Ferda Girls

Oh my god I love bikes. Like, a ridiculous amount. Like, silly giggling when I hit jumps and land them smoothly.

I smile when I load my bike onto the lift and sit down on the chair, ready to “climb” the mountain.
I laugh out loud when Katie cracks a joke, breaking any nervous tension our group may have.
I cheer when Bee conquers her latest obstacle without falling.
I beam when I watch Dani head into any technical trail, without fear.
I grin when Mel hits the trail C-more and enjoys it, breaking through her mental block.

These four girls have changed the way I feel about riding. I have fallen so deeply in love with it and them this year, and for that I am so goddam happy that I made the decision to stay in Whistler.

20246492_829196333633_3665411994360012889_n

I can’t speak highly enough about the Women’s Night program that Whistler Bike Park has established. Giving girls all over the world (locals and visitors alike) a chance to be coached through some of the biggest and best trails of the world is something incredible. We also get to team up with the girls at the same level and feel comfortable in each lesson, which helps a great deal.

IMG_2387

IMG_2330

To our coach, Jeremy, I am so stoked I forced myself into your group. You taught me confidence, which has changed everything about the way I ride. I have managed to get myself down some trails that I would have never imagined I could a year ago. Not only do I make it down, I do it well and I have a damn good time doing it.

IMG_2388

This year, thanks to Jer and these amazing gals, I accomplished my season goals – hitting A-Line and making our way down Top of the World. TOTW was something else, a 5,000ft descent from the peak of Whistler Mountain with any kind of trail you could imagine included.

IMG_2333

IMG_2331

On nights when we couldn’t make it to the park, we still got together for shenanigans. Trail riding, frisbee golf, drinks and figuring out the Escape Room are extracurricular activities we also enjoy… in case you were wondering.

20374662_10155617013819044_3342064787466110762_n20374216_829196393513_1806058131008514203_n

The banter, the laughter, the jokes, the snack stops, the adoration and joy in this group is something I’ll always remember from summer ’17. Bring on next year!

IMG_2389IMG_2386

Love you crazy kids, my silly sock wearing team.
Hanbel.
x

 

Advertisements

10 Things That Make Me Terribly Happy About Summer

IMG_2271

  1. THE BIKE PARK, I can’t even begin to tell you how good this season has been. (But I will, stay tuned)
  2. Samurai sushi take out, eaten by the lake, talking until the mosquitos eat us alive.
  3. Pinafores!
  4. Sitting on balconies, listening to Henri’s tunes and drinking wine with the best roommates.
  5. Swimming in lakes of varying temperatures (glacier water is damn cold people!)
  6. Warm evenings sitting at Tapleys patio, before hectic nights out.
  7. Dancing. So much dancing! (In clubs, at work, at home, walking down the street)
  8. Riding into work as the sun rises over the mountains.
  9. Giggling with Sybil and we slowly die of heatstroke in the Penthouse Sweatbox
  10. The people. My summer people made it so much better than I ever thought it could be.

Hanbel.
x

All the Things

Alrighty-roo, it’s catch up time!

The last month has been busy, full of activities, events and work shenanigans.

So here’s what my March and April have looked like:

IMG_1657

WEDDING TIME
Celebrating our boss’ wedding at Nita Lake Lodge, with photo booths, plenty of dancing and all the wine. It was a fun time…

IMG_1698IMG_1705IMG_1708IMG_1711

BLUEBIRD DAYS
These have been far and few between, so when one falls on your weekend, you take as many photos as possible. Oh, glorious Whistler!

IMG_1717IMG_1722

THESE GIRLS!
Having awesome gals to ride with makes life so much better, it’s been the best couple of months sharing the hill with these babes.

IMG_1725IMG_1724

KONGA
Classes have started up again, and I still have to advertise like crazy and build a following, but I’m having fun in the process. Plus, when the view from the room is this good and the tunes are loud, life is good!

IMG_1744IMG_1752IMG_1753

BAKERY LIFE
I still love this job, even on the difficult days. Easter weekend hit us hard, but with such a good team it was super fun! This week we have four favourites leaving us, and it’s making my heart very sad. This town sucks sometimes, no one sticks around for too long. On the plus side, this means I have people around the world to visit!

Not pictured: lots of wine-based after work activities, getting my bike back out and riding to work most days, learning to read bus timetables again, walking to work when the sun is shining and all of the spring/summer anticipation.

The snow is melting, the sun has been making more frequent appearances and we can now stay outside for longer than 10 minutes at a time. There’s a lot to look forward to in Whistler, and I’m so happy to be here πŸ™‚

Have a lovely week kiddos,
Hanbel
x

10 Things that Make Me Terribly Happy About Winter

img_1629

  1. POWDER
  2. Mocha breaks on the mountain
  3. Getting excited by a warm day of 0 degrees
  4. Red wine by fireplaces in cozy pubs
  5. Waking up to a beautiful bluebird day
  6. When the Highway closes and the village stays quiet πŸ˜‰
  7. Reading all the books under the covers, watching the snowfall
  8. Rosy cheeks
  9. Snowboarding at least twice a week, we are SO LUCKY
  10. Giggling at the cutest little kids, all bundled up and ready for their ski lessons

Hanbel.
x

And May All Your Christmases Be White

Oh my goodness! I can’t believe how quickly time is just flyyyyyy-ing by. One blink of the eye andΒ it seems that Christmas is upon us. Just 9 little sleeps and we will be waking up, bright eyed and bushy tailed, welcoming the most wonderful day!

Until then, however, I am working 10 days straight, heading up the mountain whenever possible and greeting my dear friends from home. Nine of my absolute favourites are visiting for Christmas and although it’s going to be absolutely hectic trying to squeeze everything in, I am so excited!

