May 13/08 11:08 am - Whistler Mountain Bike Park Opens this Weekend
Posted by Editoress on 05/13/08
Whistler Mountain Bike Park Set to Open This Saturday With A-Line and Crank It Up
Famed Bike Park Celebrates Ten Years Of Evolution and Leadership in Lift-Accessed Downhill Mountain Biking
The legendary Whistler Mountain Bike Park is set to open this Saturday, May 17, marking ten years of operation and progression in the world of lift-accessed downhill mountain biking.
Despite some challenges caused by deep snow-pack at the lower elevations and a cooler than normal spring the Whistler Mountain Bike Park will open with two of its most popular trails A-Line and Crank It Up.
"A decided lack of warmth this spring and deep snow on the lower slopes has made trail clearing a challenge, but we are excited to be able to open the park on time thanks to a huge amount of work by our trail crew, patrol and machine operators, says Brian Finestone, Bike Park Manager. On May 10 we also had 30 volunteers come out to clear trails. These passionate riders were a huge help in getting us to opening day. It will be a blast to kick off our tenth season riding trails flanked by snow.
Trail crews are digging through over 90 centimetres of snow on parts of the lower slopes to bring the trails out of hibernation. Bobcats and staff with hand shovels are clearing snow in the tighter sections of the Bike Park. As temperatures rise and the trail crews continue their efforts, more and more trails will open for eager riders.
To top off opening day, the premiere of Kranked 7 "Cackle Factor, will show at the Garibaldi Lift Company Saturday night, followed by live music by Shane Philip.
Since 1998, the Bike Park has built a reputation for delivering the worlds best lift-accessed mountain biking, establishing hallowed trails where the limits of both rider and equipment have been pushed. Trails such as A-Line, often described as the most famous mountain bike trail in the world, have inspired legions of riders from all over the world to make their pilgrimage to the Whistler Mountain Bike Park for their fix of flow, air and stunts unrivalled by any bike park in the world.
Over the years the Whistler Mountain Bike Park has hosted many pro riders, been centre stage for a variety of festivals including Kokanee Crankworx and Red Bull Elevation, and has acted as the proving ground for new bike and equipment technology. Starting with a few trails and one lift in 1998, the Whistler Mountain Bike Park has continued to open up new terrain, and access to the sport of mountain biking for every level of rider. Today there are over 250 kilometres of trails accessed by a gondola and two high speed quads.
"I always dreamed about a mountain bike experience that could be just like skiing, says Richie Schley, professional mountain biker and coach of Richie Schley Mountain Bike Camps. Ten years later, it seems we are there. There are tons of jumps, stunts, and trails for all abilities - all accessible by lifts. I can't wait to ride it all again this season.
Bike Park Season Passes are available by phone at 1-800-766-0449, online at www.whistlerbike.com or in person at the Village Guest Relations in the Whistler Gondola building. Bike Park passes are $449 with an Early Bird rate of $409 if you purchase before May 31, 2008. Winter Edge Card and Season Pass holders are eligible to purchase a Bike Park pass for $399.
The Triple Play Card is also back, offering three days of riding in the Whistler Mountain Bike Park for $115 or the Early Bird price of $105, if you purchase before May 31. Riders can save nearly 25 per cent off additional days in the park and can go directly to the lift by connecting their Triple Play Card to their credit card.
Whistler Mountain Bike Park's 2008 Operating Hours
May 17-October 13
Extended Play (8pm close) May 17, May 24, May 31, June 7,
June 14-August 31
Extended Play every night: 10am-8pm
September 1-October 13
To stay dialed into events, special offers and park updates visit the Whistler Mountain Bike Park website at www.whistlerbike.com.