Words by: Brent Hillier Photos by: Brent Hillier & Chad Hillier
Last week my brother, Chad, came out for a visit with his girlfriend, Katie. With springtime here on the coast of British Columbia it was a great opportunity to take advantage of all the many activities that are possible. It proved to be a great reminder for myself as to just how amazing this place really is. We explored the mountains on foot, bike and skis and toured the city, taking advantage of the food, culture and beer.
Words by: Brent Hillier Photos by: Brent Hillier and Justin Bryans
I recently celebrated 8 years of living on the west-coast of British Columbia. The move wasn't done alone, my good friend Justin and I hopped on a plane out of Hamilton, ON and flew into Abbotsford, BC back in 2006. We spent the first few days getting settled, finding a crummy rental unit on the dodgy end of town. By day four our bikes had arrived and it was time to explore. We introduced ourselves to the BC riding scene with a Fraser Valley gem known as Ledgeview.
McKee Peak, also known as Ledgeview, sits in the heart of Abbotsford. For many locals, it's quite literally in their backyard.
Type one fun is the most relatable, as well as the most common. It includes mountain bike shuttles and whistler days; it's followed by laughs and smiles. It's a good bike ride like, Is It Early or Just Really Late or a quick ski tour like, Spring is for Ski Tours. Although some might define those trips as being difficult, for the people who frequently get out there it's nothing more involved then buying a ticket to a carnival and having a great time.
It can be identified when fun is instantly had with little amounts of effort. At the end, beer tastes like beer and food tastes like food.
The second type of fun generally doesn't involved shuttles or chairlifts. Any up-hill is earned through the burning of calories, hiking, biking or skiing your way up each metre of elevation. The reward is pure fun but getting there requires a little pain. Colloquial phrases such as "no pain, no gain" are often uttered. The entire industry of organized racing comes from those who take pleasure in type two fun. Some other great examples would be: BC Parks! Tear Down This Wall and Bushy Kickturns, Coreshots and Broken Promises.
It can be identified by a fun day that may include some sore muscles. Afterwards beer is delicious and food is amazing, both of which are well earned!
The final type of fun is not for everyone; in fact I don't recommend it. It comes out of trips that are exhausting both physically and mentally. They often include at least one night of being cold and wet. Dinner is instant soup or a bowl of rice. In the moment, it's a horrible experience. The minimal portions that were in fact fun are so completely overshadowed by every other second that it takes two months to forget about the miserable parts and only remember the good parts. This is a theme that runs strong in my I'm Only Happy When I'm Miserable story.
During Type 3 fun photographs in which you try to smile result in a grimace or empty stare into the camera (examples below). Afterwards, a piss-warm can of shitty beer is suddenly the best beer of your life and that first hot meal is so unexplainably good you can't imagine ever eating a better meal again. It's for these reasons alone that I seek Type 3 fun at least once a year. But I must stress, it's not for everyone.
Stories, Pictures and Video of all my adventures, on skis and bike.