WHISTLER, British Columbia (BRAIN)—Area riders are tuning their bikes and getting out their gear as the Whistler Mountain Bike Park opens for daily operations Saturday, May 15 with 16 trails and two skills centers to feed their adrenaline lust.
Signature trails to open include: A-Line, Crank It Up, B-Line, Karate Monkey, Ninja Cougar, Heart of Darkness and many more. The current early-season conditions are for intermediate and above skill level. More trails, including more beginner terrain, will open up as snowpack allows. An updated list of open trails is available on whistlerbike.com.
Riders can also get some indoor practice in the Air Dome starting May 15. The Air Dome, an 8,400 square foot indoor bike training facility with foam pit and wooden ramps, is open Friday to Sunday until June 13; then daily until September 6.
“At Whistler Blackcomb we enjoy one of the longest ski seasons in North America, but once May rolls around the anticipation builds for mountain biking. Keen riders watch the snow melt at the crucial elevation of 1,000 meters knowing that the trail crew will be doing their best to clear the remaining snow patches for opening day,” said Brian Finestone, Whistler Mountain Bike Park manager. “The trails we have ready are in terrific shape for such an early start with more being added to the list every day. I can’t remember an opening weekend when trails were in better shape to kick off the season.”
The Bike Park is open daily from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. until June 18 and then from 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. starting June 19 through to Labor Day. Access is available via the Fitzsimmons Express chairlift with the Whistler Village Gondola opening in late May.
Early season adult day tickets are $45. Bike Park season passes are available at 1-800-766-0449, online at whistlerbike.com or in person at the Village Guest Relations in the Whistler Gondola building. Riders can purchase their Bike Park passes at an Early Bird rate of $459 before June 19 ($499 after). Winter Edge Card and Season Pass holders are eligible to purchase a Bike Park pass for $449 all season long.
The Triple Play Card returns offering three days of riding in the Whistler Mountain Bike for the adult Early Bird price of $119, if purchased before June 19 ($129 after). Riders save on any additional days and enjoy the convenience of going directly to the lift by connecting their Triple Play Card to their credit card.
First-timers can test drive the Whistler Mountain Bike Park with the Sampler ticket, which provides three lift rides. When the sampling turns into a full-blown addiction, riders can upgrade to a full day ticket with options to receive discounts on riding in the Bike Park for the rest of the season.
Full suspension bikes, helmets and body armor are available at Garbanzo Rentals in the Whistler Gondola building. Meanwhile, the Garbanzo Bike and Bean (GBB) in Carleton Lodge offers rental and repair services and features a retail section filled with top-end mountain bikes, clothing and equipment.
For those looking for opening day après, the GLC will be hosting a triple play of entertainment with two live musical acts and a second showing of Anthill’s new movie “Follow Me”. The fun begins in the afternoon with a live acoustic patio session with the Artist KO, followed up by the movie and closing off the night with Metallica cover band “Damage Inc.” The GLC is open daily throughout the summer at the base of the Bike Park and is the perfect spot to enjoy a sunny post-park patio session or an evening of live music, DJs and good times.
To plan a trip, in winter or summer, to the consistently rated No. 1 Mountain Resort in North America, visit whistlerblackcomb.com. Packages this summer start at $60 per person per night and they are available at www.whistlerblackcomb.com/bike (click on link).