 0
 Happy to see Semenuk on the list! cant wait for life behind bars season 2!!!! Big Grin
  • 13 0
 I went there every year I was on the island; I even came from Whistler to ride Mt Washington. Their operation got smaller and smaller over the past few years. Last year was pretty rough riding, for many reasons (weather, minimal trails open, minimal trail maintenance). I appreciate that business is business. No money coming in means no money should be going out. But Mt Washington had the opportunity to invest in better trails, but they chose not to. Their choice. In response, fewer people were going. Our choice. I doubt that this event will have a big turn-out if there's no chairlift riding.

"If you build it, they will come."
  • 3 0
 tell that to euro disney
  • 8 0
 Really sad that Mount Washington can't get there act together an open the bike park, when they have such a great event at there own hill promoting mountain biking attached to one of the best riders in the world. With a little more effort put into the bike park it could be a good thing for the resort! Go Claw!!!!
  • 10 0
 Looking forward to this event. Claw is the man.
  • 8 0
 I see Semenuk! I wonder if he is getting itchy to compete watching all these contests from home?
  • 3 0
 I hope not, I want to see other winners! But seriously I think Semenuk is gonna pop in a few comps, just because they're fun. I think that this one in particular is one of the more fun, laid back events.
  • 2 1
 Semenuk'is focusing more on movies this year, but will be at the biggest contests!Smile
  • 5 0
 Very sad about the bike park closure at Mt Washington. My family and I had a great season there last summer. I really feel that, properly managed, it could be a money maker. THAT BEING SAID, Darren runs a bitchin event that islanders should be honored to host and attend. I will definitely be taking my family to see some of the greatest athletes on the planet shock and awe the spectators. Thanks Claw for all the massive effort you put into this event. It is truly appreciated by the fans and your fellow riders. I hope to see you all there. I will save you a cold Lucky in the beer garden!
  • 4 0
 So mount Washington not open for riding this year kinda makes this event a NO SHOW, CAUSE I CANT RIDE THERE WHAT'S THE POINT OF DRIVING ALL THE WAY UP THERE watch only! !!!!! ps my all mountain bike is getting way more use anyways . nuff said peace!
  • 1 1
 People fly from all over the country to watch crank work and not ride. What the hella the difference. Still a big slope style event
  • 9 4
 Participants, wtf????

Anton Thelander not invited, but some guys with not even half his level????

Comon, Darren, get Thelander on board asap!
  • 2 0
 I think he did, just forgot to put his name on the list.
  • 10 1
 I think the list is pretty damn comprehensive. To wonder why thelander didn't get listed is like inviting all the Marvel and DC comic heroes and then wondering 'hey wtf where's Darkwing Duck?'
  • 2 1
  • 6 0
 Anton Thelander
Tom VanSteenbergen
Carson Storch?
  • 3 2
  • 2 2
 correction: you LOVE darkwing duck
  • 1 3
 how can ryan howard be there when kurt sorge isnt.
  • 2 1
 Kurt Sorge is there...
  • 1 0
 What about Pavel Alekhin!! He needs to compete!
  • 5 0
 someone should tell darren that the place is closed to riders now. last paragraph still says there is riding up there.. copy and paste much.
  • 6 0
 Oh Hey ! Why no mention of the closure in the article or any report on this news worthy situation.
  • 3 0
 So bummed mt. washington isn't opening. I'd like to go watch the event. But at the same time it would suck to think I could've been riding there. Yeh, it wasn't spectacular and some of the trails had quite odd stunts. But I enjoyed it everytime I went. In the summer I'd try to get up there every weekend.
  • 5 1
 I will fully support the Free ride comp scene and all the riders but so disappointed in Mt. WASHED-UPPINGTON
  • 2 0
 We've been callin it that since 03
  • 2 0
 mt. washboard
  • 1 0
 why does the first comment have to be a negative one? even if you got some truth to it, after reading the article that's the best thing you could say ? come on dude, look at the list of riders invited, can't you focus on that then some mud and snow on trails that wont see YOU attending the event..
  • 1 0
 @ cuban-b: not sure if you know what you're talking about Wink

