Stairway to Heaven
By Tanner Champion
Fun, Possibilities, and Canada, are the three words that describe this spot. Zak Stone came up to do some filming and riding with me before I took off for CWC for 3 months. I was taking him to all my fun spots that I like to shred near here in Nanaimo on Vancouver Island, so I took him to Swy- a-lana Park. We were shredding a large pool, doing some flat water winching when we looked over the other side of the bridge and saw this amazing structure staring right back at us. It was 3 pools of water all a step down of 2 feet each and kinked here and there. We both took a double take, looked at each other and quickly realize this was our own Stairway to Heaven. Our stoke levels quickly shot up as we started saying possible trick lines, and can we grind this too? It was an open canvas of opportunity. Then we looked at each other and knew just what we needed to do! We grabbed the winch and moved it into the right spot and ran the rope out. Of course winch immediately become non operational. Zak had to head back to Oregon and left me with the challenge of shredding this spot to pieces solo.
Like a true Canadian I did just that. I got my winch fixed and grabbed my brother out of school. I got a good two-hour session in, hassle free, even with a ton of people watching and asking questions, (not to mention the city doing major construction work 100 ft away.) From the man who tells me to give my head a shake, to the homeless man clapping under the bridge, everyone up here is down for winching. There are literally endless possible lines at this spot. I found my self studying a photo of the spot picking new lines and imagining tricks.
The only down side to this spot is that it is tide affected. I normally come when the tide is up, but as long as the tide is below the steps you are home free. The water is also quite shallow, and has many barnacles covering the rocks that line its floor. But that is only another reason to land your tricks. This spot has many more hits to take, and high fives to make.
Some good does come from Canada. Thanks Zak and Matt for coming up and hanging out! Get back here soon! There’s more to this spot than what you see here. Lots More!!!