Skate Sun Peaks Photos
The historic, first of its kind Skate Sun Peaks event, presented by Landyachtz, commenced this past weekend and it’s safe to say it was a hit. This hill is one of the most technical hills I’ve ever skated, and most of the seventy registered riders that rode the track last weekend would agree. The following is a representation the Skate Sun Peaks experience last weekend. While I want to show you all the photos I took, please look forward to an article in an upcoming print issue with some of my favourite shots from the trip. [subscribe here!]
Set in the middle of three mountains and built on the bunny hill of the second largest ski resort in British Columbia, the Mountain Cross Carts (MCC) track is a paved, one way, downhill “road”. Exclusively for designed for these gravity carts, the road was created with no banking so that when it snows, there are no obstructions for the snow plow. The road zig zags down the slope with off-camber corners making it great for drifting carts, but also an expert level downhill skateboarding course.
Seventy riders from Montreal to Mt. Shasta registered for the two day freeride that cost $140 CAN. Unkle Events [Lee Cation] made it a freeride so that people could enjoy the hill at their own pace and get as many runs as they wanted. Given the design of the track, even head to head racing would be difficult in my opinion. With a conveyor belt lift on the side of the course that takes you back to the top, you could get one run in, every 5 minutes, if you walked up the lift. Both Sean Young and Daniel Holdsworth must have done at least 30 runs a day. The course never had to close during the whole skate time, it was amazing. [ An idea for next year might be to let riders count runs for a weekend warrior award!]
With the event deep in British Columbia, Skate Sun Peaks earned itself an alter ego – Skate Rain Peaks. While the rain can be a pain, the event made it irrelevant. No wet leathers. No standing around for heats. And surprisingly, riding in the rain was not too different than riding in the dry, once you got used to it. But, the first drops always catch some slippin’.
Up at that elevation, the road would dry pretty quickly once it stopped raining and the wind was blowing. So once the rains stopped, it was time to switch gears from slipping to sliding and get control of those drifts in an entirely different way.
After skating for the day was finished, the MCC course opened for the first day of the year. I was in my hotel room uploading photos to my computer when I heard screeching tires and saw the gravity carts drifting through the corners. Fortunately, I got a chance to ride one and it was a total blast. It was very similar to riding gas-powered karts and it made me think, “who needs gas when you have gravity?”
Sun Peaks, kind of like Whistler if you have been to the Longboard Festival hosted there, is a resort. So the apres skate was on point. That night I was invited to and enjoyed the Voyaguer Bistro and had some beer and lamb, which was amazing. I headed back to my hotel [thanks Sun Peaks!!] and after posting the first round of photos from Skate Sun Peaks, I walked over to the #hottubtimemachine house where Cameron Frazier, Luke Melo, Brian Choi, Carly Bizama, Dave Hildbrandt, the Omen team and others were staying, and we reached a #newlevel.
As this is a freeride, not a race, runs and fun are at your discretion. Sunday started slow for many people, but skaters trickled onto the course as the morning progressed. Sunday was the day for time trials if you wanted to compete and each rider had a few chances to record their fastest time. EMS services, MedTech, and bossman Doug House are big supporters of downhill and offered up $200 in prizes for the top three speedy riders.
Now that the riders were a bit more comfortable with the track, Mathew Grizz Kroetsch decided to share some fruit roll-ups and hung them out into the inside of the track. Many tried to grab it with their hands or mouth, but few caught any.
After most of the riders seemed to be tired and done riding, I borrowed some gear and tried the course out for myself. I borrowed Devin Dotson’s board and then Lee Cation’s board and it took me a few tries to make a clean run. I finally made it down without coming off the board, right in time for the podium. I grabbed my camera and managed to capture the wieners just in time. Sean Young had the fastest time of 57 seconds. Alex Hannigan came in second and Brain Choi third.
I would like to give a shout out to Lee Cation for hosting the event and me, but also to Landyachtz, who was the title sponsor of the event. Both Lee and Landyachtz are helping to bring new and interesting events to us all. Shoutout to the EMS Med Tech homies and Doug House who kept our wounds clean and threw down some prize money for the fastest riders. And finally, a big shoutout to Sun Peaks Resort and Kyle Taylor for the incredibly gracious hospitality during my stay. If you plan on going to Sun Peaks, I recommend staying at the Coast Sundance Lodge as it was very nice and really conveniently located right at the bottom of the track. I also recommend the food at Bottoms which was underneath the Sundance Lodge, also right at the bottom of the track. Be sure to subscribe and check out the upcoming issue 31 of Skate Slate Longboarding Magazine for a feature on the event and skate tourism.