First Time to Whistler!!

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  • 03-02-2012
    Buzz
    In all your excitement, dont forget your travel/medical insurance. Medicare may be covered for Canadians, but it sure isnt for visitors!

    Have fun!

    Buzz
  • 03-02-2012
    JoeBMX
    Be aware. If you enjoy riding any of your local trails at all. You'll probably hate them by the time you come back from Whistler. Ignorance is bliss. Pretty much didn't touch my bike for 3 months after coming back from my Whistler cherry popping experience.
  • 03-03-2012
    delirian
    or those of you that aegoing out there for the first time,,,, and dont yet have any accomodation plans, i highly recomend bearbackbiking, Welcome to Bear Back Biking.
    they offer great packages, with fully caterd challet, so your breakfast and evening meals will be included, plus they have a fully kitted out workshop,(sponserd by pedros) and secure bike storage. also included in your package price is guiding and tuition,

    not to sure how it works for you boys in the states, but flying from the uk with bikes isnt to bad, it costs us 60 pounds return to bring a bike on the plane, they have to be dismantled to airline regulations though, tyres deflated, bars and pedals removed and in some sort of box or bag...
    we use the evoc bike bags, though they are quite heavy and expensive, they are well made and well padded. well worth the expense if your a regular traveller with bikes.

    as the others have already pointed out, whistler is mega mega expensive, your gonna get well ripped off, so allow additional funds, your gonna be looking at roughly 100-150 bucks per day to rent a dh bike. so if your going for a week or more then it's cheaper to take your own bike.
  • 03-03-2012
    craigstr
    Not to mention $100 a day minimum to eat per person.
  • 03-03-2012
    Hangtime
    Whistler is awesome. However you have heard how hard it is on bikes, it's even harder on you when you crash. You have to really pay attention to how tired you are getting. Don't be afraid to call it quits and take it easy in the village. I've seen people who push it for "one last run" and end up wishing they had a beer with the group instead. Have fun.
  • 03-03-2012
    Northender
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by craigstr View Post
    Not to mention $100 a day minimum to eat per person.

    If you're eating three meals a day at a restaurant. Huge waste of money IMHO.
  • 03-03-2012
    Northender
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Buzz View Post
    In all your excitement, dont forget your travel/medical insurance. Medicare may be covered for Canadians, but it sure isnt for visitors!

    Have fun!

    Buzz

    One of the perks of residing in a socialist country. :thumbsup:
  • 03-03-2012
    craigstr
    Yeah but
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Northender View Post
    If you're eating three meals a day at a restaurant. Huge waste of money IMHO.

    This past year we had grand plans of stocking up on food in Squamish and eating at least one if not two meals per day in the condo. Well we cooked one dinner in 6 nights. We were just too tired after a day of riding to cook, Spaghetti Factory was just way too convenient. $100 a day included 2 or three way overpriced canadian beers too.
  • 03-03-2012
    Northender
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by craigstr View Post
    This past year we had grand plans of stocking up on food in Squamish and eating at least one if not two meals per day in the condo. Well we cooked one dinner in 6 nights. We were just too tired after a day of riding to cook, Spaghetti Factory was just way too convenient. $100 a day included 2 or three way overpriced canadian beers too.

    So is Squamish the closest community to Whistler with a grocery store?
  • 03-03-2012
    craigstr
    No, there are two grocery stores in the village but like everything else they are twice as expensive. I think it was $9 for a jar of spaghetti sauce.
  • 03-04-2012
    delirian
    everything inwhistler is so overpriced, because of the high rent the shops have to pay, this reflects on the price of the goods that the shops sell, at the end of the day they are all in it to make a profit, ( thats how it was explained to me anyways)
    yep med bills in whistler are super super expensive, it cost us 1400 bucks to get my brothers little finger popped back in when he dislocated it, i have seen other guests who have broken collar bones or dislocated shoulders and their bills have run into the thousands.... :eek: so make sure you are well coverd,,,,,
    when we were at the med centre last september, the receptionist told us that they dont deal with foreign insurance companies unless the bill is over 5 grand, so anything less than 5k you have to pay upfront then try to claim back. she said they have had lots of trouble in the past from foreign insurance companies, were they have treated people then the insurance company have refused to pay out, leaving the med centre out of pocket, hence why they make you pay up first.

