Monday, December 15, 2014

Vedder Mountain Epic

I’ve never been much of a numbers guy. However most my friends like to measure how much they’ve done in vertical feet gained and lost. Be it skiing or riding bikes you know its been a good hard day if you can get to x amount of elevation gained. I remember the first time I skied 10000ft. I remember trying to get 15000ft in a single day on skis.  a couple months ago Mike Levy and I were on our way to a ride when the talk started. “whats the biggest day you’ve ever done on a bike?” “you ever done 10000ft on a bike?” “well then, we should do a 10000ft day on vedder”
 
To me Vedder Mountain is the best place on earth, the dirt is very unique with its clay based soil and deep loam. There is a ton of trails most people don't know about, and a lot of mainstream stuff people just cant get enough of. I learned to ride at Vedder almost 20 years ago. Vedder has the steepest climbs around and the craziest flow on the descents. Its not the most ideal place to achieve a 10000ft day. But this is sport, nothing is ideal. To put 10000 vertical feet into perspective, the summit of the iconic mt baker is 10,781 feet above sea level. 
Mike and I at the start of the ride along the rotary trail.
The plan:
Mike and I invited some people and got the ball rolling. The first annual Vedder 10 grand was born. We made up a route with trails that have taken my entire life to find and link up. When I sit here and look at the route I realize that Im an idiot and any one of the loops would be an epic day just on its own. Some of the best riders in the Fraser Valley would test their manhood to see if they could complete the massive task of 10000ft on the steepest gnar the world has ever seen. The route would be as follows
 
First Leg - Depart the Rotary Trail parking lot and take the Rotary down to Yarrow where we'll climb up Duck Farm, then onto the 'ring road and up to Hang Gliders. Descend Hang Gliders and get onto Goony that takes us the the Den climb. Up to the Den and then descend to the lake = 4,000ft.

Second Leg - Climb from the lake up Brokeback, up the new climbing trail, up the Ridge road to Five Corners (where Reefer begins). Climb up Tripower to KOM, then descend back down to the lake on Wife Beater, Mongoloid, Mexican Ninja, Electric Lettuce, Femur = 2,500ft

Third Leg - Ride/walk up the Old Man rd / driveway (likely grown in some), past the top of Duck Farm and up Tower rd to KOM. This is the steepest, hardest climb of the day, so save some juice. We'll then descend back down to the lake on singletrack = 2,500ft

Fourth Leg - Up Brokeback, up the new climbing trail and back onto Ridge rd up to Five corners where we'll get on Stairway to Heaven that will take us to the top of the Den. Descend down to the lake and ride back to the Rotary Trail parking lot. Drink a single beer and pass out = 2,500ft
 
So the Ride:
Thirteen of us came out for the ride, which is more than I thought would show given how bonkers the planned route was. Pretty cool to see so many people into it! We lost one dude to a mechanical at the top of Duck Farm early in the ride, but everyone else did the first 4,000ft lap that had the best trails on it, singletrack that's pretty tricky to link up so it was rad to show out-of-towners what we have here. Logan flatted on the Den and had to fix it twice, but it was flawless except for that and Nathan from clearbook coffee making a wrong turn on Goony. Crazy to think that only one person missed a turn, and he was local!
Half way up the duck farm
 
goony
top of hang gliders
Rambuuuuuu
 
top of the Den.
We lost a few more after descending down to my van for pizza and drinks before climbing back up the new trail and then up past Reefer and up Tripower. The decent back down the other side of Tripower has to be the highlight for me - so much loam, so green, and great to see the grins on the first time tri power riders. Then was an easy spin/bush whack up the Old Man's rd to the base of Tower rd before the poo really hit the fan. Tower road from the Yarrow side is the steepest gravel road I have ever seen, just looking at it makes you want to puke. But 5 of us make it up and started the descent down to the lake, Logan had a nice crash at the top of the steeps but was ok. Light was fading at this point and we still needed to descend back to the van and then climb another 1,500 feet up. That's when my derailleur cable snapped and I was stuck in my hardest gear.
pizza stop at the van
tower road.
 
top of tri power
mike close to death at the tower
That climb back up to Two Cents in the near-dark was a pretty solemn affair, with the five of us just going our own pace due to pure exhaustion. I ended up using a G3 ski strap to rig up my derailleur up so the chain was in the easiest gear, and we all got to the top of Two Cents at dusk before riding down like a bunch of hacks... It was touch and go between the low light and how tired we were. But we all made it down safe and exhausted.  
ski strap.
According to Mikes Garmin we did 94km in total, with 10,056 feet of climbing, and I think we rode pretty much every mountain bike trail on Vedder. Five riders out of the thirteen that started the ride managed to complete it. We could have done a Ten Grand ride at almost any other location and had a much easier, quicker time of it, but it felt fitting to make the first Ten Grand group ride on the hardest, steepest mountain in the Valley. The numbers, while impressive, don't really do the ride justice as I think it was a lot more difficult than it looks.
the day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

early season skiing at home.

Last weekend up at mt baker on the Heliotrope ridge was great, the snow was awesome and the excitement was very high for the first ski tour of the year. However we all kind of missed out on the "backcountry" experience with so many people out. I hate mass amounts of people, its why I like to get into the back country, Its why I don't live in the big city, and its why I turn down Jay Z tickets at rogers arena. I love playing outside and seeing no one but my closest friends, I love being very far removed from the masses . The outdoor sports community is growing in leaps and bounds and you just need to work harder to get away. This past long weekend we just stayed close to home in the back yard, slept in past 5am, and had some great adventures finding great skiing. My new 1994 Suzuki Sidekick is so awesome and will crush any redneck logging road. Over the 3 days we skied some awesome 600m runs in great conditions and Only saw one other skier out there.
you gotta work harder out in red neck land, the roads are dirt and the trees are thick.

the logging roads are long and steep.

but the views are nice and the dogs are boss.

the hills are high and the snow is mint!

only the brave can survive this vast baron land.

