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Discodan's picture

By Discodan - Posted on 27 February 2014

Hi Guys

I've got a trip coming up where I will have 4 days spare to get from Toronto to Redmond so am planning to divert via Whistler for a few days. Does anyone have experience there that can provide a bit of a feel for the style of riding and tips, must do's and things to avoid?

I gather it's much more of an all mountain park so it will be a challenge for me who is more XC and pedalling oriented but it sounds like great fun. The giveaway is on their rental page where they consider a trance to be a XC bike before you move into the 'real' bikes Smiling


Rob's picture

But the Trance is an XC bike! Eye-wink

unclebullbar's picture

The bike park trails are graded on difficulty and well signposted so you shouldn't get 'caught out'! The XC trails there are pretty awesome, heaps of them, flowy with lots of varying challenges.

Cdawg's picture

I had a day up there in September and usually just ride XC stuff too. If you are hiring a bike, book it in advance because they sell out very quickly if its a good day.

The trails are graded like ski runs. The green runs are basically standard single track weaving their way down without any jumps. The blue runs are what I was riding and they have reasonably large (compared to XC) rolling jumps and table tops of about 1m. I had no experience with this stuff, but after a few runs it becomes a lot of fun, once you have the speed to land on the downhill side of the big rollers (no idea what they are actually called). There are no gaps or vertical drops on the blue runs.

I watched the black runs from the chairlift and they require a more serious level of speed/commitment to clear the top of the table tops, which are maybe 3m. Inexperienced riders lacking the confidence to go fast enough land on the flat, then get the benefit of 180mm of suspension launching them back off the top and out of shape down the other side. Black runs may also surprise you with a drop off or gap.

You can check it all out on Youtube. "Blue Velvet" and "Crank it Up" are two of the main blue runs which are a lot of fun. It's awesome!

Funkychicken's picture

Blue runs like crank it up can be done without much dh experience. I saw 6yr-olds doing it with their dads.

Besides green/blue/black/dbl black, runs are split into flow/technical. "Flow" runs are so well-groomed, each jump flows into the next effortlessly like a rollercoaster. Wide and open, nary a rock in sight. Because of the flow (and lack of rocks), crank-it-up was even easier than the firetrail downhill section of manly dam. Hardly braked, and arm-pump was almost non-existent after 9 straight runs. (Couldn't say the same for cannonball run in thredbo)

Technical runs like karate monkey are quite challenging.

You can hire an instructor + bike + gear for 2 hours for about $200 or the bike + gear for about the same for the whole day. instructor covers basic (i mean BASIC) cornering, turning and balance, then takes you down a few green runs equivalent to a winding version of the firetrail descent of woodford-glenbrook.

donkerr's picture

I'd probably gear up, get a rig and hit the blues/blacks. You will be amazed at how your skill level climbs in just a very short period of time - I think it has something to do with the fact you can hit the same line 17 times in the day as opposed to the usual once. Anything that you did wrong the last run you can conciously fix it within the next 20mins if you decide to try and nail the same run. You will rarely get this chance again back in Aus. The single track around Whistler is epic but the park there's just nothing like it. 1700metres of vertical.

Discodan's picture

Thanks guys, it's starting to sound bloody exciting. I've been moving towards the more playful end of XC for a while so this might be a big kick in that direction and time to dust off my old motocross skills. Of course it means I'll have to buy a new bike when I get back, 140mm sounds like fun Smiling

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