Whistler Bike Park Opening Day May 19, 2018
Now in its second decade; another Whistler bike park opening day with yet more work by the tireless bike park crew, patrol and customer service. Despite local trepidation that the WBP would be "Americanized" and dumbed down by waiver-toting Vail lawyers it seems that all’s well. The Creekside expansion proceeds apace. Trailwork is towards bigger, sendier features but also with an emphasis on making the greens/blues better aligned for beginner/intermediates and those who just want to chill. Word is that the Vail overlords saw how good things were in Whistler in the summer, realized that they could learn from the best to keep summer visitors entertained and the cash flow flowing.
Patrol patches you up and helps prep for opening day
A phalanx of Customer Service staff on hand to field questions, get your passes processed and get new RFID tickets issue and waivers signed
Of course there’s a pile of snow still up high due to the rather magical winter snow dumps (what’s new?). The usual gong show of making snow to keep skiers placated in tib-fib snow in November was replaced by digging out the lower trails to prep them for dirt-thirsty bikers.
The first day stoke is so real. It’s always cool to ask people where they’re from. The internationals in particular are so excited they almost burst with wonder; which is cool as it reminds jaded locals how lucky one is to live here.
Right now it’s your basic early season conditions with the park not too blown, chundered or dusted. Here’s what’s new
- Fitz Chair goes to 8pm evening hours right off the bat (more on Opening Hours here)
- There’s still a lot of emphasis on the bundled lessons and rentals to get first – time WBP visitors a cost-effective experience and to keep them coming back
- There’s also a lot of emphasis on the free Orientation sessions and guides so people get a sense of the size of the park and how to ride it.
- New RFID cards are being issued so you can’t use your old park passes. Leave yourself sometime to get the new pass which you must get in person (a new waiver may need to be signed)
WBP first day video –
Angry Pirate saw a lot of trailwork
Crank It Up is always a good warmup first run
Good to see familiar faces and get into the familiar routines. Terry of the WBP instructional crew, Shaun of Fluid Function (your SRAM whisperer) and the litany of the liftline and loading
Tippie holding court
Trails are coming along really nicely. In particular Crabapple Hits, A-Line (with the full treatment), technical trails cleared of blowdown and good – to – go. Dirt Merchant work is pending soon. Angry Pirate, Longhorn, Devils Club, Ho Chi Minh got new work. The bottom of Crank It Up is also getting worked on. Rain forecast for late Saturday and Sunday for trailwork bodes well for trails to get compacted and settled
Old timelapse from 2015 showing trailwork on the Golden Triangle easier trail to accommodate beginners
Peter, Pat and Shem (not pictured) walking out a reroute of Dirt Merchant to make the Bike Park great(er) again
Trail Crew hard at work rebuilding slopestyle out of the ashes of the departing ski season
So many women on the trails! Nice to see the sausage factor of biking being mitigated. Lots of kids around too
Whistler Valley trail conditions
Meanwhile Whistler valley’s massive trail network saw a good chunk of blowdown cleared. Some stream crossings are doubtful due to the recent heatwave causing spring freshets to reach biblical proportions so check WORCA’s trail conditions pages for updates on routes.
It’s safe to say that the lower trails are running well. Show your appreciation for the work of the tireless volunteers by foregoing a beer or three and donating.
The dreamy Todd and Dan talk at a WORCA event about the three year (and greater) voyage to build the alpine Lord of the Squirrels trail (look for it to open late this season due to snow)
North of town is clear
North of Town
Spring Freshet on the Cheakamus River south of town
On It’s Business Time
Remarkable contrast of trail useage between the AMPM turnoff and the more committing and technical IBT continuation