Have a look at

I'd say 2/3 of the participants on the list above don't have the level of Anton Thelander for sure

He needs to be there!
  • 1 0
 I agree.. great people and great event to support...Unfortunate the Mtn is closed this summer. Us chicks and our awesome bikes were planning a weekend of fun but had to regroup and booked Silver Star. Yes.. this is a smaller Mtn.. but somewhere different to ride and always fun. Not busy like Whistler.. unless of course you pick a week day...Smile Bummer they closed! Frown
  • 3 2
 Facepalm to everyone who doesn't want to go because the mountain is closed. Mt Washington is literally surrounded by wicked trails. Go get yourself a Cumberland/Forbidden plateau guide book and then get out there and have a blast. I can almost guarantee you'll like the Cumberland trails better than the Mt Washington trails.
  • 1 0
 So where do ya get this Cumberland forbidden plateau guide book? What bike shop?
  • 2 0
 Check out Dodge City Cycles. I haven't ridden there in a few years because I moved to Ontario, but in Cumerland I would ride Buggered Pig on the way hike up to Bucket of Blood, ride Bucket of Blood and then finish on Bronco's Perseverance (don't forget to check out the awesome view of the creek from the cliff's edge).
  • 2 0
 Thirsty beaver is also a MUST hit trail if you like single black diamond DH ish runs.
  • 1 0
 Regarding the closure of the mountain: I think it is important to note that Vancouver Islanders have sincere pride of where they are from and love it like no other place on earth (and yes, that includes Whistler). The island may not be that big or populous but we really have it all: snow capped mountains in the winter for epic skiing/boarding, amazing weather, lakes, the ocean, waterfalls, beaches, amazing mountain bike trails (lift access or not) throughout the whole island etc. What I am getting at is to be able to maintain a high level mountain biking presence on the Island was a point of pride and we loved it. When I lived in Comox the first third of Monster Mile was nearly unrideable for a 13 year old on a hardtail and the burms in Hustler had more potholes than most cities, but I was there every weekend and never complained once. This should almost be seen as a Vancouver Island community issue regardless of how close or easy it is to access Whistler.

Hope that makes sense.
  • 2 0
 It's the same weekend as the BC Cup DH race so there should be lots of people around regardless of the closure on the bike park this season.
  • 1 0
 Insane rider list! How do you chose who is the best? Serious, eveyone of them wins or has won something awesome, why can't they just do it for fun or like the Claymore Challenge, bragging rights!?
  • 11 10
 Sorry Claw but I will be Boycotting the competition because of Mt Washington's shortsightedness. Why support them when they dont support riders.
  • 8 6
 There's a lot of negativity towards Mt Washington going on here. They didn't cease bike park operations because they "don't support riders". The bike park was a money pit for them and operating costs are too high for a labour of love. They get dumped on hard all winter and the snow sticks around too long. Plus they've also got Whistler to compete with! It's just not a recipe for a profitable business (begin rants about riding for fun, not profits, blah, blah, blah, here.) It's pretty rad that Darren is still going to host his contest, and anyone who's been a spectator there before knows that it'll be worth the trip. The roster is insane!!! If you're jonesing that bad to ride that weekend, check out the contest and go ride in Cumberland or Parksville. This contest will definitely be a "DON'T MISS!!!"
  • 10 0
 I understand what you are saying. Cumberland or Parksville are great dont get me wrong but getting one run in and having to hike gets old fast seeing as we have been doing it all year. I know 10+ people who were going to buy a seasons pass because we cant all afford to go to Whistler. And think of the countless kids who cant as well. You say his contest is worth the trip. Thats a fair assessment I think being able to ride there would also be worth it. I dont mind the negative props or whatever. I just think the Mt could have done this in a better way.
  • 3 2
 I hear you. It must be a huge bummer for all the locals. I just think it's lame to slag the mountain for closing up shop. They can't afford to keep it going, and riders can't expect them to operate for a loss. Fingers crossed that they can make something happen in the future.
  • 1 0
 For more insight check the washington face book link. See the comments under their cover photo.
  • 2 1
 I tried to get to their Facebook page but Im blocked now apparently. It wont show up in searches. Funny though because Ill I said to them was that they should have taken a census/vote to see how many people would come up this year. The conditions up there at the moment are good enough. They could have an extended season this year. This summer is supposed to be amazing weather.
Like one of the commenters said above. "Build it and they will come"

