Category Archives: Richie Johnston blog

Richie Johnston blog

Bike B.C.

“Pay Attention” I tell myself as I set off down a narrow path riding two wheels in the woods. I’m following a group of locals who know the twists and turns well, which inspires the growing confidence in me. These locals have become good friends of mine during my season in Whistler which has made my season even more special. What better way to finish a Winter by spending most days exploring the immense trail network in the Whistler Valley area. Squamish, Whistler, Pemberton and even some Vancouver trails kept me entertained during the last weeks I spent in Canada.

Below are some of the photos I snapped along the way including maps of the area using my Garmin cycle GPS.

British Columbia has plenty of trails to keep a keen biker entertained. I was fortunate to get a taste of what the area can offer. Returning to B.C in the future is definitely an option and these days spent in the forest with friends has only inspired me to enjoy a Summer… Soon.

Squamish

Squamish
Squamish

Squamish2
Squamish2

Squamish1

Pemberton

Pemberton Crew
Pemberton Crew

Pemberton Map
Pemberton Map

Whislter
Whistler valley

LostlakeMap

Vancouver

UBC Loop
UBC Loop

Lost Lake, Whistler
Lost Lake, Whistler
Endless fun
Endless fun

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Now that I have returned to NZ the biking is still near the top of my priorities. Old and new trails while exploring with friends continue to get me stoked. This weekend some friends and I will drive North and fly into the Heaphy Track with the bikes! Watch this space…

The 16th Annual Neil Edgeworth Memorial Banked Slalom

Racing back to Whislter in a rental car from Squamish I do the math in my head. Will we be able to pick everyone up in time and make it out to Big White before ‘Check In’? It’s a beautiful Spring day which makes for great road-trips and we certainly did as 7 of us squeezed our boards, boots, bodies and bags and took off down the Kokahala Highway.

An epic weekend filled with excellent snow, friendly company and a competition which is like no other. This is my 3rd season participating in this event and I can honestly say it was my most favorite weekend of the season. As I won the Mens’ 25-34 category last season it was only appropriate that I step up to the PRO division and compete with the big boys. World Cup racers and Olympic level athletes strap in beside me as I prepare myself for one of two runs down a rutted, fogged in & hair raising course. Day one went very well as I placed 3rd however a crash on a berm day 2 lowered my place to 8th overall. Martin Juare and JP Fok landed themselves with a podium! 270 keen snowboarders and snowskaters of all ages and abilities participated in what is believed to be one of the most respected banked slaloms in the world.

Many thanks goes to Flynn Seddon and his event staff along with Big White for hosting another fine event. The sponsors were proud to be part of the event and were yet again generous with their schwag and prizes. Of course there is a huge thank you to the special group of friends I had the pleasure of traveling, living and riding with over the weekend… Let us aim to make this event bigger and better for the Whistler Crew next season!

16th Annual Neil Edgeworth Memorial Banked Slalom from Richie Johnston on Vimeo.

Whistler Blackcomb I.C.E. Awards

“Become ‘one’ with the sled…” I hear the assistant say to me as she sets my duct-tape-covered sled free. The ice 2 inches from my chin seems a lot harder and colder from this perspective… Within seconds I reach 99.5km/h down the Olympic track feeling up to 4G here in Whistler setting the fastest time and speed for the day. Memories of the Bob Sled experience a year ago flood back to me and I try to forget about the crash that happened on the same track a year earlier.

It was an honor to be selected as a winner of the 2013 Whistler Blackcomb I.C.E Awards. 3,500 employees are eligible and yesterday 16 of us were treated to a day filled with surprise and gratitude. Two weeks ago I was nominated by a couple of my supervisors as being I.C.E worthy. Inspiring Continued Excellence sum up the Core Values of WB and are an important part of the companies outstanding reputation. Mum happened to still be in town so the night was even more special with her there.

Russ Wood, one of my supervisors shared some kind words and stories. An unexpected surprise and a humbling time for me to be recognised this way. This award really is a reflection of the environment I am fortunate to work and play in. My colleagues become friends and it is awesome to be surrounded by many inspiring people here in the mountains. This way of life here allows us to freely let our passion for the outdoors excel us in many ways. It certainly is a privilege to be here.

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Mind Resolutions – LIVE!

Mind Resolutions (MR) is now on Facebook! I want to provide insightful and inspiring, easy to understand self-development resources that can be applied again and again. Even though the final website is not ready, the urge to get this project out there runs deep. This project of mine will eventually turn into a business practicing life coaching and sport therapy. The direction of Mind Resolutions is not quite set in stone, the idea of keeping it ‘plastic’, especially now in it’s early stages feels like the right thing to do. As time goes on, it will evolve into what it needs to be.
Delivering presentations, health & wellness retreats, goal setting and collaborating with other lifestyle professionals are interests of mine I would like to see grow! Inspired by the NLP certification I went though in 2012, it blends nicely with the teaching and training within the snow sports industry. It has helped me create success in sport, work and given me a fresh resourceful outlook on life.
All of your support and feedback is appreciated and helps me stay on track. If you want to make a contribution. Perhaps you would like to like the page?

