Clean Up Day

So yesterday was our final day of riding here at Whistler. It turned out to be an epic day. It had rained the night before, so the trails were in perfect shape. Muddy in spots, dry in others, perfectly tacky dirt, slippery roots and rock faces. Super sweet fun.

We started out the day with Lukas, Christian, Jose and I ripping Angry Pirate into lower A line. We did that the requisite 9 or so times and then it was lunch time. We met up with the girls and rode a bit with them first though.

Liz is jumping up onto the tops of the table tops on Crank it Up, this is really an accomplishment for her. She did not really want to come to Whistler this year. She is always freaked out before we come here, but has a fantastic time once we are here. Ali and Hanna are both hitting the backsides of the tabletops. It is truly amazing, if they both lived here they would be ripping riders and skiers. They already truly have advanced level ski skills, and if they lived here we would see them with advanced level riding skills as well. As it is, they can be classified as decent intermediates, capable of single black diamond level trails. One thing that always surprises me here, is the number of women riding. If I go to a local XC trail, there is only maybe 10% of the riders that are women. But, here the documented mix is almost 30% women. I wonder why that is? That could stand some discovery at some point.

We split up again by gender, and the boys and I went back to our usual Schleyer or Angry Pirate or Dirt Merchant or A Line alternations. They were great fun. Late in the day, we decided to break it up and made a couple of trips down Crack Addict. That trail is a bit above the boys ability, but nonetheless we tore at it. On the 2nd time down, Lukas piled into a tree at the bottom of a wooden bridge. He knocked himself silly and tweaked his hurt wrist. He was in good spirits as he had had a fantastic day of riding and was not ready to stop, but you could tell his wrist was hurting.

As Lukas was collecting himself, Christian slid down the same ladder bridge and lowsided down the length of it. He got up slowly, and after we got him going, Jose and I decided it was time for the boys to have a break. We met up with the girls at GLC and watched people come off the big drop for a few minutes, then headed back up the hill.

I took Hanna down Angry Pirate, and she made it look easy. Not fast, but really good technical skills. She had trouble with 2 sections, but went back up and tried them again and made them both. Wow.

We made a couple more runs down Crank it Up to top off the day. Liz did not want to stop at the end. Funny how addicting the riding is at Whistler. I can never get enough, and sure enough even someone who did not want to go cannot get enough in the end.

Reluctantly we grabbed a table at GLC and watched the last people come down the hill. Lukas and Ali (being 18) joined us for a beer and a salute to a really really great trip (Hanna, Kelsey and Christian being 16 or less had to make due with a Sprite).

Final day celebration at the GLC.

This marks the end of our 2nd family trip with the Gonzales family to Whistler. It has become a tradition that I hope will stick. It was really really fun having Lukas with us. He is such a natural athlete and a family member. The only family member missing was Lisa Belg (our 2nd foreign exchange student) maybe she will be with us next year.

We also got to expand our little family game of “best and worst” of the day to another group of people. That is the dinner game of having people express to the group what was the best thing that happened to them that day, and what was the worst. It always results in a bunch of really fun dinner conversation.

I did not work all of these photo’s into previous posts, so I am just dumping a bunch of photos in here now. Enjoy.


Lukas on the plane. I have no idea why he is wearing underwear on his head.

Family V on the hill.

Flat day. Not my best side though.

Perfectly good bridge that people jumped off of.

Kelsey, Hanna, Lukas. Lukas looking exceptionally good.

Goons going riding.

More goons.

The girls and Candace.

Lukas goofing with Ali.

Ami and Joe at the top of the mountain.

Pile of kids at the top of the mountain.

Famous THING at the top of Whistler mountain.

Lukas telling his mother on the phone that he has broken his arm.

Hanna, Ali, Liz. Rainy day ride.

Team Helly Hansen.


The crew from the greatest family vacation ever.

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