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  1. #1
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    First Time to Whistler!!

    My wife and I are planning to take a vacation this summer & we decided to stay at Whistler for a week in July, most likely the third or fourth week.

    I'm REALLY stoked to head there, I've done some DH here locally (mostly in PA actually) but never anything like Whistler.

    Anyone have any tips on (1) where to stay; (2) how to get my bike there (going to fly into vancouver); (3) riding the park for a relative noob; (4) or bike setup?? I'm probably going to be solo for more or less the entire time b/c my wife doesn't ride.

    My bike, btw, is a 08 Turner Highline with a zocchi 66 RC3 on the front. Hopefully going to replace the 66 with an 888 RC3 EVO prior to the trip if I can afford it. Currently have an zocchi roco on the rear, but probably going to replace that, most likely with a fox vanilla RC. The zocchi blew up on my last ride of the season & is still leaking after I replaced a few o-rings, so I'm a little paranoid to bring it on such a big trip. Also planning to put fresh rubber on the bike for the trip, probably HR II on the back & a new DHF in 60 compound on the front.

    Thanks for any advice you have!!

  2. #2
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    congrats! I'm headed there for my first time this summer to. Just booked a trip for the first week in July. We are staying about 3 blocks from the lift i think. We just did our trip through travelocity or some other site like that. I have to rent a bike though. Still Super stoked!

  3. #3
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    Whistler can be really expensive. It will definitely cost more than you think you'll need so start saving now, and plan on saving extra. Trust me.

    I'd say your highline with the 66 will be plenty up there and there is no need to buy a 888 just to go to Whistler. In all honesty, the 60d tires will hold up longer but I'd still go for a grippier setup if you can. Bring extra tires and any extra parts (ie-cheap rear derailleur, tubes, some cable and housing etc.) as this will all cost you a very big premium to purchase up there.

    Box up your bike and contact any of the shops up there to see if they'll allow you to ship it there. Out of convenience, ask if they can also build the bike up and then re-box/pack and ship the bike back once your trip is done. You'll pay extra for it but I'm sure they'll be appreciative if you bring them a 12 pack when you pick up your bike and before you pack it up to go home. Decent beer in a bike mechanic's world generally means they take much better care of you and your equipment.

    I'd say the first trail you should hit is Crank It Up. It's a blue, has a lot of small to medium jumps and berms, and for being mid-mountain is long enough to get you grinning. I'd ride B-line after that, the jumps are a bit bigger as are the berms and it's a bit less pedaly. Then I'd take trip to the top... Hit freight train. And then from there on out pick anything that you think you can ride. Everything is well marked, and for any trail that is a double black the signs will let you know if there is a go-around or if you should maybe consider a slightly easier trail.
    The arsonist has oddly shaped feet!

  4. #4
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    I'm heading up there this summer too.... can't wait!! Not to high jack your thread or anything but for those who has been to whistler, will a specialized stumpy with a 140mm rear and 160mm front travel be fine up there or should I just rent a full blown DH bike when I get there?

  5. #5
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    Buy your beer in Vancouver. It will blow your mind what a 24 pack of Kokanee costs in the village.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Will Goes Boing View Post
    I'm heading up there this summer too.... can't wait!! Not to high jack your thread or anything but for those who has been to whistler, will a specialized stumpy with a 140mm rear and 160mm front travel be fine up there or should I just rent a full blown DH bike when I get there?
    I'd rent. Your bike might hold up fine, but the harder trails will be more fun on bigger bike. and you wont have to worry too much about thrashing the bike.

    Not to hijack your hijack, but how do whistlers trails compare to northstars as far as rating goes? It looks to me like the single blacks at Whistler compare to the doubles at Northstar.

    How does A-Line compare to Livewire?

    Last question, how big is the stuff on Fade to Black? I just built and hit a 10 vertical drop to a 1' wide landing, so I'm feeling semi-confident.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moosey View Post
    I'd rent. Your bike might hold up fine, but the harder trails will be more fun on bigger bike. and you wont have to worry too much about thrashing the bike.

    Not to hijack your hijack, but how do whistlers trails compare to northstars as far as rating goes? It looks to me like the single blacks at Whistler compare to the doubles at Northstar.

    How does A-Line compare to Livewire?

    Last question, how big is the stuff on Fade to Black? I just built and hit a 10 vertical drop to a 1' wide landing, so I'm feeling semi-confident.
    For me after my first run at N* 3 I stopped checking things out and was just able to hit everything at speed first time. Whistler is not like that, once I got off of Crank-it up and A-line, if I couldn't see it I definitely either spotted it first or watched someone for a speed check. There wasn't anything I wouldn't hit at N*, skipped a lot of features at Whistler.

    A-line the features are about double the size of Livewire? Last time I rode Live wire was 3 summers ago though, so things may have changed, but as long as you keep your speed up I think A-line is technically easier for the most part. Mostly because the jumps are all dialed and smooth on A-line, you just pin it and everything works out. It seemed like some of the stuff on Livewire would kick you funny, or required just the right amount of speed to hit transition, etc.