Mind Resolutions
Mind Resolutions

This Magical Place

As I scroll through my Instagram photos, it seems I have a fascination with clouds and the magic that surrounds me. Every day brings new weather systems creating beautiful and inspiring scenery. The itch to snap it up these moments continue as I work and play here in Whistler, BC… Below are some of the highlights, most of which I shoot from an iPhone.

Anticipation builds as I wait patiently for my ride to the mountains...
Anticipation builds as I wait patiently for my ride to the mountains…

We 'skin' towards a not yet open Blackcomb Glacier in search of fresh snow and stories
We ‘skin’ towards a not yet open Blackcomb Glacier in search of fresh snow and stories

December treated us well with near record snowfall
December treated us well with near record snowfall

12 minutes of epic views!
12 minutes of epic views!

Always a pleasure to ride with JohnShellybro and friends. So much training to be had here, massive opportunities to practice in a rich & fun learning environment
Always a pleasure to ride with JohnShellybro and friends. So much training to be had here, massive opportunities to practice in a rich & fun learning environment

Much to the surprise of my friends, I crawled down through a wind drift to find this one.
Much to the surprise of my friends, I crawled down through a wind drift to find this one.

When snow looks like the ocean high above the clouds
When snow looks like the ocean high above the clouds

Enjoying the spray on a sunny morning
Enjoying the spray on a sunny morning

Between Whistler & Blackcomb through the glass floor of the Peak to Peak
Between Whistler & Blackcomb through the glass floor of the Peak to Peak

@Photobymaree does her warm up before an afternoon ride
@Photobymaree does her warm up before an afternoon ride

Above the clouds reminding me of Treble Cone's inversion
Above the clouds reminding me of Treble Cone’s inversion

Into the Mist
Looking beyond the Symphony boundary
Looking beyond the Symphony boundary

Waiting patiently for the bus, looking back on over 8000 acres of playground.
Waiting patiently for the bus, looking back on over 8000 acres of playground.

The heavens open above the learner slope
The heavens open above the learner slope

Euro/Russian carve...
Euro/Russian carve…

Sunny day shred
Sunny day shred

While enjoying Lunch in a guest's house I was able to get curious down to the village below
While enjoying Lunch in a guest’s house I was able to get curious down to the village below

Whistler Heli day

It is one of those days that instructors dream of. It does not happen very often and when it does it can make a season. Fortune shined upon me as I was asked to join in on a heli trip with Whistler Heli Ski. The family I was teaching that week kindly invited me along to enjoy the experience with them. The video below is my 2 minute interpretation of that experience and I would like to share it with you.
Enjoy the sounds from Civilian Sol as you see footage from the Ipsoot Mountain range North West of Whistler.

Whistler Heli 2012 from Richie Johnston on Vimeo.

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One year Transplant Anniversary

A year ago today my Dad and I were able to go through an operation that has changed our lives forever. What the surgeons and their team were able to do is quite extraordinary and has since given my Dad a new lease on life, in every sense. The new found energy, fitness and general well-being has helped him be more resourceful, healthier and ultimately happier. Mum and Dad are able to go on bike rides and enjoy their active lifestyle again like they used too.

Last week we designed and constructed a 6m long retaining wall which required a lot of digging and general grunt lifting everything into place. It makes me feel very proud and honored to have helped him feel the way he does now. It blows me away the improvements I have seen and I feel humbled to have made a difference.

As there is always a chance Rob’s immune system will reject the new Kidney, he will continue to take his medication every day for the rest of his life. It is also quite important to avoid periods of sun exposure as it can counter the usefulness of the drugs. The awareness and quality of our diets has always been pretty good and we continue to avoid foods which are loaded with preservatives and additives. Too much sodium in anyones diet cannot be a good thing and it is important that we give our Kidneys an easy work load to prolong their longevity.

It is pleasing to know that I have not noticed any physical limitations due to the operation. I continue to wear a helmet and spine jacket while snowboarding and do cross training, balancing exercises which give me a little piece of mind when I ride. The support from my Sister, Mum and those close to me means a great deal to me … bring on the next year!

Here is a photo of my most amazing and supportive parents!

Ride Tips: Intro to off piste

John Jo from Rideclass Productions spent an hour at Treble Cone going through a couple of tips to work on feeling better in variable snow. Below is a 4 minute video… Have a fun last few weeks of the season! Visit Rookie Academy for more information.

Snowboard Improvement: Stance and Balance riding off piste. from Rookies on Vimeo.

Best day of the season!

Freshies were enjoyed on a bright Sunday at Treble Cone! With more snow on the forecast, it’s going to be an awesome last few weeks of the 2012 season.

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/49135243″>Best Day of 2012? Riders and Sliders last day.</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/treblecone”>Treble Cone</a> on <a href=”http://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>