INTO HIGH GEAR
Whistler has a reputation as one of the world’s premier destinations for mountain
biking. As the popularity of the Whistler
Bike Park began to explode, the town’s
status as a mountain biking mecca was
secured. This year, Whistler Blackcomb
has ambitious plans to add more new trails
to the Bike Park, putting more shovels in
the dirt than ever.
In 2017, downhill mountain bikers
will see roughly 12 kilometres of new
trails under construction in the recently
opened Creekside Zone, not to mention
some key additions in existing areas of
the park, says Brian Finestone, Whistler
Bike Park manager.
This year’s plan for the Lower Creekside
Zone includes four new singletrack and
freeride-style trails, ranging in difficulty
from expert to intermediate level. A fifth
trail that’s potentially on the to-do list
would kick off the development of the
as-yet-untouched Upper Creekside Zone.
However, Finestone cautions there’s a 50-
50 chance of getting to the latter project
in 2017, depending on how much progress
is made elsewhere.
Despite its ambition to rapidly expand the
Creekside area, WB has additions planned
for the existing bike park zones as well.
With so much on their plate this season,
the company is putting more workers on
the mountain than ever.
“It’ll be the largest trail crew we’ve ever
had in the Bike Park, which will be more
than 30 people. About half of those will
be equipment and chainsaw operators,
and the other half will be hand crew,”
Within the existing park there are plans
for 2 km of new trail, including an
extended novice trail and an intermediate-level connection between the Creekside
and Fitzsimmons zones. For beginners,
the Golden Triangle trail will receive
a new extension called Lower Golden
Triangle. This addition will allow riders to
bypass a section of old forestry road and
enjoy more features like berms, rollers and
jumps that keep things flowing and fun.
STORY BY STEVE FISHER
IMAGES W/B - LAURENCE CROSSMAN-EMMS