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Whistler Advice...

Angus YoungAngus Young Posts: 3,063
edited March 2016 in MTB general
Anyone know anything about Whistler?

What's the best time to visit to get the best compromise of reliable, ridable weather and reasonable number of bikers on the trails?

As I remember it we do have someone here who lives in Whistler but I can't remember who it is now and I don't think he's posted for a while.

Ta.
All the gear, no idea and loving the smell of jealousy in the morning.
Kona Process 134 viewtopic.php?f=10017&t=12994607

Posts

  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,601
    That's Paulskibum I think.
    I don't do smileys.

    There is no secret ingredient - Kung Fu Panda

    London Calling on Facebook

    Parktools
  • Angus YoungAngus Young Posts: 3,063
    Ah yes, good call, old chap. Thank you.
    All the gear, no idea and loving the smell of jealousy in the morning.
    Kona Process 134 viewtopic.php?f=10017&t=12994607
  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 81,520 Lives Here
    Looked in the holiday section?

    search.php?keywords=Whistler&fid%5B0%5D=40070
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,601
    Ah yes, good call, old chap. Thank you.

    Looks like he hasn't been here for a couple of weeks.

    memberlist.php?mode=viewprofile&u=476896
    I don't do smileys.

    There is no secret ingredient - Kung Fu Panda

    London Calling on Facebook

    Parktools
  • Angus YoungAngus Young Posts: 3,063
    edited March 2016
    nicklouse wrote:
    Looked in the holiday section?

    search.php?keywords=Whistler&fid%5B0%5D=40070

    Thanks for that. No, and I should have done. A friend has just suggested perhaps we go in the summer so I just dived in. Great link, plenty for me to get tucked into there.
    All the gear, no idea and loving the smell of jealousy in the morning.
    Kona Process 134 viewtopic.php?f=10017&t=12994607
  • Angus YoungAngus Young Posts: 3,063
    cooldad wrote:
    Ah yes, good call, old chap. Thank you.

    Looks like he hasn't been here for a couple of weeks.

    memberlist.php?mode=viewprofile&u=476896

    Yeah, I noticed he hasn't been around a while. I'll drop him a PM. If we do go, maybe he'll be up for a ride.
    All the gear, no idea and loving the smell of jealousy in the morning.
    Kona Process 134 viewtopic.php?f=10017&t=12994607
  • paul.skibumpaul.skibum Posts: 4,068
    Hey Angus

    I have been in and out of here just not logged on - in answer to your question - any time from mid May to mid September is good - it can get very dry and dusty in summer, July and August particularly but the coastal mountains from the 2 summers I have been here can be wet or dry at pretty much any time of the summer. I'd say late June/early July gives you a good chance of warm dry weather but not too dry.

    Are you looking at the bike park or trails or everything? Bringing your bike with you or renting as suits the days plans? I would definitely say it is worth taking a spin on some trails outside the bike park - depending on what level of trail you are comfortable with there are some epic tracks and routes in the valley that are harder than anything in the bike park. Definitely do Top of the World in the park. Definitely do rockwork orange, corova milkbar and wizard burial ground in the valley plus Microclimate/Hey Bud on Blackcomb.

    Swim in the lakes, paddle on the river, hike to Russet lake, hike to Wedge Mtn if you have the time as well.

    If you want a trail guide for a day when you are here, lunch and a post ride beer might well get you an ex-pat local!
    Closet jockey wheel pimp censored .
  • Angus YoungAngus Young Posts: 3,063
    Paul, thanks for the info...
    Hey Angus

    I have been in and out of here just not logged on - in answer to your question - any time from mid May to mid September is good - it can get very dry and dusty in summer, July and August particularly but the coastal mountains from the 2 summers I have been here can be wet or dry at pretty much any time of the summer. I'd say late June/early July gives you a good chance of warm dry weather but not too dry.

    And is there any particular time of year that it gets busy (Crankworx and the like aside) or does it cope with rider numbers well? All the trail centres I've ridden here never seen stuffed, even when the car park is chocker.
    Are you looking at the bike park or trails or everything? Bringing your bike with you or renting as suits the days plans?

    No idea at this point. Plenty of research to be done.

    My initial thought is to take my bike. Since getting it where I want it (potentially dodgy suspension tune aside!) I've ridden a lot of good bikes but I can't find anything I like as much. I guess it's just a case of how much of a pain it is to transport the bike and how much it costs v renting.
    I would definitely say it is worth taking a spin on some trails outside the bike park - depending on what level of trail you are comfortable with there are some epic tracks and routes in the valley that are harder than anything in the bike park. Definitely do Top of the World in the park. Definitely do rockwork orange, corova milkbar and wizard burial ground in the valley plus Microclimate/Hey Bud on Blackcomb.

