Whistler Mountain Bike Park’s Creekside Trails – part 1

Much thanks to Rob M, Wendy R and Pierre R for coordinating the resources to let this story be written. Rob El Jefe; you will be sorely missed. Enjoy the retirement; the excessive skiing and biking!

Without trails mountain-biking (as we know it) wouldn’t exist. Without trailbuilders there would be no trails. Ergo trailbuilders are the pinnacle of the sport.

Nothing illustrates this more than the Whistler Bike Park; the undisputed top dog of commercial bike parks. The top dog didn’t get there by sitting on its laurels. The WMBP plans to add 50kms of new trail in the Creekside area. The build is a massive multi-year project and is so resource intensive that the Whistler Mountain Bike Park​ crewGravity Logic Inc.​ and Joyride​ Bike Parks Inc. have all been enlisted for various parts of this build.

This project brings together all the historical players who were responsible for the first bike park trails and their build. It is the epitomy of commercial trail-building expertise and experience.

Wendy R and Rob M showing off their pride and joy at an orientation session

Whistler Mountain Bike Park’s crew moving an immense amount of dirt for your riding pleasure

Creekside in context

15kms of the 50kms trails to be built are slated to be open shortly in mid June 2018 with Phase 1 of the build concentrating on lower elevation trails accessible directly from the Creekside Gondola and from Garbanzo/Upper Whistler Village Gondola. Five new trails will be added.

The plan is for these trails to be added

- 1 Light Blue Machine Built Freeride Trail (Southpark)
- 1 Blue Machine Built Freeride Trail (Earth Circus)
- 2 Dark Blue Technical Trails (Upper and Lower Insomnia)
- 1 Black Technical (Delayed Fuse)

WMBP trail crew has the task of tackling a mid-mountain to Creekside continuous blue. Gravity Logic (GLI) handled the hand-built black technical and easy/lightblue. Joyride tackled the hard/darkblue one-two combination. Just this initial build adds 20% more trails to Whistler’s Bike Park system with total numbers going from 60kms to 75kms.

The importance of Whistler’s Bike Park, the Creekside expansion and its economic impact both to Whistler and to the town can be seen in this 2016 economic impact study. WMBP visitors were high-yield spending an average of $ 90 per person on activities outside the WMBP and $ 70 per person on bike park activities (lift-ticket, rentals, lessons, etc) 84% of biking visitors cited the presence of the WMBP and its trails as their reason for visiting Whistler.

Creekside will no doubt keep visitors coming to the WMBP. The numbers show that these visitors stay for long periods (average stays of 7.8 days) and spend a lot of money.

Creekside in context

Joyride’s handywork on Insomnia

Resources

Trail descriptions for Phase 1

Trail 1
Description: Advanced blue machine built singletrack
Total length: 2771 m
Average grade: 11.5°

Trail 2
Description: Black technical hand built singletrack
Total length: 1118 m
Average grade: 14°

Trail 3
Description: Blue machine built singletrack
Total length: 2261 m
Average grade: 8.4°

Trail 4
Description: Blue machine built singletrack
Total length: 2500m
Average grade: 8.4°

Trail 5
Description: Dark blue excavated singletrack
Total length: 2773 m
Average grade: 10.2°

 

  • Initial press release - “Major improvements to Whistler Blackcomb’s existing sightseeing, hiking and mountain biking experiences, with the addition of a suspension bridge and viewing platforms at the peak of Whistler Mountain, and an expansion of the Whistler Mountain Bike Park into the Creekside zone, including 50 kilometers of new downhill mountain biking trails.”
  • Per this government of BC press release the Creekside trails are part of WB’s 60 year Master Development Agreements
  • The actual plans for the Creekside expansion are located here
  • The base map for the Creekside and entire Whistler CRA are filed in Whistler’s summer recreation plan with a truncated map for Creekside excerpted below

Some history of the Whistler Mountain Bike Park

 

As a sign of how dialled WMBP is; Pierre is a dedicated resource for coordinating the various group’s efforts, expediting required permits and dealing with the various high-level processes required to build out 50kms of trail in an operating resort area in conditions constrained by environment and weather. And he does it unflappably

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