Things started with a Friday evening drive to one of Lenny Henry's favourite hotels near Gatwick. We had a few beers and a meal in the pub next door before an early night ready for the early morning and long journey the next day. Everything pretty much went to plan and Mark and Jonny from Bear Back Biking were waiting for us at Vancouver. The great views on the journey up the Sea to Sky highway were under appreciated by us all as we fought the increasing tiredness of the long journey plus the time difference.

Arriving mid-afternoon, we assembled our bikes in hot dry conditions before nipping into Whistler for a few beers. Unfortunately the GLC was shut for a private do so we couldn't watch folk coming in off the drops at close quarters.

The next day a combination of jet lag and excitedness saw us up and ready to hit the bike park when it opened. We met up with Jamie and Jenny who were staying independantly in the village and our guide - another Jamie sorted out our lift passes.

After the usual fruiting about we were soon at the top of B-Line for the traditional warm up run. We spent the morning hitting several blue graded runs on the lower mountain including some new ones since my last visit. "Bluezium" is a rooty, loamy bit of singletrack with a small rock roll to a tight berm and "Wednesday Evening Delight" has some nice wooden drops to table top jumps. The combination of "B-Line" - "Bluezium" - "Wednesday Evening Delight" - "B-Line" - "Heart of Darkness" was an excellent warm up descent that we did pretty much every day. A bit of everything in it and great fun.

I won't go into detail of which trails we rode on which days as it's all a bit of a blur and I can't remember exactly! Generally we had a guide for the morning and did our own thing in the afternoon. Those of us that had been before know the park well so it was all pretty chilled. Stu and Doc were our Whistler first timers and were enjoying it. Jamie and Mick decided to get the big GLC drop in early. The first time Mick did it he landed a bit nose heavy, the second time he stacked it hurting his ribs.

After we were back at the chalet for dinner on our first day it began to rain. This continued throughout the next day. We decided to fair weather fairy it and spent the morning wandering round a few shops before the inevitable "few light ales" began at 11.50am! While we were doing "what we do best" Stu was in "extreme sports" mode wanting to do everything! He managed to go to the climbing wall and then do a bungee jump before failing to meet back up with us as he preferred the company of some very young Venezuelan girl he met at the bungee. Can't think why?! Once he did meet us we were in a suitable state to start giving him the full pellet about his new friend! You can imagine how it went....

The next day the previously very dusty trails had benefitted from the rain for the most part but one greasy bit of rock gave us a proper scare. Simon went over the bars on a relatively tame bit of "Duffman" at low speed and smacked the top of his head on a tree stump. For a while he couldn't move his arms or legs at all! Obviously this wasn't good. The bike park patrol were called and the first to arrive was a doctor. By this time Simon could move but was pretty unsteady. He manged to walk off the trail but then the patrol guys strapped him to a spine board and carted him off in an ambulance. Not good. That's two years in a row we've seen him taken off a mountain in an ambulance. He spent the rest of the day having checks and scans and fortunately hadn't broken anything. However his aching neck meant he was on light XC / drinking duties only for the rest of the holiday.

Mick also decided to top up his rib injury by sliding out on the dodgy rope bridge on "Crank it Up". He was hurting and black and blue already.

The next day I was nearly the victim of a comedy accident when Doc came down "Drop in Clinic" for the first time and nearly ran me over as I was filming him! As the week progressed we progressed on trail difficulty as is the norm. Jamie decided it was timeĀ  to do the container step up / step down on Freight Train. The Bear Back guides had said you couldn't over jump the step up. Turns out they were wrong as Jamie hit it way too fast and stacked it on top of the containers! He knackered his thumb but not enough to stop him riding. The next time he had a go he followed Jamie the guide to get his speed right and nailed it.

Until Wednesday I was dissappointed not to have seen any bears but that was fixed while Stu was fixing a puncture. One was munching away not far from us and not at all bothered as we took pictures. After this we saw bears almost evry day including a very cute cub. Prior to this Mick, obviously not happy with the amount of pain he was in, stalled on some woodwork on No Joke and fell back off the side! The ribs took a further beating.

On the Thursday Simon, Mick and Doc had a rest day and went for a float plane ride. Jonny managed to join the rest of us for some riding but that was cut short when we found one of the other guests from our chalet with a dislocated shoulder on the "Original Sin" step up. We gave the patrol guys a bit of assistance to get him and his gear to the ambulance. Injuries were a bit too common on this trip!

Just to make sure he was in agony by the end of the week Mick decided a fourth incident should happen! This time it was a drunken wheel buzzing incident that had him down on the flat tarmac of the valley trail! Simon did warn him!

Doc was pushing himself all week and decided the big GLC drop was his target. After some tuition from the guide his first go unfortunately ended in a crash. However he picked himself up and nailed it second go! Nice one Iain.

Towards the end of the week we were all pretty tired but were still trying to get some of the more technical routes done. Schleyer has changed quite a bit since the last time I rode it. The tricky rock drop is still there but the rest of it is a lot easier. Stu had already ridden a new option off "Afternoon Delight" called "Tech Noir" when he was rushing ahead in his usual manner. He took me down it and I was pleased to clean such a techy line on site.

On the 7th day of riding the park I had to call it a day early as I was just so tired. I could feel an accident coming if I carried on. For once I was being sensible and I was glad of the extra energy on the last day.

After riding 8 out a possible 9 days I was pretty exhausted before the long, uncomfortable flight back home. I was totally knackered but very happy by the time I was back home.

We recorded hours of Go Pro footage. I'll let you know when there's something to watch.

Cheers to all at Bear Back Biking and everyone who rode with me. Healing vibes to the long list of injuries!