    squamish is the closest place to whistler that has big grocery shops. there is a wall mart, and another shop across the highway thats cheaper, so if you are driving up through squamish, then it could be wise to stock up on food while your there.
  • 03-04-2012
    rdhfreethought
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Moosey View Post
    Best thing ever. I remember it used to take half a day at northstar before my hands were shot. Then i started heading out to a local hill and just riding. Nothing too rocky or tech, just riding down and hiking up. Spent 2 days at mammoth last year, my body held up fine, but i was just tired after day 2. Im planning on training like a mother this summer too...

    Yeah, squeeze tennis balls. Or work up to riding/braking at least 4 hrs a day, for the last month or so.

    Even with that, I usually end up taping my thumbs and sometimes using vaseline on my palms (lol, that sounded a bit off).

    If I stay more than a few days, I usually do 2 days in the park, 1 day "whistler XC" which is tons of fun, and works cardio, but not your hands. Lots of super techie trails to choose from, easy to get maps at the hotels and bike shops.
  • 03-04-2012
    delirian
    whistler certainly does take it's toll on both bike and body,,,, rest days are important,,,,
    we usually do a few hours in the park, in the morning, then go hit up some xc in the afternoon. we have done full days in the park,, but your body lets you know about it the next day, lol...
  • 03-05-2012
    B-Mac
    We're planning a few hiking/climbing days, so I've got a few recovery days built into the trip. We're also planning to grab at least breakfast stuff so we're not eating out all the time. We'll probably go to a restaurant for dinner though. Really don't want to spend any of the vacation doing dishes LOL.

    Mrs. B-Mac is planning several days of serious climbing, which is something that I have more or less no interest in. If you want to dangle off the side of a cliff by a rope cammed into a little crack, that's good for you but don't expect me to join in LOL. This is nice b/c I'll have a bunch of time to ride without worrying about her waiting on me to come back & getting progressively more pissed the longer I ride. I was worried about that at first. We're going to do some of the lighter climbing/hiking stuff together, but I have exactly zero desire to do a multi-pitch schlep up the side of some frozen slab of granite. The guides would have to haul me up anyway b/c I'm more or less useless when it comes to rockclimbing.

    Why does beer have to be so freakin' expensive in Canada??? Another one of the joys of living in a socialist country LOL.
  • 03-05-2012
    Buzz
    Because our beer has alcohol in it and actually tastes good?

    Sounds like your wife will be driving to Squamish everyday she wants to climb. Not a big deal, just something to factor in terms of planning! There is tons of riding to be done in Squamish too, would be a shame to come to Whistler and not ride some of Squamish. Might be a bit more complicated with the bike rental thing.

    Cheers

    Buzz
  • 03-05-2012
    craigstr
    Your beer tastes good?
  • 03-05-2012
    TheYoungBikeDude
    hey i was just wondering how hard do you guys think I should ride my BigHit? what would be the max drop i should do on it? Marzocchi DropOff IV, FOX DHX 5.0, WTB Dual Duty front rim, and e13 chainguide are upgrades. as far as my confidence, I can do advanced trails. I've done a couple before and have taken up to 15' drops on my friends Trek Session.

  • 03-06-2012
    delirian
    beer is so dam expensive cause it's taxed so high... not sure how true this is, but someone told me it was the governemnts way of discouraging binge drinking, and the problems it causes.
    it's your bike ride it how you like, you know your limits and skill levels,,, i would have thought that you'd be ok hitting the glc drops on that, it should take most of the parks abuse. make sure it's well serviced/maintained before you go though...

    your mrs, will like squamish, the climbing down there is awesome, as is the riding. / hiking good luck and enjoy your trip
  • 03-06-2012
    Moosey
    Am I the only one who cant read this whole thread? After Craigstr's video about "Oh Canada" theres some weird glitch and I cant read anything lower?
  • 03-06-2012
    B-Mac
    Some guy on Pinkbike recently put up a posting griping about top to bottom gopro videos.

