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Swings and Roundabouts

Sampling Both Varieties of Pow

Words by Ollie Jones. Photos by Ollie Jones.
February 17th, 2014

It’s a well known fact that the seasons are ever changing, and for most, this merely means a decision between a sweater or shorts. For us here in Whistler, it isn’t just a fact, its a way of life. This inevitable transformation determines which adventures will be had; what activities will rule your life.

Each fall means a devastating end to bike season. Those last couple of rides in the crisp fall air always leave one wanting more, and yet you are left parking your bike. And so a few tears are shed over the end yet this feeling is quickly replaced with getting stoked on what’s next.

When the snow initially came we sure did make the most of it to keep our minds off bikes.

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Good friend Austin Draper slashing his way down Whistler Mountain after a long day in the office.

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As the snow took a short break and the clouds slowly dispersed it was about time we took those 2 wheels for a spin. It hadn’t snowed all that much by this time but it snowed enough that we had to take bikes a touch further than the Shore or Squamish if we wanted to ride.

This winter season was certainly unique. As the days grew shorter and colder, most of us began tuning boards; but the snow never showed. Don’t get me wrong, the lack of snow is devastating – but the ability to keep riding bikes has been a precious gift. It’s almost better this way if you think about it, being able to ski and ride your bike all in one day. Needless to say the trails are in amazing condition right now. Tacky dirt and loamy ruts are what us bikers dream of right?

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Oregon was the destination, in search of a new adventure and a fix for the lack of biking that had taken place.

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With not a snowflake in sight it was time to unleash the beast and bomb some single track. This outstanding trail is called Syncline in Hood River, and made for the perfect start to a short biking adventure.

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I find you always end up in beautiful places when you ride your bike. Syncline has spectacular views the whole way down the trail.

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Making some new friends.

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We could have definitely stayed longer but it was inevitable we would have to head back to the Whistler bubble.

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I didn’t know what to expect when I arrived back home. It was extremely cold but surprisingly no additional snow had fallen, and that meant we didn’t have to stop thinking about getting back out on the bikes.

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It had been a while since we had ridden so close to home and I was stoked to get out to Squamish and ride. This shot was taken the night before in Whistler valley.

There always seems to be a balancing act when you want to ride at this time of year. Charging up and down the Sea to Sky looking for those rare trails which have minimal snow cover is definitely an art form. For those of you that live in Vancouver, well you guys are lucky for a change. Driving from Whistler to go ride your bike seems way worse than it actually is, because it’s easy to take the trails that are right on your door step and the bike park we all love for granted.

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No dust bowls here, perfect dirt to huck into all day long and nobody cutting you off in the manic lift lines back in Whistler.

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Another beautiful moment provided by mother nature on the way home.

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Not many places you can’t see Black tusk from.

Basically we can never know what each season will bring; that in itself is pretty amazing, and often a pleasant surprise. Seeing the landscape change from day to day is pretty special and it’s well worth heading outside just to see what kind of adventure each day will bring. In the end it’s these unpredictable days that are the ones you remember the most. My advice: make sure your bike is always ready to roll and your board is ready to rip because you never know what you’re in for, no matter what the season.

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After getting some much needed riding done it was back to the grind. It’s nice to have something to keep the blood flowing though, so we went back in the mountains to have some fun with Austin Draper.

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Evening hikes are really fun when the snow is around. I made it out to Jofree Lakes for a night hike during the work week, and I still couldn’t stop thinking about getting out on the bike even if it was extremely cold.

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Itching to get out, Hailey and I went to see how the Whistler trails looked. Certainly snowy, but loose and lots of fun.

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It was really nice to ride in Whistler Valley but now the snow started to move in and there were plenty of pow turns to be had.

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Back at it with Austin Draper, and having even more fun in the mountains.

Just remember with a little effort it’s not impossible to ride your bike all winter long and its been a blessing to have as many snowless days as we have had. What a good way to start the soon approaching summer, see you all on the trails!


It looks like Ollie’s is getting the best of both worlds up in Whistler. Has the slow ski season kept your wheels turning?

  • Barbie Ken

    Absolutely loved it – only in Whistler

  • pete

    Damn, Ollie, fantastic photo set.