    I'm a red and blue guy, so nothing death defying.

    Yeah, Top Of The World looks great. Watched a few vids of that.
    Swim in the lakes, paddle on the river, hike to Russet lake, hike to Wedge Mtn if you have the time as well.

    Will I be able to drag myself away from the riding, that's the question... :)
    If you want a trail guide for a day when you are here, lunch and a post ride beer might well get you an ex-pat local!

    Lunch and beers, of course!

    We're just talking at the moment... but that usually leads to something. Once I get an idea in my head it usually happens sooner or later.
    All the gear, no idea and loving the smell of jealousy in the morning.
    Kona Process 134 viewtopic.php?f=10017&t=12994607
  • paul.skibumpaul.skibum Posts: 4,068
    Avoid August I guess for crowds. The Bike Park has busy weekends for sure but on a general level its not that bad - there are always people on the trails but yeah you aren't going to be in a line of riders unless you chose to train it down Freight Train with a bunch of others!

    I'd definitely pick mid to late June maybe early July to get decent but not scorching weather and less busy times.

    Depending how you are getting about and travelling with (family?) someone like Ridebooker should be able to get you from the airport with a bike easily enough. Get somewhere central to the main Whistler Village with secure bike storage (most hotels have storage or let you take your bike to your room - Aava Hotel is rumoured to be "the most bike friendly hotel"). I'd definitely be tempted with your own bike too - the rentals in my experience are decidedly average and badly set up. Tough to fiddle with enough to get nicely set up but some places are better than others - demo bikes from the demo centre or Summit Sports look good generally but come at a cost - worth a day or two in the park on a proper high end DH bike though.

    Parts are pricey here so breaking your own bike can become an expensive fix and breaking something is more inevitable if you spend time in the park.

    Exchange rate is good though so maybe it wont feel so bad as a visitor.

    Red or blue trails - well you may have to push your comfort zone a little on some of the local tracks but should be good to find you a good day or two riding outside the park. My mind is already thinking of a suitable challenge! I am so impatient to get back out on a bike - bloody snow!

    The lakes and river and so on can all be done in the evenings to relax from a day on the trails - the lakes stay cool into June so serve as a nice little ice bath. Glacier skiing is still on into June too if you want a change of scene though its pretty limited if you aren't hitting the park or the race centre.

    To be honest I wanted to hate whistler for the big corporate ski resort I imagined it was going to be and fell in love with the mountain town with passionate locals and great trails I found - it is spectacularly pretty and the worlds biggest trail centre from a biking point of view.

    I think the valley here is a bit like being able to ride every welsh trail centre in one place only with actually hard technical trails that rival natural riding in the Alps.
    Closet jockey wheel pimp censored .
  • paul.skibumpaul.skibum Posts: 4,068
    Might be worth looking up when Top of the World typically opens actually - definitely worth riding and with the amount of snow this season I am thinking it might be a late opening for the peak.
    Closet jockey wheel pimp censored .
  • eric_draveneric_draven Posts: 1,173
    Might be worth looking up when Top of the World typically opens actually - definitely worth riding and with the amount of snow this season I am thinking it might be a late opening for the peak.

    Been to Whistler a couple of times,both times i went they had late snow even early July the upper park was just opening,if you are going for the bike park,check the bikepark lift times as in july you get extended play,park is open til 8pm,it's pretty quiet later on in the day,I stayed with Ticket2rideBC when i went,also did some excursions with them to Pemberton Squarmish and down to the north shore near Vancouver,but I'm not sure if they are still on the go,think there is a company called Bearback riding who do simular

    certainly an amazing place to ride a bike
  • paul.skibumpaul.skibum Posts: 4,068
    The two summers I have been here to date have not been after high snowfall years (last year particularly) so the upper park and TotW have opened in good time but this year snow is falling like crazy and the depth at the Peak is going to take a while to clear.

    If you are coming for a pure bike riding trip then a guided ride day in Pemby/Squamish might be worth considering with either Bearback or Arbutus Routes, similarly you could consider booking some time with an instructor such as the guys at ZEP Techniques who do some great park oriented skills training. The Bike Park guides can be good too - some better than others, I can probably give some recommendations if you wanted - especially just to get oriented and an idea of level on some of the trails.
    Closet jockey wheel pimp censored .
  • Angus YoungAngus Young Posts: 3,063
    edited March 2016
    Avoid August I guess for crowds. The Bike Park has busy weekends for sure but on a general level its not that bad - there are always people on the trails but yeah you aren't going to be in a line of riders unless you chose to train it down Freight Train with a bunch of others!

