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Squamish/Whistler, B.C, Canada
This Blogtography is not a shameless self promotion but a way to keep in touch with folks and share my experiences of what I see and do through the eye of the lens. I feel fortunate to play a part in stoking people to get out and explore and find their own experiences no matter what they are. It really inspires me to capture a moment in time and tell a visual story. Quote- "If I only scrape a living at least it's a living worth scraping for ! " ( Dark Side Of The Lens)

Friday, May 22, 2009

Big Mountain "Ride Big Peru 2009"

The title is a complete understatement.. Ride Big.. Everything else is really just an appetizer compared to the massive descents we hit on this trip.
Dean Payne of BC bike Race collaborated with Chris Winter of to bring 10 friends together to head to Peru for mountain biking in one of the most amazing zones on the planet.
I'm usually not one for organized trips and tend to do the "guy" thing and travel with no itinerary or guides.. Well this trip was completly streamlined with the help of Chris's great partners in Peru and they showed us the goods in a super organized fashion so time was maximized eating/drinking, taking in the culture and of course gobs of riding over our 12 day's adventure.
Soon after arrival in Lima and greeted by Wayo, (our bike guide in Peru) we were quickly testing the local Ceviche and Cervezas while building our bikes that thankfully all arrived intact and no panic searches for bike parts was neccessary.
Wayo was the XC and DH champion of Peru and has been exporing the deep corners of Peru and was going to show us the plum lines that took over 10 years of networking in the high mountains of the Andes. Good luck going it alone !!
Day 1-
The jet lag was minimal as the time difference was only 3 hrs so we were all chomping at the bit to see what this landscape could throw our way.
Day 2-
Soon we were on the deluxe 12 seater and heading out into the smog filled streets of Lima in search for the streamlined route to the mountians. Today was to be a stretch the legs day and a chance for Wayo to see how the gringos managed their bikes before we got down to the bidness over the next few day's.
The landscape was decievingly large.. We wound down a dry river bed in a wide valley and took in the views of the arid side hills.
The 2nd night we discovered a taste of the incredible food, again Wayo made some fine suggestions and we fueled up for the 1st real big day in the mountains.
Day 3-
The alarm fired off at 5 am and we were all up scrambling to find coffee, chow some breakfast and get the bikes loaded for the 6 am departure of our bus trying to beat the rush hour traffic out of town. The shuttle was about 4 hrs and had some great scenery along the way. It wasn't long before we started ascending and the views gave us an idea of just how big of a downhill we were anticipating.
The highpoint of the day was going to be 60 km descent from 12 000 feet to 8 foot swells in the out skirts of Lima. Rumoured to be the biggest bike descent in the world.
The landscape here is very arid and can be dusty but we hit it just right with enough moisture on the surface to rail the descent. We had to bear in mind that any form of rescue was unlikely so everyone kept the showboating to a minimum..

Day 4..
Another huge day ahead with a long pantshitting shuttle to San Pedro De Casta @ just over 10 thousand feet. Ok.. I'm a climber and exposure does not bother me but I'm also a bit of a control freak when it comes to someone I don't know driving a bus 6 inches from 3000 foot cliffs.. High anxiety and some quiet dry heaving were the order for the shuttle.. In the end it added to the experience but not sure If I would drive that road again..
From here we were greeted to our next form of shuttle...Horses... Holy shit.. My body armour was on..It was roughly 2 hrs on horse back on at times narrow trails with some good exposure to the MARCAHUASI Stone Forest.. This area had a very sacred feel to it as the ruins dated before the incas..
All told we descended 10 thousand feet and experienced top notch cutlture and rode a ridiculas amount of amazing single track.
Day 5-
We were supposed to fly to Cusco but low cloud prevented any flights from departing. We spent the day with Brents fake dog poo freaking out the tourists..
Day 6- Huchuy- Cusco
One big ass climb to nearly 14 grand before gravity took over, I had nearly 14 kg of camera gear on my back so good X's were had.
this trail was a sacred valley inca trail and had diverse culture and changing landscapes, from open big mountain to narrow lush slot canyons. STUNNING !

Day 7- Brent Martin, David Norona and myself rented motorcycles and did a 450 km circuit to some remote hotsprings. A highlight of the whole trip as we caught a lifetime of amazing culture and festivals on this 10 hour enduro.. sketchy roads and crazy bus drivers kept us a alert all day.. One mistake big pancake on some of those roads..
Day 8-Patacanch to Pumamarca
35 km downhill with huge views and some lush narrow single track dropping into some inca ruins and some small villages. We had and amazing customary lunch in a small dwelling. The locals arrived to show us some of their incredible hand made crafts.

Day 9-Lares Inca Trail. Another Sacred Inca path.
One of the best in the Andes. Starts at over 14 thousand and passes through different ecological zones and narrow slot canyons.
The trip was fast paced and not many moments to realize just how amazing this area is until we got home and sorted through hundreds of images and video. I put this trip at the top of any list of "MUST DO IT'S" Go down there fit so you can really enjoy your time and soak it all in.. Hey yourself a favour and learn some spanish ....