Shred-It: Dean Bercovitch Rides The Whistler Train Wreck

Hitcase, News.

The Whistler Train Wreck is a hype urban legend around these parts, causing a cluster f%@! of confusion for locals over the question: how did a train end up in the middle of the woods? The wreck, which fell off the rails in the 1950’s, rests far enough away from the track and perfectly scattered between old growth trees, that this rusty gnarled heap of metal must have been relocated somehow. But by whom?

Filmmakers Ryan and Kris Harris from Beacon Media Group have always wanted to utilize the legendary location for a shoot, and considering that no one (at least to any of our knowledge) has ever skied the wreck they wanted to be the first to record it. When they called us over at HITCASE about the concept, it was a no brainer. Filmed entirely with an iPhone and the HITCASE PRO with the Wide Angle TrueLux Lens, this video is far from your average ski edit.

“We hiked to the train wreck a couple summers ago and saw the bike ramps setup,” comments Ryan Harris. “It was hard to imagine but we thought how cool it would be to shoot a little ski video in there. Limited speed, sketchy ramps, loose nails and tight trees it was not an easy one to find a skier for. Dean Bercovitch was keen to give it a go with us, so the madness began… ”

Unknown mountain bikers built the ramps around the wreck, however there isn’t enough vertical for a skier or rider to session the boxcars. The Beacon Boys McGivered a winch out of an old snow-blower, strapped it to a platform, slapped skis on it and pushed it the 4km to the film location in -15C weather. Boom. That’s some Einstein stuff right there folks.

The wreck was a war-zone to ski, with Bercovitch having to dodge rusty-ass metal, nails and trees. “Dean wanted to go even bigger on everything but tiny run-ups didn’t allow for enough speed,” comments Ryan. “The craziest trick was definitely the 360 through the 2 trees. His skis only fit straight so if he spun to slow or fast he was going down hard.” To fit between the trees Dean spun a 270 before threading the needle, with each trick having to be intensely calculated so he didn’t eat it into the train.

So why is there a train in the middle of the woods anyway? Aside from many suspect of X-files ghostery happening in the backwoods, it wasn’t until Rick Valleau came forward in 2013. His father had actually moved the wreck back in 1956 when Pacific Great Eastern Railway contacted him asking for his help, since he was the only person in the area capable of cleaning up the mess. Jimmy rigging his logging equipment, Valleau relocated the boxcars, allowing the track to go through a rebuild.

With the history of the wreck finally debunked, there’s something to be said about the vision of the Beacon Brothers coming to light and having Dean shred the old train. At HITCASE we’re all about supporting those in the pursuit of everyday adventure, and this is most definitely one hell of tale. So cheers to winter 2017 and keep on charging-it out there.

HITCASE in The Globe and Mail: Five pieces of outdoor gear to chase away the winter blues

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