    I'd definitely pick mid to late June maybe early July to get decent but not scorching weather and less busy times.

    Sounds much like over here, then. Sometimes you get to the car park and it looks like it's going to be packed, but when you get out there you usually only see other riders at the natural rest stops between sections. Llandegla was the worst, the car park was overflowing (and it's not a small car park) and it was absolutely swarming with bikers, but out on the trails I only got stuck behind someone once the whole day.
    Depending how you are getting about and travelling with (family?) someone like Ridebooker should be able to get you from the airport with a bike easily enough. Get somewhere central to the main Whistler Village with secure bike storage (most hotels have storage or let you take your bike to your room - Aava Hotel is rumoured to be "the most bike friendly hotel"). I'd definitely be tempted with your own bike too - the rentals in my experience are decidedly average and badly set up. Tough to fiddle with enough to get nicely set up but some places are better than others - demo bikes from the demo centre or Summit Sports look good generally but come at a cost - worth a day or two in the park on a proper high end DH bike though.

    Parts are pricey here so breaking your own bike can become an expensive fix and breaking something is more inevitable if you spend time in the park.

    Exchange rate is good though so maybe it wont feel so bad as a visitor.

    Probably family, yes. Depends on how much there is to keep a 10 year old girl busy in Whistler. My other half and daughter would enjoy a green run and, perhaps, an easy blue but nothing more so there'll be a few days riding for them on rentals and then filing in time while I ride.

    Just had a look at Ridebooker, they look really good and reasonable, too, at just under £50 a trip. Aava Hotel looks nice, too. They've got some stuff about biking on their site, though I haven't had a good look at it yet. This review, though, makes it sound like the perfect place to go with a bike...

    https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowUserR ... umbia.html

    I take it Whistler's not that big so you don't need a car when you're there to get you to the rides?

    Yes, the exchange rate helps even out jacked up prices. And, well, stuff breaks, suck it up! :)
    Red or blue trails - well you may have to push your comfort zone a little on some of the local tracks but should be good to find you a good day or two riding outside the park. My mind is already thinking of a suitable challenge! I am so impatient to get back out on a bike - bloody snow!

    When I say red and blue I'm thinking Bike Park Wales and they seem a little more adventurous than all the other reds and blues I've ridden (they mention this in their small print, too). Quite a bit more challenging than some of the reds and blues I've ridden elsewhere. So, yes, pushing the envelope just a little is fine.
    The lakes and river and so on can all be done in the evenings to relax from a day on the trails - the lakes stay cool into June so serve as a nice little ice bath. Glacier skiing is still on into June too if you want a change of scene though its pretty limited if you aren't hitting the park or the race centre.

    To be honest I wanted to hate whistler for the big corporate ski resort I imagined it was going to be and fell in love with the mountain town with passionate locals and great trails I found - it is spectacularly pretty and the worlds biggest trail centre from a biking point of view.

    I think the valley here is a bit like being able to ride every welsh trail centre in one place only with actually hard technical trails that rival natural riding in the Alps.

    Sounds fantastic. What do you do there, are you a ski instructor (from you screen name)?
    Might be worth looking up when Top of the World typically opens actually - definitely worth riding and with the amount of snow this season I am thinking it might be a late opening for the peak.

    How hard is Top Of The World? Doesn't look that hard from the videos, just the top bit (first section) looks a bit sketchy, foot down now and then, the odd low speed fall off etc. But isn't it rated double black, or something like that? Videos can be deceptive of course, and rarely give a good impression of how steep something is.
    Been to Whistler a couple of times,both times i went they had late snow even early July the upper park was just opening,if you are going for the bike park,check the bikepark lift times as in july you get extended play,park is open til 8pm,it's pretty quiet later on in the day,I stayed with Ticket2rideBC when i went,also did some excursions with them to Pemberton Squarmish and down to the north shore near Vancouver,but I'm not sure if they are still on the go,think there is a company called Bearback riding who do simular

    certainly an amazing place to ride a bike

    Thanks for the info.
    The two summers I have been here to date have not been after high snowfall years (last year particularly) so the upper park and TotW have opened in good time but this year snow is falling like crazy and the depth at the Peak is going to take a while to clear.

