Back to overview

Scotty Laughland with the new XTR in British Columbia

After a whirlwind tour of the best trails around Whitehorse, we packed everything up, said our goodbyes, vowed we’d be back and headed to the airport. A 2.5 hour flight later and we landed in Vancouver, this time to head to the mecca of Whistler. For the next 4 days Mountain Bike World Wide would show us in their opinion some of the best trails in and around Whistler.

Waking up, we knock back some coffee, build bikes and head in the direction of Lost Lake. At low speed these trails aren’t testing but when you try to ride them fast it’s a whole different story. The tight trees become real obstacles and you have to be in complete control of the bike. Precision shifting and brake points come into play, what a perfect way to test the new XTR’s actuation and reliability.

Feeling like the jet lag was kicking in, we took the afternoon off shooting and headed into the bike park to send a few laps. Taking the chairlift to the top was a welcome change after the mornings pedal. We were headed to the new trails in Creekside, the top section was marked a black trail, named Delayed Fuse and WOW was it incredible. Fresh and loamy, our group got to the bottom exchanging stoke and a lot of high fives! Insomnia was a blue and a flowy one at that, fresh machine built turns were just incredible and you couldn’t not love it. I finished the evening by solituary lap of A-Line before we called it a day.

Unfortunately we cannot provide you this service with your current cookie preferences. If you would like to change your cookies preferences, please click “Privacy Policy and Cookies” in the footer.

Whistler might be famous for the bikepark but thanks to W.O.R.C.A. and the exposure the EWS has brought, there is a huge network away from the park that are only accessible by pedalling. We began ascending from the village and as the climb steepened the gears dropped, eventually I slipped into the 51t, taking pressure of my legs and allowing me to spin up the access path. Howler was our choice of trail and it drops 500m in just 2.2km. It featured everything Whistler’s famous for, long exposed sections of slab, tech gnar and flow. Conditions had changed in classic B.C. fashion, the clouds rolled in and sat just above the treeline making the amazing trail become beautifully scenic in a contrasting manner to that of a blue sky valley view day.

Unfortunately we cannot provide you this service with your current cookie preferences. If you would like to change your cookies preferences, please click “Privacy Policy and Cookies” in the footer.

New day, new destination and although Whistler would remain to serve as our base, we’d leave for Pemberton, 35 minutes North. A somewhat undiscovered area with a wealth of trail but we’d have only the afternoon to find the very best. Our first trail would be Rudy’s, we dropped in, the trail that ran along the ridgeline before darting into the woods. It flowed through narrow tunnels of trees, opening up into wider sections of trail and dusty turns. A short fire road climb and we found ourselves on Nimby, Back Pains and Max Pains. A quick stop, we caught a breath before heading down Hawaii. It all happened that fast and we arrived at Mile One in desperation of refreshments and food.... It’s a end of ride in Pemby must, served by one of the local trail builders, I devoured a huge burger and we all raised our glasses to another INSANE day of riding and our last night in the region!

Half packing bags, we left Whistler, bound for Southside Diner, fuelled by a proper Canadian breakfast; pancakes, bacon and syrup, our final stop of the tour would be Squamish! A quick pedal up, breakfast bellys shrunk, legs woke up and we were at the top of Half Nelson dropping in to berms, rollers and a flow trail was the right way to start the day. Feeling good, we headed over to the otherside of the mountain and rode ‘Somewhere Over There’ it had almost every feature you could imagine from Squamish, rock rolls, tight trees, loam, jumps, northshore and of course flow! It was a sick trail and a great way to round off the trip.

All that remained was to pack bikes, camera gear and bags before heading to the airport. What  a crazy 7 days that was, I rode some of the best trails, shared amazing experiences and made new friends. To me that is exactly what mountain biking is all about. Lets get set to do it all over again!

To round  this off… You’ll want to know what that new XTR was like? Well to summarise in one paragraph, it was light weight, reliable and easy to use. The brakes were on point and although I was running the 2 piston version they offered substantial power, no feeling of fade and great modulation. Having a wider range of gears was appreciated, my legs were thankful on the steeper climbs and the shifting was on point, it didn’t skip a beat. The one piece that stood out for me were the hubs, Scylence technology is really quite incredible, tyres digging into dirt and suspension managing the bumps is music to my ears!

Until next time, thanks to Shimano for the opportunity to get on the new XTR, SCOTT Bikes and Mountain Bike Worldwide for showing us the very best trails! I’ll be back… very soon!!  

Related article