If you're an avid mountain biker, Crankworx in Whistler is the prime festival of the year. As a professional rider, you get to ride with friends from all over the globe who you might only get to see once a year. Everyone is here! It's non-stop for the whole 10 days. As we come closer to Crankworx every season, I'm always scrambling to make a plan. Where will I stay? For how long? Should I do all the events or just a few? How will I budget for it? What sponsors of mine will be there? What opportunities will there be to meet new people? Well, this year was the ultimate opportunity.
At the start of summer I check my email inbox and see a message titled "YOU'RE INVITED: CLIF Bar Basecamp at Crankworx August 16-19 in Whistler, BC". Game on!
I arrived on the first night and was blown away by how amazing the place was. Early the next morning CLIF bar's nutrition strategist, Tara DelloIacono Thies, took us on a quick run. That was followed by the opportunity to learn about CLIF bar's history and build our own custom bars. Thanks Tara!
While all this was going on, I had teamed up with Tommy Wilkinson to compete in the Deep Summer Challenge: an invitational photo slideshow contest held at Crankworx every summer to showcase some of the best photography in Whistler. Each team embarks on three days of intense shooting and editing. Shortly after building my own CLIF bar I geared up and joined my team.
We camped up in the alpine that night to catch the first light. The shots turned out phenomenal. Tommy has a genius eye.
After a night in the mountains it was awesome to come back and take a shower in what felt like my own mansion in Whistler. Basecamp went way beyond my expectations. Not only in the accommodation department, but the endless amount of activities they had planned for us guests, with no pressure to attend any of them, only encouragement. I feel many other brands could learn from CLIF bar, this was such a fantastic way to do things.
The structure was perfect as my schedule was super busy between Deep Summer, competing in the whip-off, shooting a video in the bike park, and more. With that being said, I attended every CLIF bar event possible. We ate delicious food and got VIP passes to watch the pumptrack event, but the highlight was taking a helicopter to the top of Rainbow Mountain. Joining us was Matt Hunter, Andrew Shandro, and Hans Rey - all CLIF bar athletes and fellow riding friends of mine. It was a blast! To make the day even better, photo legend Sterling Lorence came along for the ride and snapped a handful of rad shots for our own personal use.
Towards the end of the week the Deep Summer Challenge was complete. After 3 strenuous days of shooting it was finally time for the show. We had put in our best effort and were all very stoked to be apart of it. The results came in from the judges and our team took the win! The concept was inspired by those who love to ride and go out and kill it every weekend. Here's the slideshow:
It's safe to say Crankworx 2016 was one for the books, thank you CLIF Bar! I can't wait for 2017.
Basecamp photos by Carmen Rey
Rainbow Mountain photos by Sterling Lorence