Now for a little catch up on the past few weeks, which basically have consisted of snow, snow and more of that glorious white snow!

img_1479

My walk to work has become a movie moment, every damn day

img_1481

Blackcomb Base

img_1492img_1493img_1500
img_1502

Whistler Base

img_1507img_1508

Day Four on the mountain, putting my linked turns into practice

Snowboarding has got to be the most frustrating sport to learn, it hurts so damn much when you’ve fallen for the 27th time onto your coccyx. It sure is addictive though, and I’m not giving up anytime soon!

The weather is getting a little warmer too, after 10 days of an average of -14, they have actually forecast 2 degrees next week!! AND MORE SNOW

Winter is agreeing with us nicely, and even though it requires a lot more effort (with all the layers and walking over icy roads and what not) I think we’re falling more in love with this section of the world.

Here’s to a very white Christmas!
Hanbel.
x

I Think I’m Fallin’ For You

Well, well, well. Here we are. Two weeks shy of our six month anniversary of our Australian hiatus and we’re packing our backpacks to head back home (only for two and a half weeks!).

Yesterday was Canadian thanksgiving, but also the last official day the bike park was open and therefore the last day of the summer season! It was quite fitting for those two things to fall on the same day (ha, Fall – geddit?). It was quite a day of reflection and to feel thankful for this incredible place. I’m feeling so full of joy looking back on our first Canadian summer.

The last few weeks in particular have been a dream, from conquering my goals in the bike park;

img_1188

to walking into work everyday with a huge smile on my face;

img_1214

to having Alistair’s girlfriend Ellen visit, having a ball with her and hitting up the train wreck hike again (it doesn’t get old!);

img_1207

to watching Fall officially hit Whistler, with trees changing into the most vibrant of colours;

img_1194

and seeing the first snowfall of the season!!!

img_1218

We’ve also spent a small fortune on winter gear, snowboards and ALL THE LAYERS. I’m getting so pumped for winter and what this new season will bring for us.
But first, to head home and celebrate the wedding of two very dear friends! Can’t wait to see some familiar faces, eat some fresh food and soak up the last of the sunshine. See you all very soon!!!

Hanbel.
x

P.s. I couldn’t pass up this opportunity to wish my love a very, very happy 29th birthday!
I feel like I’ve said a variation of these words a million times since we left, but my goodness I am one lucky duck. To get to explore so many new places, a new way of life and new experiences everyday with your best friend by your side is a dream come true.

We both thought this move might be a bit of a test for us, and I think it’s safe to say we’ve never been happier – individually and together. Bring on the next year and more incredible moments like these! I love you, you crazy kid. x

img_1223

The Great Outdoors

This past weekend has probably been the best ever. So, so, so much fun. So much sunshine, so many outdoor activities, so many goals ticked off the list.

And the weather has been absolutely glorious! After the first two week of September washing us out and freezing us to the core, we were convinced we’d be in for a rough Autumn. Mother nature had other ideas though, and blessed us with non-stop sunshine and mid-twenty degree days.

This weekend we had planned for our mate Reuben to come up for a visit. He and Jill (this beautiful married couple) have been living in their van, travelling around BC, climbing rocks like crazy folk. Jill is down in Vancouver at the moment, learning how to become a yoga instructor, so Reuben thought he’d pop by to give mountain biking a red hot go.

img_1108

One lap of Easy Does It (the basic green run on the mountain) and he was bored, which made Andrew and I SO HAPPY. Reubs rode bmx as a kid and picked up mountain biking so quickly. We managed to tick off a tonne of blue runs, snuck in a black and made it to the garbo zone for a full hour long run. Safe to say he was one happy chappy, and I ticked off so many personal goals that day too. It was by far the best day I’ve had on the bike and I have Andrew to thank for being the perfect balance between coach and riding buddy.

I’d also been out with a work mate a couple of days ago (who snapped the below picture you may have seen on my instagram), and the combination of those two days out means that I’ve now ridden every blue and green run on the mountain – happy days!

img_1105

The next morning, my legs had seen better days but with a day off together we pushed ourselves to head back up the mountain – without a bike this time. Andrew and I hopped in the gondie as soon as it opened, rode it as far as it would take us and set out on an alpine hike.

IMG_1112.jpg

We took the Harmony Meadows to High Note to Half Note Trail, which would have been around 10km and took us 2 hours, 40 minutes. We had to cut it short due to Andrew’s riding plans, but I was secretly ecstatic about that.

The hike was stunning, alpine hiking is insane and like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. The thinner air and constant uphills made it challenging, but we made it through and still smiled by the end!

img_1113img_1115

We actually started in the opposite direction to what is recommended (the chairlift to take us to the the proper trail head didn’t run until 11am), so we begun in rough, open conditions, full of loose rocks and mediocre scenery.

I’m glad we got that out of the way though, because as we turned the corner an hour in, we were dumbfounded by the sights.

img_1116img_1119

Photos absolutely do not do it justice, because the views of Cheakamus Lake and surrounding mountains were breathtaking.

img_1118img_1126img_1125img_1128img_1129

A couple of tips for long hikes:

  • Clif bars are the greatest thing in the world
  • As is water
  • Don’t buy that last wine at the bar the night before
  • Wear sunscreen. FML
  • Have a good hiking buddy and make fun conversation about all the amazing adventures you’ve already been on
  • When you start climbing steep hills, stop that conversation immediately
  • Apologise to your knees for the downhill slopes
  • High-five at the end because you didn’t die!

With all the riding we’d been smashing out, I’d forgotten how great hikes can be. This weekend definitely showed me how incredible Whister is in the summer, and how many activities there are to fill your spare time.

We finished up the weekend with healthy nachos, plenty of guacamole and beginning season four of Scandal. It was grand!

Very tired, but super content.
Hanbel
x