Hope they get the worst snow fall next year and become another Forbidden so at least we can shuttle it.
  • 2 0
 Good post, sir!
  • 1 1
 all i can say is "first world problems". As someone who dosent live anywhere close and could not possibly attend, im going to have to watch the highlights on my 15in screen. the fact that some of you are going to not go to an event like this and see it in person blows my mind. Especially since you will all go watch the same short video i will online... who cares if you cant ride there.
  • 2 0
 Thats fair. The only thing is events like this are supposed to bring people to a venue and have it in the spot light. People go there see it on tv and go hey I would love to ride there it looks cool and so on. So you go hey thats on Mt Washington just a quick/drive/swim/flight away I should go check it out. Oh wait you cant. In no way shape or form am I trying to be a poor sport towards Claw or anyone involved they do more for the sport than most do. They build they ride they film and we love it. But its a shame that their fans cant enjoy the same areas or the same mountain. Just seems a bit sad and backwards. People will go there and see the trails just feet away and want to ride but you cant. And that is due to the decisions of few and in turn effect a mass audience. It certainly is a "first world problem" wont deny that at all. But we live in a first world country thankfully. Part of the enjoyment of these events and videos is that you can part take and grow into the sport and possibly become the next big "name" but for the reasons I said above about affording to come off island is really tough so that possible up and comer now has all sorts of obstacles they can just jump over. People are unable to afford things anymore to the extent we used to. "First world" is starting to be not so cheap and easy. I totally understand the negative props but thing is all of this could have been done much different and with less impact.
  • 3 0
 any event that requires a full face helmet is somthing I want to see!
  • 2 0
 finally: brandon semenuk!! too bad he didnt compete the other competitions this season until now...
  • 1 5
flag AlfieTurner (May 30, 2013 at 14:33) (Below Threshold)
 this was last years?
  • 4 1
 F*ck ya Brandon is going to be there.
  • 4 0
  • 3 0
 D10 CAT?? Nothing bigger available at the time?? Smile
  • 1 0
 who else thinks the judges were shit and pilgrim and soderstrom and some of the younger guys dont have as big of a name but had better runs the messere and others.
  • 1 0
 Stoked! Gonna be good as usual! Excellent craftsmanship coming from the Claw again!
  • 2 0
 holy line up!!!! love that this is just a short drive from home.
  • 1 0
 Watching the2012 HIghlite video just made me soooo Happy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • 3 0
 Where's Tom
  • 2 0
 Finally Semenuk is competing!!!
  • 2 0
 Too bad Nico Vink isn't on the rider list
  • 2 0
 We want Semenuk still on the top!!
  • 2 0
 4505km and a 44hr drive from my house....fml.
  • 5 0
 drive faster.
  • 1 0
 Wonder how many comments are going to be removed courtesy of the pinkbike staff..
  • 1 0
  • 1 0
 Will the course be open at any time during the summer for people to go ride?
  • 1 0
 I remember when we used to cut across the field and straight line it down where this course now lives. I feel old....
  • 1 0
 Can't wait for this! My favourite slope event on the FMB
  • 1 1
 Good to know they are still holding this event despite not actually being open for bike operations this summer!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • 1 0
 Hoofing course epic vid and soundtrack
  • 1 0
 sweet go up n watch it and canteven bike thanks washy!
  • 1 0
 Do you know name of this awsome song in edit ?
  • 2 1
 Boycotting the hill will not help it re-open, that is all!!
  • 1 0
 Anyone know if there will be a live of this event ?
  • 1 0
 So cool to see semenuk there again but anthon thelander is missing
  • 4 4
 PILGRIM GOT ROBBED!!!!.....BOOM...had to be said
  • 1 0
 dam that one big digger!
  • 1 0
 Kurtis Sorge. Haha

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