I think I see Scott Simpson in his boat, He's on a boat yo

The masses.

Mt Waddingtons management

creeks are still going so rock skis were key.

So good, the wife breaking trail.

I think I can see the masses on the Heliotrope ridge.

token split boarder.  

Sunday, November 03, 2013

A tale of two cities.

Its been a really interesting the last two weekends. Last weekend Nate, Mel, Chris and I had two awesome rides in Squamish with hero dirt conditions. The first day we rode around the University and finished off with one of my favorite trails, somewhere over there. The next day we rode in the Cat lake area and finished off with another of my favs, credit line. This last weekend was awesome cause winter finally hit and dropped over a foot in the mountains. We got out to the baker area along with 60 of our close friends. Even though I hate people it was still a good time.
Chris on Freds.

Nate on Somewhere over there

First Ski day of the year. My legs are so sore right now. But so worth it.

Mel's nipple froze and Connor is all thumbs up.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Summer is still here.

This fall has been unreal! I don't think I've ever seen the trails this good. Mel and I were riding on Vedder the other day and she asked me to stop skidding so much cause I was tossing up to much dust! And its Oct 23. Crazy! Also got out for the first night ride in a long time last night. Oh its good! Bunch of guys from Abby came out to ride the wack. The one guy was from south Surrey and the trails out here blew his mind. It looks like there is no stop in this weather either, I kinda want to start skiing but the riding is so good right now.
Mel has a nice couch, Max is not allowed on it. So we made him this sweet doggy bed. good night max.

Top of Vedder at night.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Home Sweet Home.

After a hectic weekend of moving last weekend it was very nice to spend a weekend at home. We are still living a in hoarders paradise with all the boxes and crap all over the place but we are making a serious dent. Melanie and I got out this weekend for some of the best rides I've been on all year, and its Oct 20! While Van city was blinded by a fog advisory we had beautiful sunshine in Chilliwack. We rode Sumas both days and it was giddy.  
Hello Vancouver I cant see you.

Not to shabby.

Nate Dawg, and Max.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Summer time is over now

Its been a wild and busy summer. The best summer ever! But now fall is here and its time to sit in front of the fire and relax a bit. I figured I should update this thing so that the 4 people that read it have some entertainment. 

I guess the biggest news ever is that I got married last weekend. I didn't think I would ever find someone to put up with me but I found the best woman ever and Im so excited for a life time of fun times together. Mel is even moving to Chilliwack and getting out of the big city. Bye bye traffic, over priced housing, and keeping up with the Jones. Hello hero dirt, epic mountains and living the dream! Its gonna be awesome! 
Me and Mel. We look good eh.

rode my bike up like withe the little black guy

Took Kevin Calhoun on the vedder mountain epic, here he is at the top of hang gliders. 

Mels Family is from North Bay Ontario. We had an awesome week up there hanging out by the lake. I ate a ton of cheese and drank lots of beer. Mel made this awesome pie. 

Getting ready for the wedding was a ton of work. I used my chainsaw to make a lot of the wedding decorations and some little side projects along the way, this is my little bench. 

Morning walks with Max

every 2 years the pink salmon run up the Chilliwack river. I like to catch as many as possible and smoke them. Then freeze them in a sealed pack and eat them all winter long. 

Max eating the good stuff. Mel got an HR job working for Petcurean. They make good dog food. Max really likes her new job. Nothing but the best for the little guy.

Making signs for the wedding I was smashing 2 hammers together taking apart this pallet and one shard went right into my arm, right into the vain, serious. good thing I was wearing ski goggles. 

for my stag the boys took me up to rossland. We made a serious fruit stop in Keremeos. 

we rode bike, drank beer and slept, was a great trip. It pissed rain on 7 summits but the dirt was awesome!

salmon. I can leave my house and be back with 2 fish in under an hour. 

we got married in my dads shop. it was kinda cool. 

Friday, July 26, 2013

A Day in Rossland

Last weekend Nate Dawg and I traveled to Rossland for a single day with the goal to ride seven summits. We left Chilliwack on Saturday at 4pm. We rolled up to the Nancy Green Summit at 10pm. Toby also drove in from Calgary and beat us there and set up camp. We went to sleep after each eating 3lbs of blueberries.  
The Dream. 

this is kinda a cool photo I think
In the morning we cooked up some food and wheels rolling by 730. Seven summits is one of my favorite trails on the planet. Its kinda got it all, pure single track and almost all in the alpine. I just love it out in Rossland.  
The crew. Let the good times roll. 

Nate at the start. 
The start of Seven Summits has a big climb that brings you from 1600m all the way up to over 2200m. Somehow we managed to loose Toby I thought he was in front of us. Toby thought we were behind him. I ended up riding the 2/4 of the route twice. Toby ended up riding the 1/4 twice. We wasted about 3hrs and tons of matches in the process. Good times. We found each other and turned out to be one of the best rides ever.   
Nate at the summit of mt Elgood. 

Toby as good as it gets

coffee doesn't sell its self. 
 Cause we are dumb and didn't shuttle a car we had to ride back up to town. It was 38c and you could have cooked eggs on the pavement. The last climb up to the pub was the hardest thing I've ever done. That beer was unreal!
Toby after loosing whatever brain cells he has. When a human being is in this state he only knows two words, cold and beer. 

the last supper......in Rossland