    I've been looking up all the trails you guys have mentioned & the headcam videos showing the entire trail are fantastic! Excellent research tool. Screw the pinkbike guy.

    There's a drop on a trail at 7-Springs on a trail called Lo Pan that's similar to the road gap at the beginning to Fade to Black. Thinking i can pull that off. Basically a short gap to a nice steep tranny & the trick is not to go too fast. That step-up onto lumber doesn't look too bad either.

    The next few months are going to drag until the DH spots around here open. The other night, my wife says: "You'd better ride a lot of downhill before we go . . ." Were sweeter words ever spoken??
  • 03-06-2012
    TheYoungBikeDude
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by delirian View Post
    it's your bike ride it how you like, you know your limits and skill levels,,, i would have thought that you'd be ok hitting the glc drops on that, it should take most of the parks abuse. make sure it's well serviced/maintained before you go though...

    ok. I just wasn't sure how hard to push the bike. I just got it so I'm looking at it's limits. I can take alot and sometimes more than the bike. Yea I have it serviced before any trip i take.
  • 03-06-2012
    seppe71
    +1.
  • 03-07-2012
    B-Mac
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Buzz View Post
    Because our beer has alcohol in it and actually tastes good?

    Sounds like your wife will be driving to Squamish everyday she wants to climb. Not a big deal, just something to factor in terms of planning! There is tons of riding to be done in Squamish too, would be a shame to come to Whistler and not ride some of Squamish. Might be a bit more complicated with the bike rental thing.

    Cheers

    Buzz

    Hey Buzz - 15 years ago I would have agreed with you wholeheartedly, but the USA has finally progressed past our "swill in a can" past! (there was much rejoicing) We've got some domestic breweries turning out some great stuff nowadays. Founders, Sierra Nevada, Dogfish Head & Stone are a few of my favorite domestic breweries.

    I think the wife's planning a guided trip, so we'll probably be taking a bus of some kind to the climbing. She has apparently made arrangements for me to dangle off the side of a cliff along with her.

    I've been watching a ton of videos of fade to black. I think I will view the trip as a success if I can ride that trail before I leave. Looks badazz!!!

    I've been having issues with the craigstr video too, but not every day. Strange. The video's really good though . . .
  • 03-07-2012
    butthead
    This video may offer a solution for packing your bike on the plane. I've done the same thing with my hardtail for a trip to Ray's

    GR's "How to Pack Your Bike for the Plane" - GeorgeRyan83 - Mountain Biking Videos - Vital MTB
  • 03-07-2012
    Chad A
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by B-Mac View Post
    Thanks for all the replies!

    Definitely going to check out the links you guys provided. There's a possibility that some family (all non-riders except one) are coming along. If that happens, one of the relatives might pick up the lodging.

    Planning to be there for an entire week, so I hope to check out a good chunk of the mountain. A-line looks badazz, but I want to hit some of the rocky rooty steeps too. Can't wait to see what happens to my skills after riding there for a week.

    I haven't hit any drops above 5' or so yet, so I'm sure that some of the stuff there is going to be HUGE for the first few days until I nut up. I'm generally OK in the techier stuff though. Planning to train like a fiend this summer so I'm not TOO sore.

    Maybe a set of super-tacky or at least 3c would be good for this trip . . . They'll be munched by the end of the week but fuggit.

    I hear ya, right with your skill set, and just bought a bike that will handle it over the winter. I also scoured eBay for a set of soft compound Minion/High Roller setup for the specific purpose of wearing them into dust.

    I must say, reading all of this makes me feel fortunate that I've just moved to Bellingham, four hours away from Whistler. Yeehaw! Time to don the armor and get after it this summer :)
  • 03-07-2012
    Chad A
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Buzz View Post
    Because our beer has alcohol in it and actually tastes like water?

