Whistler’s Top of the World trail is open again for those wanting to get to the alpine for a fix of views and flowers. The trail is in great shape and even gets dusty as you get lower.
View of Castle Towers from the Top of the World – Lee Lau photo
Top of the World is an alpine trail starting from Whistler’s peak and descending 347m to the trails of the Garbanzo Zone in 5 distinct segments. It’s now possible to get a one ride ticket from Guest Services for the price of $ 34 if you don’t have a Whistler Bike park pass. If you already are a pass holder or have some sort of day ticket then the Peak Ride ticket which allows you to access TOTW’s alpine goodness is $19. This means you can top off your WBP experience by venturing into the alpine to smell the flowers and try out a new experience.
Top of the World and Whistler attracts an international crowd. Martin from Switzerland is loving the views- Lee Lau photo
Alpine flowers in bloom down a bit lower – Lee Lau photo
Whistler already has quite a bit of alpine infrastructure and has focused on building facilities (lifts, trails, huts/restaurants etc) that allows people of all ages and skill/fitness levels to access alpine hiking trails. “Top of the World” continues with that theme of allowing guests to experience the natural unique beauty of the alpine environment. Its goal is to introduce riders to the sensory overload of scenic beauty that is the alpine riding experience.
More alpine views – Lee Lau photo
Top section of rock garden – Lee Lau photo
New section of TOTW takes away an eroded section – Sharon Bader photo
A common question asked is what trails to ride after you’re done TOTW. Of course you can then continue on the bike park. If you want a guided experience you can also hire a bikepark guide to take you on a trail tour. You can also connect the dots on some trails which we did in the map below. To answer some questions that typically come up; all these trails can be ridden on a regular bike with a regular XC lid but that’s up to your personal competence and risk tolerance. TOTW is about the alpine views and experience but is still technical and mostly downhill. The first loop we did was TOTW – Khyber Pass – Kashmir – Kush – Love Canal – Dusty’s Downhill involves a bunch of punchy uphills and tech. The second loop we did was TOTW – Ride Don’t Slide – Big Timber and is more consistently downhill. We pedalled back on the road to the village.
Ride Don’t Slide – Lee Lau photo
Kashmir – Lee Lau photo
Another interesting point is that Whistler Blackcomb (the private company) put quite a bit of money into the feeder trails connecting to Top of the World bikepark trails despite those feeder trails not being built by WB. This is something that is very encouraging and a real tip of the hat to WB and their internal bike champions (Rob M, Wendy R, Brian F) not to mention WB trailbuilders such as Tim H. Some datapoints below
Endnotes – Whistler Blackcomb contributions to Whistler trail systems outside the Whistler Bike Park and to WORCA – summary 2012 – 2015 (to date)
Source – Whistler Blackcomb
Total Invested on Blackcomb to date +$50,000
– Refurbished Hey Bud, Crazy Train and Microclimate on Blackcomb to bring them up to standard and make them sustainable
– Built new climbing trail to access Blackcomb trail network
– Reworked exit to Instant Gratification
Total invested on Whistler/Creekside trails to date +$100,000
– Built new entrance to Khyber, armored key sections, built new ride around the hike-a-bike section and perform annual maintenance
– Built new Middle of Nowhere trail connecting Khyber to Kashmir – provides sustainable alternative to Babylon
– Armoring and ongoing maintenance of Kashmir
– Rebuilt unsustainable upper sections of Ride Don’t Slide
– Rebuild/refurbishment of Boyd’s trail
Provided free bike park lift tickets for WORCA trail work days – 64 tickets last year, 45 so far for 2015
Provided free bike park lift tickets for WORCA volunteer appreciation day
– Crankworx provided WORCA with $10,000 over the last two years and has committed $5,000 for 2015
– Phat Wednesday race series requires WORCA membership and has driven overall member numbers
– Bike Park and other trails on WB Bike Park used for many Toonie races – WB pays for Patrol to be on site for many of these events
– Garibaldi Bike and Bean sponsors an annual Toonie race
Benchcut on Ride Don’t Slide. Trailwork by Gravity Logic – Lee Lau photo
Sharon on some impressive rockwork by Ken M on TOTW – still looking good after a few years of wear – Lee Lau photo