Words: Laurence Crossman-Emms

Photos: Laurence Crossman-Emms

British photographer Laurence Crossman-Emms is basing himself in the mountain bike ‘Mecca’ of Whistler for the 2015 summer season. He’s working on a feature series for Dirt called ‘Up in the Park’, chronicling the lives of people who have escaped ‘normal’ life and are living their dreams in one of the undisputed centres of the mountain biking world.

Laurence takes up the story…

For most people, living the Whistler dream lasts for just a season. Maybe they are lucky enough to stretch it out to two, but the endless tolls and money drains that living in Whistler creates, means that it doesn’t usually last long. The Whistler dream is just that, dreams and memories of those cheese wedge booters and high fives at the bottom of the run. You got to work hard at the lifestyle here if you want to keep it up, always feeling the need to go get a few laps in just because the lift is running, practicing your scrubs off the GLC drop so you know that when everyone is watching you look super ‘rad’, and the obligatory jug of beer at the end of the day… its a tough life out here. For reformed Brit-adian Ollie Jones, the days of turn bars and $2 ‘Yesterday’s Pizza’ sure is worth holding on to.

Name: Ollie Jones

Age: 23

Hometown: Nottingham

First time in Whistler: 5 years ago

Experience ‘Up in the Park’: 2-3 times a week

Best Phat Wednesday Result: 1st

Number of jobs in Whistler: 6

Wheel size in the Park: 27.5” baby

Bro, do you even Enduro: Better believe it, park laps all day!

Beer or coffee: Beer

No Dig no ride: Optional but kindly appreciated.

Worst ever craze in Whistler: MARZ (mothers against rope swings), it’s a craze alright!

Whats the biggest attraction to come to Whistler, why would you ever want to live here?

The biggest attraction that brought me here was the access to terrain, snow or dirt, the vast terrain is endless. You’d be an idiot to not want that on your doorstep.

What is summer in Whistler to you?

One hell of a good time with my buddies.

There is plenty of riding in Whistler, describe to me what your favourite trail is.

My favourite trail depends on which bike I decide to take out. If it’s wet I’m always down to ride something steep and zesty. If it’s dry I will probably be on something flowy with some jumps.

I can only imagine you have taken some stacks up in the Park, what was your biggest?

Ahh man, by far during practice on Canadian Open for Crankworx. I hit the jump under the chair and didn’t expect the holes to be five times bigger than the run before. I wasn’t holding on tight enough and blew a hand off the bar on the first hole. I was hanging over the front of the bike going pretty quick until I hit the left hander and launched right off it straight. After the dust settled I asked people on the chair above if they could see my bike. I eventually found it way in the cabbage.

What has been your all time Whistler highlight?

That’s a tough one, so many amazing things have happened since living in this town. Deep Summer was pretty awesome last year. Our team took first place during Crankworx.

What insider piece of advice would you give to someone coming to Whistler?

Buckle up because you’re in for a ride.

Whistler can be pretty tough on people at times. What was your lowest point?

Eating Kraftdinner for two weeks because I couldn’t afford rent, that led to scurvy, so I got pretty ill.

Where do you think you would be if you weren’t here in Whistler?

I like to consider myself a fairly adventurous chap so I’d like to say another bicycle destination. However that’s hard and might only be a temporary thing, so more than likely back at home.

Who is that rider that aspires you to get out on the bike?

I would have to say Brendog (Brendan Fairclough), so much flow.

High Fives or Fist Bumps?

High fives for the ladies, fist bumps for the fellas.

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