Photos & Words by Dylan Wolsky
In the middle of the biggest and busiest mountain bike festival in the world in Whistler, Canada, I found myself at the top of Whistler Off Road Cycling Association’s most popular alpine trail taking in an incredible show by Mother Nature without another group of riders around for miles.
The festival that I’m talking about is Crankworx, which is a gigantic international celebration of all things mountain biking. A week-long schedule of racing and events that attract some of the best athletes and bike fans in the world. The week is always incredibly fun, but it’s also nice to escape the craziness, if only for a moment.
It was a last-minute idea to convince my friend Ben that it was a good idea to ride Whistler’s most popular alpine trail, Lord of the Squirrels, starting at 5 pm. Lord of the Squirrels is part of an 18 km alpine loop that shoots you up on to Sprout Mountain with a nice 1400m of climbing followed by an incredible descent back down into the Whistler valley.
Why would we leave on a 3-8 hour backcountry loop at 5 pm you might ask? After seeing the moon not far from full earlier in the week, I thought it could be an incredible sight to watch the sunset and the full moon rise all within a few minutes of each other. It seemed like a great idea to enhance our trail experience and make good use of the 360-degree views that Sprout Mountain had to offer.
To make things exciting we packed lights for the descent back down so we could take in the full moon from the top of the mountain. The weather turned out perfect and as you can see from the photos, this was an adventure I won’t be forgetting about anytime soon.
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