After months of anticipation, the riding season is finally upon us here in Whistler. It’s been an incredible winter, plenty of powder days with snow falling well into April. But, if you’re like me, you’ve been itching to hit the trails and get after some brown pow. I’ve done the work, strapped on the helmet, put feet to pedals and hit the valley to bring you the latest spring trail report. With the Whistler Off Road Cycling Association (WORCA) toonies in full swing and the Whistler Bike Park now open, there hasn’t been a better time to get out and get after it. See you on the trails!
Whistler North, the area north of Alpine Meadows neighbourhood is looking great! The classic Kill Me Thrill Me trail is running clear of snow and debris and has been open for at least a month now. Combine it with the popular OutThere trail, accessed via North Secret (Comfortably Numb) located directly up from the Wedge parking lot, to maximize your time in the saddle and be rewarded with some incredible, yet challenging singletrack. Avoid pedalling up the Wedge mainline road to OutThere as it’s in poor condition at the moment – who wants to pedal up dirt road in 25+ degree Celsius anyhow?
WORCA has cleared all trees and debris from the north end of Comfortably Numb to Golden Door, beyond that you may encounter some deadfall. When accessed via Blackcomb using Yummy Numby in order to descend Foreplay (Comfortably Numb descent), expect only two trees down on the climb up; otherwise Foreplay is all clear and good to go.
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The No Flow Zone is reported to be in stellar condition, with trail fairies out in full force clearing the classics; including Sh*t Happens and Big Kahuna. The majority of trails accessed directly from Alpine, including Mandatory Suicide, Green Monster, Cat Scratch, Mel’s Dilemma (recent trail work done on it by WORCA) are also in prime shape. The access to Howler had a good amount of snow on it last week, starting just past the bridge. It shouldn’t be that much longer before it melts, thanks to all the sun and warm weather, but maybe choose a different route for now.
Westside (Alta Lake Road)
All lower west side trails are dry and mostly clear of deadfall and debris. 99er, Danimal Middle, Danimal North, Hot Dog Alley (connector/climb), Beaver Pass (upper and lower), AC/DC, Three Birds and even Cheap Thrills (a little higher up) are all good to rip. Do check out the newest addition to this area, A Cut Above built by WORCA and volunteers and opened last fall. This little gem was built to be ridden both directions – makes for a techy climb and beautiful blue descent. Access it off Whip Me Snip Me, it is well marked, and use it to combine several trails in the area for a fun filled loop. My suggestions would be to run Whip Me Snip Me to A Cut Above, down Beaver Pass, over to Hot Dog Alley and back down Danimal North; this loop will take about an hour to an hour and a half to complete.
Show your Support for Whistler Trails
A ton of work goes into maintaining and building this amazing, sustainable trail network. If you have any fun AT ALL out there riding your bike, consider showing your love for the trail stewards and builders. How? Become a WORCA member or a trail supporter
The Lost Lake Trails have been open for about a month. They are a blast to ride no matter your level of fitness or ability and are in fantastic condition! As an added bonus, the recent warm temperatures have warmed up Lost Lake, which makes for a refreshing dip after a rip around the area’s network. West of the Village, the Cut Yer Bars Zone and further over, Emerald Forest, are also running great. Both solid areas to explore for intermediate to advanced riders.
Blackcomb Mountain Trails
Incredibly, this area is starting to thaw out quick. Last week the highly anticipated toonie took place, heading up the Whistler Sliding Centre, and descending Golden Boner. Access to Crazy Train, Micro Climate and Hey Bud is still snow covered nearing the last switchbacks, although I’ve heard of a few keeners pushing through the snow to get at the goods. All lower trails are now open and running well. This includes Golden Boner (which saw some work done on it by Arbutus Routes before the toonie) Roam in the Loam, Instant Gratification and Magic Trail. This zone is more for the advanced rider, but that also means there is typically less traffic on the trails and you’ll feel like you have the whole playground to yourself.
Whistler Bike Park
The Bike Park is in full swing and all lower trails in the Fitzsimmons Zone are open. It’s unbelievable, considering only a few weeks ago over 70 volunteers showed up to shovel snow covering up A-Line. It goes to show how quick things can thaw once the sun and warm weather roll into town.
Trails like Kashmir and Kush may be getting close, but I’ve not had a chance to investigate or heard of anyone else heading up that way to check them out. If you’re keen to have a look, be sure keep an eye out for bears. They’re out in full force this spring and a few of them are hanging about in this area due to the heavy snow higher up the mountain – make noise as not to spook them and check out our tips for bear safety here. As for B.C.’s, my guess is that it’s probably now snow free but probably littered with deadfall and debris, so ride with care. Big Timber is good to go but exercise caution all the same.
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This area is one of the quickest to thaw out in the spring and stays open the longest in the fall. Trash is good to go, so is Just Another Bike Trail, the Sea to Sky Trail, Cable Guy and Garbage. Further up, Business Time is in awesome shape after a recent WORCA trail day, and AM/PM is also open and running great. Tunnel Vision is now all clear of snow on the descent and the access is also snow free. Heavy Flow is closed for a spring tune – the trail builders estimate one more week and it will be good to go.
The Valley Trail
All of the Valley Trail is now clear and accessible via Whistler’s neighbourhoods. Use it to connect to our vast network of off road trails, or cruise along the paved paths with family and friends when heading to the Village or a lake. Remember, you don’t need a fancy bike to do the Valley Trail, just a kid-like sense of adventure.
Lord of the Squirrels and the Sproatt Alpine Trail Network
I’ve heard a lot of excited chatter about the opening of the Alpine Trail, Lord of the Squirrels; completed last fall. Some of the lucky few, myself included, got a preview of this magical new addition to our vast network and can’t wait to go after it again this year. For those who’ve heard the rumours, they are all true. This trail will blow your lycra right off. The trail is currently closed to riders and with the amount of snow lingering at higher elevations, it may still be a while before we can all head up the mountain to enjoy this splendor. Let’s just hope the sun and warm temperatures keep going to get this one opened up soon…stay tuned.
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