    Buzz

    There, fixed it for ya :D Just kiddin'...
  • 03-08-2012
    gage
    DO NOT FORGET BLUE VELVET! it's a fun fast flowy trail then you can continue to new joke then to freight-train! get there by going up garbanzo lift.. so much fun! take it easy the first day or two.. i was there all season last year and a lot of people get crazy first day (or two) and get trucked down the mountain via ambulance. :) -g
  • 03-09-2012
    B-Mac
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by gage View Post
    DO NOT FORGET BLUE VELVET! it's a fun fast flowy trail then you can continue to new joke then to freight-train! get there by going up garbanzo lift.. so much fun! take it easy the first day or two.. i was there all season last year and a lot of people get crazy first day (or two) and get trucked down the mountain via ambulance. :) -g

    Definitely hear ya. Planning to take it slow. I have no desire to break bones. Hope I manage to up my game, hopefully to fade to black levels, but coming home in one piece is always the goal.

    Spent about 8 weeks on the couch nursing 3 broken ribs & eating painkillers like candy in summer of 2009. Don't want to repeat that.
  • 03-10-2012
    delirian
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by B-Mac View Post
    Definitely hear ya. Planning to take it slow. I have no desire to break bones. Hope I manage to up my game, hopefully to fade to black levels, but coming home in one piece is always the goal.

    Spent about 8 weeks on the couch nursing 3 broken ribs & eating painkillers like candy in summer of 2009. Don't want to repeat that.

    best way to up your game and improve, and gain the confidence and techniques for fade to black, will be to take some tuition/coaching while you are there....

    as for broken bones, painkillers slow down the bodies ability to heal,,, so the broken bones would take longer to heal... it's better to live with the pain if you can,,, cut out alcohol smoking and fatty foods. eat lots of fresh fruits veg and fish,,, calcium and vitamins, and the body will heal quicker....
  • 03-11-2012
    B-Mac
    This looks pretty cool!

    <iframe src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/36449421?title=0&amp;byline=0&amp;portrait=0&amp;c olor=cc3333" width="400" height="225" frameborder="0" webkitAllowFullScreen mozallowfullscreen allowFullScreen></iframe><p><a href="http://vimeo.com/36449421">Top Of The World - NEW Alpine Trail</a> from <a href="http://vimeo.com/whistler">Whistler Blackcomb</a> on <a href="http://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a>.</p>
  • 03-11-2012
    Josie7
    VRBO for a condo... they can be cheap as its not skiing season and even a busy bike park day is nothing compared to ski season...
  • 03-11-2012
    delirian
    foooooook yeah!!!!!!!!
    we were lucky enough to get the peak chair up and ride down off the back of the mountain, highway99 into khybers.... it was one of the best rides ive done... so this will be awesome if they goahead with them plans,,,, :thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:
  • 03-11-2012
    ustemuf
    wooooooo hoooooo... my mom has a timeshare that shes not using.. i plan on going to whistler august 25th to september 1st...

    now to read up on this thread and figure out some logistics... and to stay injury free so i can ride then!
  • 03-13-2012
    B-Mac
    Looks like I'm going to score one of the corrugated plastic boxes from crateworks. Can't seem to beg one locally & $400-$500 is too freakin expensive. Also not paying $140 for a crateworks cardboard box (sheesh!).

    On the bright side, my CCDB arrived & bolted on with zero fuss. Planning a trip to a local XC spot that has a "downhill trail" (vulture's knob) to begin dialing in the shock. No respectable downhill there, but there's a few rock obstacles designed to be taken at speed & some steep bermy sections. I was worried at first that a 550# spring would be a little soft, but so far it seems fine. I'm 6'5", 240# with gear.