    If you are coming for a pure bike riding trip then a guided ride day in Pemby/Squamish might be worth considering with either Bearback or Arbutus Routes, similarly you could consider booking some time with an instructor such as the guys at ZEP Techniques who do some great park oriented skills training. The Bike Park guides can be good too - some better than others, I can probably give some recommendations if you wanted - especially just to get oriented and an idea of level on some of the trails.

    Might be a good idea - looks like a place you could easily get lost in.
    All the gear, no idea and loving the smell of jealousy in the morning.
    Kona Process 134 viewtopic.php?f=10017&t=12994607
  • Angus YoungAngus Young Posts: 3,063
    Just read this about the Aava Hotel. Sounds like the place to stay if you're biking.

    "Guests at Aava Whistler have access to free tools, a bike wash, FREE GOPRO rental and mounts plus bike valets who store your bikes in their secure bike room (only valets have access to this room). They also have complementary lockers just off the parking garage where you can keep your stinky gear out of your room. This is the bike-friendliest place in Whistler; they’ll loan you a cord so you can download footage from their GoPros to your laptop and if you don’t have a laptop they’ll give you a disc of your footage for $10. Rooms will run you anywhere from $99 to $250 a night during peak season, but check their website for advance booking and length of stay discounts as well as special rates if you’re taking part in the Trek Dirt Series. They offer a lot of flexibility to host groups because they know that no-one likes to ride alone. They also provide a pool, sauna and gym as well as a covered outdoor area with a complementary BBQ. On top of all that Aava is also an official Crankworx sponsor so the athletes stay there for the event in August. You might find yourself sharing a beer in the hot tub with the Athertons or Brian Lopes. And if they trust this place with their bikes, so can you. They hire a lot of bikers as staff, so you can get information on the trails both inside and outside the park. Check them out at aavawhistlerhotel.com"

    Good call, Paul.
    All the gear, no idea and loving the smell of jealousy in the morning.
    Kona Process 134 viewtopic.php?f=10017&t=12994607
  • paul.skibumpaul.skibum Posts: 4,068
    Sounds much like over here, then. Sometimes you get to the car park and it looks like it's going to be packed, but when you get out there you usually only see other riders at the natural rest stops between sections. Llandegla was the worst, the car park was overflowing (and it's not a small car park) and it was absolutely swarming with bikers, but out on the trails I only got stuck behind someone once the whole day.

    on the valley trails, aside from Lost Lake which can get busy, you rarely see anyone except if you overtake someone on a climb or are overtaken (around crankworks the village is filled with people who make riding uphill look like flat.
    Probably family, yes. Depends on how much there is to keep a 10 year old girl busy in Whistler. My other half and daughter would enjoy a green run and, perhaps, an easy blue but nothing more so there'll be a few days riding for them on rentals and then filing in time while I ride.

    Lost Lake trails and the valley path are great rides and Lost Lake has a nice progression to get people riding green to blue. There is the adventure park full of activities which can easily fill time, they were talking about an inflatable water slide park on one of the lakes - not sure if that will actually happen this summer. Hiking the meadows and wild flower fields up in the alpine, shopping, going rafting, SUP, etc with local guides - all fun stuff for families that don't ride.
    I take it Whistler's not that big so you don't need a car when you're there to get you to the rides?
    If you have a bike or feet you don't need a car for the main village and sights - if you want to explore the whole valley from Function to Wedge its not that far by bike either but maybe a 10k flattish paved trail.
    Sounds fantastic. What do you do there, are you a ski instructor (from you screen name)?

    I was, still am a day a week, full time job these days but 4 10 hour days gives a nice long weekend for enjoying life here!

    How hard is Top Of The World. Doesn't look that hard from the videos, just the top bit (first section) looks a bit sketchy, foot down now and then, the odd low speed fall off etc. But isn't it rated double black, or something like that? Videos can be deceptive of course, and rarely give a good impression of how steep something is.

    I personally thought its black rating was about right - I have heard people talk it up in difficulty and there are probably a couple of corners you wouldn't want to highside off but aside from arm pump riding 1000m vertical its not that bad - its probably harder due to the bike park style technical trails below which you can skirt round to easier stuff.

    The best part of top of the world is taking the old non bike park tracks (now adopted by the park) to Creekside which are probably worth their double black ratings!
    Closet jockey wheel pimp censored .
  • Angus YoungAngus Young Posts: 3,063
    Great stuff. Thanks, Paul.

    Looking at a few more vides, Valley Path and stuff like that, there looks as if there's be quite a bit for the family to ride.
    All the gear, no idea and loving the smell of jealousy in the morning.
    Kona Process 134 viewtopic.php?f=10017&t=12994607
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