Mikey Rencz cracks the throttle wide open; the rear tire of his Kawasaki 4-stoke 250 kicks up dirt as he cranks the bike sideways into the switchbacks, and bombs down an unmarked logging road, making his way out of the Upper Squamish Valley of coastal B.C. A video text of these exploits comes through on my end from Dustin Craven explaining that the two of them had been camping and were now lagging due to an early-morning fishing session.
Two minutes later, the phone rings.
"Had to pull over," Rencz says. "I just ran into Martin Gallant pulling his canoe out of the river. His Internet is down, and he's insisting that he use my iPhone to update his Twitter status."
I don't stress. If the Godfather needs something then Rencz owes it to him: During the Gathering days, Gallant used to pick up 15-year-old Rencz to go sledding, teaching him that they must be first in the parking lot to get the "the shot."
Pulling up to his Squamish house, Rencz quickly unloads his bike, pushing it past the mini ramp in his backyard, and parks it beside his snowmobile, which isn't winterized yet since he was just sledding ten days ago -- in mid July.
"I got the pieces for the ramp out of Devun Walsh's garage when he sold his Whistler house," Rencz says. "Going to have some great BBQ parties ... when and if the rain ever stops."
On the road to Whistler, passing the old 8 Mile house in Creekside, where Rencz did hard time years back, the conversation rolls into what this crew is really about.
"We're just a couple homies that go out and film and snowboard," he says. "It's good to celebrate that once in a while."
Besides it's fun to be able to make movies with no guidelines and the ability to pick music that you're into. For Rencz, that's hip hop -- obviously, as Waka Flocka Flame been playing the whole drive up.
Heading up the Glacier, still making good time. While the rest of the Monster crew is probably still wiping the sleep out of their eyes, Rencz chills on the chairlift and spins through his winter traveling for Burton's latest flick, "Standing Sideways."
"It was my first year filming with Jussi Oksanen, and we started out feeling each others vibe, and it was awesome. We stayed around BC: here a lot, Bralorne, Revelstoke."
Surrounded by all the local sledding areas from Face Mountain to Brohm, Rencz looks out over the Sea to Sky and insists that he doesn't get bored sledding around here; it's just frustrating to always having to go to the same jump spots when there is so much good stuff to ride elsewhere. Looking to the north, he admits that Rutherford may be his favorite because they've been going out really far and finding new areas. He enthuses that there has to more to the surrounding mountains, and he is hell bent on getting into never-been-hit zones, and has been using his dirt bike to scope access into unknown areas.
"Snowboarders get lazy when they come here," he says. "They sit in their hotel rooms for two weeks and wait until it finally gets sunny before going out and hitting whatever jump that they already know. The whole time they could have been finding new stuff and scoping for different features."
He points northwest of Pemberton, towards the sled-accessible ghost mining town of Bralorne and talks about getting flown into some gnarly aspects while Jussi and him were filming up there.
"I love heli-ing, but sledding is just too easy," he says.
Up top of the park, scanning the jump line, Rencz admits that this week alone may be one of the few times you'll find him outside of the backcountry.
"I rode park for so long that I never ride it anymore," he says. Just before taking off down the run in to a Camp of Champions jump line, he adds, "I don't feel like really going for it in the summer, even though it's always fun to come hang out."
The day has flown by in a New York minute. After hosting a game of skate with the campers down in the village, Rencz eyes up the COC's ramps. He's probably one of the most chill people you will ever meet, but when you can squeeze dirt biking, fishing, camping, snowboarding, and skateboarding into a day, then there is something to be said about living in a Mikey Rencz minute.