Khan Yong Gee – A Different Sort of Whistler Lifestyle
This is the first mini-profile in a series called, “Chasing Dreams in the Coast Mountains”, by Matthew Mallory. These feature prominent sledders who live and ride in the Coast Mountains of British Columbia, Canada. The first profiled rider, Khan Yong Gee, has recently moved to the Mabel Lake area of the Interior, where he will continue to pursue his passion for both sledding and fishing. – Ed.
Chasing Dreams in the Coast Mountains
Five Sea to Sky Personalities Follow Different Paths in Pursuit of Their Passion
British Columbia Highway 99 dissects this mountainous coastal region, and is flanked on all sides by tall peaks as far as the eye can see.
It’s easy to understand why the Coast Mountains are an ideal place to ride a mountain sled. The region is hammered by huge storms, and blessed with a dependably deep and stable snowpack. There are crazy, huge features to ride. And there is more terrain to explore than pretty much anywhere else in British Columbia—a white vastness that can be seen from space.
For decades, this stretch of land has attracted those looking to push the limits of their chosen sport. The big mountain movements in skiing, snowboarding and mountain biking were all progressed here. And the sport of snowmobiling is no different.
The early days of coastal big mountain riding featured the names of guys like Chris Brown, Geoff Kyle, Dan Treadway and Kalle “KJ” Johansson, who called the area home. Their influence lingers on, though the torch has largely since been passed on to a younger generation of fearless freeriders.
Here are five unique individuals who—each in their own way—embody the spirit of the coastal sledding culture. Each pursues a significantly different path in life. But there are two things these riders share in common: their commitment to big mountain sledding, and the place they choose to chase their dreams.
Khan Yong Gee
A Different Sort of Whistler Lifestyle
This rough piece of blacktop leads to another universe, far removed from the collection of ridiculously huge, empty houses that dot the Whistler landscape. When the climbing stops and the land levels out, row upon row of trailers and RVs fill a clearing on the hillside. On a sliver of land near the end of the road sits an RV that Khan Yong Gee calls home.
Khan is one of a kind. With a heritage that spawned the portmanteau nickname Chozie shortly after arriving in Whistler, this Chinese/Australian fell for the Coast Mountains. While most get trapped in the flash that is the Whistler scene, Khan pulled away. Living in an RV doesn’t lend to flash, after all. But the truth is that Khan’s home-on-wheels is more spacious than many of the shared and confined living quarters that other Whistler residents—the ones who aren’t insanely wealthy anyway—call home.
Having tried his hand at several different pastimes, the Chozie has settled on two and dedicated his life to them. In the warm months, Khan is out every chance he can get, trying to hook and land finned critters. If you ever go to visit him, you’re sure to find fly rods strewn about and wafts of a fishy aroma drifting from the smoker. Khan’s commitment and love for angling is affirmed by a tattoo of a fly-line that twists itself up his arm and over his shoulder to his neck.
His other passion is freeride snowmobiling. Lately, Khan has started to gain more exposure for his go-big attitude. Unfortunately, in a pay-to-play-sport, the Chozie has paid his dues both monetarily and in blood—wrecking sleds and injuring his body. But he keeps coming back for more.
One of the keys to Khan’s progression has been the trailer park life. Straight out the back of his Whistler home is a trail that leads directly to the massive Brandywine riding zone. It’s a virtual training ground for backcountry sledding with trees, chutes, cliffs, senders and deep pow galore.
Come winter, with back-door access to exceptional riding and a singular focus, Khan is in the perfect spot to continue pushing himself in the backcountry and in front of the cameras.