    Planning on "renting" a guide/taking a clinic/whatever you call it my first day there. Might be good from a "not getting lost" perspective. I don't want to wind up lost & take a trail that I can't handle for the sake of getting down the hill. Also looking forward to hitting the alpine style trail I posted the video for above. I've never ridden anything with scenery like that!!
  • 03-13-2012
    LeeL
    <iframe src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/14184313?title=0&amp;byline=0&amp;portrait=0" width="640" height="360" frameborder="0" webkitAllowFullScreen mozallowfullscreen allowFullScreen></iframe>

    Shot this for a PBike article but it shows more of the trail that you'll be riding than the promo video from Whistler.

    Have fun! It's well worth it.

    As for a clinic ask for Mike Johnstone from WBP and don't break anything
  • 03-14-2012
    PerfectZero
    Just got back from there last week...er wrong season though.

    Only advice I can give is to get a burger at Splitz. Make sure to get the Splitz sauce.
  • 03-14-2012
    genemk
    Love the idea of riding from the peak, but there's gotta be some steeper trails coming down from there. So far from the videos it seems like a mix of DH/AM riding.
  • 03-14-2012
    LeeL
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by genemk View Post
    Love the idea of riding from the peak, but there's gotta be some steeper trails coming down from there. So far from the videos it seems like a mix of DH/AM riding.

    There's steeper trails. Some I can show. Some I can't. Here's one that's well known but bear in mind it was shot with a GoPro chesty which makes everything look flat. I also wore an xc lid and no goggles which, as everyone knows, makes trails look flat (sarcasm intended - been reading pinkbike too much).

    if you want more trail suggestions get this book =

    <iframe src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/14211759?title=0&amp;byline=0&amp;portrait=0" width="640" height="360" frameborder="0" webkitAllowFullScreen mozallowfullscreen allowFullScreen></iframe>
  • 03-14-2012
    B-Mac
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by LeeL View Post
    There's steeper trails. Some I can show. Some I can't. Here's one that's well known but bear in mind it was shot with a GoPro chesty which makes everything look flat. I also wore an xc lid and no goggles which, as everyone knows, makes trails look flat (sarcasm intended - been reading pinkbike too much).

    if you want more trail suggestions get this book =

    <iframe src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/14211759?title=0&amp;byline=0&amp;portrait=0" width="640" height="360" frameborder="0" webkitAllowFullScreen mozallowfullscreen allowFullScreen></iframe>

    Thanks for posting those vids! "Ride Don't Slide" looks alot like some of the trails I hit in PA, but waaay longer.

    You're an instructor at Whistler? If so, PM me your name & I'll request you when I'm there. Rather have my tip $'s go to someone I'm familiar with.

    DH season hasn't started here yet due to the ground being too soggy. Can't wait to hit some drops. Not much besides XC riding available at the moment.
  • 03-14-2012
    ebxtreme
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by LeeL View Post
    Shot this for a PBike article but it shows more of the trail that you'll be riding than the promo video from Whistler.

    Feel bad for those dudes on their big bikes on Khyber, BBB and Tunnel Vision! I made that mistake once and it sucked.....especially if you're pedaling back after beers and buckets of bones at Dusty's! ;)

    I'm conflicted about the new stuff up top because I think we'll now see folks on RDS and Khyber who won't have a clue. I'm sure we'll see guys without packs/tools or in way over their heads.

    EB
  • 03-14-2012
    ak pura vida
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by B-Mac View Post

    Planning on "renting" a guide/taking a clinic/whatever you call it my first day there. Might be good from a "not getting lost" perspective. I don't want to wind up lost & take a trail that I can't handle for the sake of getting down the hill. Also looking forward to hitting the alpine style trail I posted the video for above. I've never ridden anything with scenery like that!!


    don't have to worry about getting lost or ending up on a trail over your head. pretty clearly marked. get a trail map and just go check it out. i would suggest taking lessons the second day, give yourself a day of exploring and use to the terrain.

    pv
  • 03-14-2012
    LeeL
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by B-Mac View Post
    Thanks for posting those vids! "Ride Don't Slide" looks alot like some of the trails I hit in PA, but waaay longer.

    You're an instructor at Whistler? If so, PM me your name & I'll request you when I'm there. Rather have my tip $'s go to someone I'm familiar with.
    .

