Whistler Alpine Riding – Lift assist or not

Whistler Alpine Riding

The Alpine is a mystical place, the hardy vegetation accented by Alpine flowers when in bloom, the panoramic views, its vastness that gives you that the feeling of insignificance. We are able to experience this in the winter, but the opportunities to do so in the summer on a mountain bike are limited. Whistler now has two opportunities for mountain bikers to experience the beauty and magic of the Alpine. One is from Whistler Mountain – Top of the World Trail. The other is a new access 4 years in the making with collaboration from volunteers and the Resort Municipality of Whistler ( RMOW ).

RMOW built climbing trail – Into the Mystic and On The Rocks, connects to the WORCA built blue level descent Lord of the Squirrels. This ride is not for the faint of heart. Give yourself a full day for this one, there are no bail outs. Into the Mystic climbs 750m in about 8.6km, from 990m on the Flank Trail to 1630m where it intersects with On The Rocks and With A Twist. With A Twist was built by RMOW to connect the road near the Canadian Wilderness Adventure Cabin in the Callaghan Valley. This trail can be accessed via a shuttle up the Callaghan Forest Service Road then right up towards the old Northair Mines at the 1000m elevation. On The Rocks continues through the Alpine with a further 3.6km of climbing to1760m on Tonic Peak before desending to 1690m where you can continue down on Lord of the Squirrels, or do a 2.5km ( 5km out and back ) Happy Hour to maximize your vertical. ¬†Lord of the Squirrels is a 6.9km, 906m Blue rated descent, with 210m of climbing just because you haven’t climbed enough.

But Wait! You’re still not done! From the flank trail you still need to descend one of the many options on the fabled West Side. Probably the easiest would be to descend back down the Flank trail to Function Junction. Or if you still have gas take any of the more technical trails such as Pura Vida which starts close to where LOTS ends, or climb to Working Class, High Society, Legalize it or Cheap Thrills.

According to Strava… Fast people are doing the loop – Into the Mystic – On The Rocks – Lord of the Squirrels in 2 hours. They’re not drinking beer at the top. A reasonable time for this loop is 4-5 hours. Add the time to get to the Flank and back down to the Valley.

Mountain Life Media published a great Article on the who’s and how’s of Into The Mystic. ¬†Todd Hellinga (who’s way too modest) also wrote about the creation of the alpine loop from the WORCA perspective.

Gateway to the Mystic

Machine Built consistent climb

Into the Alpine, the flowers bloom

Yeah climbing

Many people were out on this day

We were blessed with amazing views and Alpine flowers

This well constructed and well draining trail will help protect the Alpine and allow many people to experience this unique area

Lots of Alpine Lakes up here

Good time for Alpine beer!

Then the descent back down Lord of the Squirrels.

 

Whistler Bike Park Alpine ride – Top of the World.

Built in 2012 as an Alpine option for Mountain bikers, this 5.6km trail descends 740m from 2140m to 1450m back into the bike park. There are other ‘backcountry’ options off the Top of the World trail that riders can try but once out on these trails you are on your own if you are injured or suffer a mechanical. These trails include; Khyber Pass to Middle of No Where to Kashmir and Kush, or Ride Don’t Slide, or Khyber Pass to Babylon by Bike. Once off these three lines there are a variety of trails to descend back down to Dusty’s.

Top of the World passes are limited since in order to limit maintenance and impact rider numbers are limited, so take your time riding down and smell the Alpine Flowers!

The Gondola takes you to the Roundhouse to enjoy your first views

Ride down to the Peak Chair, say hi to the Duckies!

Enjoy the views from the top of the Peak Chair then ride down to the trail entrance. Early season could mean some snow patches. This year August was still early.

The trail winds its way down between ski run and into the trees

Off the Top of the World trail the first backcountry option is Khyber Pass. An old school trail that is now part of the Whistler Blackcomb Tenure. The second option is Ride Don’t Slide, another Old School trail initially created as a Trials Bike ascent, then a Downhill mountain bike descent, now part of the Whistler Blackcomb Tenure. Continuing past these options will get you back into the Bike Park.

Babylon by Bike

More Babylon by Bike – getting pretty overgrown in there

Kashmir – built around 2008 its the more technical up and down trail in this zone

Whistler Bike Park – Top of the World – Kashmir Option Ride Log

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Whistler Bike Park – Top of the World – Ride Don’t Slide Option

 

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West Side, Into the Mystic, Lord of the Squirrels Loop

 

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