It’s mid-November. The snow should be falling. I should be waxing bases, checking avvy bulletins, getting ready for the first turns of the winter. Instead a very warm, wet spell has been followed by a very cold, dry spell, and the turns I’m waiting for are only happening in my dreams. So for now, I’ll keep taking my bike out to wild, beautiful places that help me forget, at least for a while, that I’m not skiing.
This weekend, it was finally time to explore the Garibaldi Lava Flow . I didn’t have any particular plan in mind; I just rode out to the place where the trails started, and then followed everything I came across that looked like fun. It was a stellar day: bright and clear but freezing cold, with a heavy layer of frost lying everywhere the sun hadn’t touched.
I alternated between riding and pushing up the switchbacks on Blindside, then rolled through beautiful loamy forest and out onto a plateau with open views to the Mamquam Icefield. I let go of the brakes and clattered down to the Powerhouse Plunge, flying off rocks and leaping over waterbars. I rode the strange frozen loam of the Cookhouse Connector to the Ring Creek Rip, where the final descent disappeared in a blink of an eye.
Every now and then I’d break out onto ridgelines where the views took my breath away. I can never decide: is it more about the riding, the sheer crazy rollercoastering thrill of it, or is it more about the strange and beautiful places it takes me to? Probably both, in the end.