    Nope. I know a lot of the WBP management and get to ride a lot of the stuff there for media - related gigs (eg the Bandit Review or writing an article about the Instructor training program etc)
  • 03-15-2012
    Mishtar
    Not sure if this was mentioned as I have not read through the whole post.........some of the shops in Vancouver have 40% off cards for rentals at the demo center to try a bike and the more days you rent in a row the cheaper it is. So you could save a ton of money if you can find a shop to hook you up with a discount card. Maybe call around before you heasd out and see who could possibly give you one if you buy something from them. With the money you would save you could more then afford to buy something.

    The bonus side of renting is if anything breaks you bring the bike in and they fix it with no cost to you. Insurance is $25 a day with a max of $50 for 2+ days so a week rental should still be $50 for insurance.
  • 03-15-2012
    Mishtar
    I took this camp last year as well. It was pretty cool and came with free lunch and was a all day course. Not sure yet on the dates for 2012 but it may be something to look into.

    Richie Schley Mountain Bike Adventures at Whistler Bike Park
  • 03-16-2012
    B-Mac
    Weather has turned decent here in the past few days so I've been getting a few test rides in on the highline. Made some changes over the winter, including:

    (1) Zocchi roco to CCDB, also reduced spring from 650 to 550 (had the 650 when I bought it). I was having severe issues with the bike trying to buck me on steep lips last year, think the spring was too big for me. Also really don't have much of a clue what kind of shape/tune the roco was in.

    (2) 70mm stem replaced with a 50mm stem. So far love this change, bike feels great.

    (3) Some minor drivetrain tweaks - went to short cage RD, replaced 11-34 cassette with 11-23. Removed a bunch of chain links.

    Need to get the bike on a hill to get a feel for the rear shock, but so far it fees great with the reduced spring weight on the CCDB. Hoping the smaller spring + the greater tuneability of the CCDB solves the bucking issue. I was doing some wheelie drops, maybe around 18", off my deck last night & initial impressions are positive. The new shock seems to be plusher, but has a better platform. The roco that it replaced was pushed, and the previous owner was a bit of a hucker, so really not sure what I was dealing with previously.

    Also need to get to work & quit thinking about biking!!

    Cheers & have a good SPD!
  • 03-16-2012
    Buzz
    The bucking that you speak off sounds like not enough high speed rebound. You should be able to dial it in with the HSR on the CCDB. Switching to a CCDB often means dropping 50-100lbs of spring weight as well, so it sounds like you are on the right track.
    My wife has been riding her Highline at Whistler for the past few years and loves it. It handles the park well, but is not a true DH sled. This year will be different though, as she will be piloting a Knolly Podium with a CCDB Air!

    Good luck on your trip!

    Buzz
  • 03-16-2012
    B-Mac
    Wow - Passport application costs around $150.00!! For those of you who've said "The trip will cost more than you think it will," you're already correct.

    @Buzz - Your wife's bike sounds pretty badazz! Thanks for the advice re: the HSC. It needs to quit raining for a while so I can tweak the new shock.
  • 03-16-2012
    Buzz
    Hey B-Mac,

    No problem, hope the tip helps. Just to be clear it is HSR not HSC that you want to adjust for being bucked!
    $150 for a passport in the States? How long is that good for? Our Canadian ones are $75 and last 5 yrs (soon to be 10).

    Buzz
  • 03-19-2012
    B-Mac
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Buzz View Post
    Hey B-Mac,

    No problem, hope the tip helps. Just to be clear it is HSR not HSC that you want to adjust for being bucked!
    $150 for a passport in the States? How long is that good for? Our Canadian ones are $75 and last 5 yrs (soon to be 10).

    Buzz

    HSR - well I knew what you meant but was unable to type it it seems . . . :rolleyes:

    Pretty sure the passport is good for 10 years.
  • 03-20-2012
    DHexplorer
    Has anyone ever driven over the border? According to google maps, it is a 17 hour drive from me ( i have driven this much in one day before). Wondering if all i need is a passport or not. Thanks