A brief encounter with MTB royalty

I asked a few Whistler locals and they all suggested that Howler was a good wet trail due to a minimum of roots and a maximum of grippy rock slabs. After lots of rain on Friday I set off for Howler on Saturday mid-day.
Half of the climb up to Howler is boring fire trail. That appears ready to change soon as the signage proclaims a new climbing singletrack underway to take you from the start of the dirt to nearly the top of the boring bit. Excellent news.
Once you pass the “no motor vehicles” sign, you hit a combo hiking and biking trail that heads directly up the fall line (difficult to pedal on due to steepness, but definitely possible).
Last year I stopped at the “top” and rode Howler. However there is an Upper Howler and we decided to give it a go. The last 20 minutes of climbing are pretty steep and difficult.
Once we reached the trail head, we stopped for a minute to ready ourselves. Two guys rode up. One was working super hard to keep in front of the guy behind him. He didn’t know who it was. That second guy was Yoann on an e-bike! No one is likely to keep in front of Yoann nor are they likely to keep in front of an e-bike - put the two together and there’s no chance.
I said “Yoann, you have an e-bike; that’s cheating”.
He replied “F*&$ yeah!”

Yoann was chatting with everyone in exactly the way I would expect based on the videos I have seen him in. He kept motoring up - Gargamel is up there and I never intend to find out (not only is it a Double Black, but a legendary one of crazy difficulty).

The descent was super fun and was perfect in the damp post-rain conditions. Last year I proclaimed Howler my favourite trail. I’m not sure of that any more, but it is definitely up there.