    I don't remember any Fade to Black, so someone else will have to chime in.

    For the OP, I'd consider renting bikes as well. The math might work in your favor after shipping, repairs (you will break things), etc. Unless you ride DH regularly, both you and your bike will take a beating at Whislter, you will want rest days so factor that in, and there are deals available on lodging/ticket/bike packages The rentals are built for it, and if it breaks you take it back and get a new one. Less worries about your bike not showing up on time, getting stolen, the mech building it late on Friday, etc.
    "Always remember to be yourself. Unless you suck."
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moosey View Post
    I'd rent. Your bike might hold up fine, but the harder trails will be more fun on bigger bike. and you wont have to worry too much about thrashing the bike.

    Not to hijack your hijack, but how do whistlers trails compare to northstars as far as rating goes? It looks to me like the single blacks at Whistler compare to the doubles at Northstar.

    How does A-Line compare to Livewire?

    Last question, how big is the stuff on Fade to Black? I just built and hit a 10 vertical drop to a 1' wide landing, so I'm feeling semi-confident.
    Renting is a good idea if your bike is broken or you want to try something different for the day. Rental costs however can cost upwards of $60/day for a semi -decent bike. Chances are that the suspension will be haggard from the mass amount of people riding the bike before you too. Your suspension on the other hand is tuned for you and will work better for you.

    Moosey:
    Some of the blues (b-line) are comparable to a trail like Livewire. Some of the blacks (too tight) are easier than the blues at Northstar. While I'd say their ratings call for more stiff trails in general, you can and will be surprised when you get on a blue that is tougher than you would think it should be. Most if not all of the double blacks at northstar can be ridden with a moderate amount of skill and have go-arounds. Some of the double blacks at Whistler are really best reserved for the big boys who have a lot of skill. You can get very badly hurt on some of the stuff there and it can happen very quickly.

    Comparing livewire to Aline is like comparing a civic SI to a Ferrari. While yes one is fun, there really is no comparison. Aline is just so much longer and better. But with that said, Whistler shares a similarity with Northstar in that if all you do is ride Aline all day you're a complete moron. There are so many really good trails up there. There is so much incredible stuff in the backcountry too that a little pedal from the top chairlift will reward you with massive descents.
    The arsonist has oddly shaped feet!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Will Goes Boing View Post
    I'm heading up there this summer too.... can't wait!! Not to high jack your thread or anything but for those who has been to whistler, will a specialized stumpy with a 140mm rear and 160mm front travel be fine up there or should I just rent a full blown DH bike when I get there?
    This really depends on your skill level. I would rent a bike though.

  10. #10
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    lodging - alluradirect.com I have used them before and just booked one week this summer with the site again. Get a studio w/ a kitchen so you can cook meals - eating out is expensive.
    Bring extra tubes, tires, der hanger, tools etc. It is expensive up there, extremely expensive and the US$ is weak these days.
    As far as the riding goes be prepared to be disappointed with your local trails when you get home! The Whistler buzz takes a few weeks to wear off

  11. #11
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    Moosey, Fade to Black isn't bad if you're comfortable hitting everything on trails like Dirt Merchant, Freight Train, A-line, etc. The biggest feature is the road gap at the start which is maybe an 8-10ft drop (give or take) that gaps a bit less than a logging road (the ramp sticks out over road a bit). The tranny is nice and steep, but if you come in too fast can be easy to overshoot. I did that once and had a double bottom out. There were a couple of Canadians watching that said "Going a bit too fast eh?", gotta love the locals. I'd probably hang out and scope it and watch someone else hit it to gauge speed. If you feel good about it after then go for it. The other 3 hits are smaller.

    I've had friends ride 6" trail bikes there and they had fun, but their bikes took more of a beating and they didn't enjoy the steep trails as much. Once they switched to a DH bike they enjoyed it a lot more. That said rentals typically run $100+ for a decent DH rig, which ain't cheap.

    The Turner Highline should be OK for Whistler, but won't be quite as good on the steeps obviously. I rode 12 days up there on a 7" Norco Shore freeride bike and had a blast though so it depends on your money situation and preference.

    Make sure to pace yourself and get ready for a stupid grin that you won't be able to get rid of.

  12. #12
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    Northstar will be like a kindergarten playground after you ride Whistler, there is no comparison. Flying and traveling with your bike is a PIA and very expensive but renting is probably just as expensive if you are staying more then 4 days. I'd much rather have my own bike then have some beater rig although they might have a new fleet of Glory's this year? Fade to Black is no big deal just watch the right hander after the road gap if its wet, it gets a little slippery.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by craigstr View Post
    Northstar will be like a kindergarten playground after you ride Whistler, there is no comparison. Flying and traveling with your bike is a PIA and very expensive but renting is probably just as expensive if you are staying more then 4 days. I'd much rather have my own bike then have some beater rig although they might have a new fleet of Glory's this year? Fade to Black is no big deal just watch the right hander after the road gap if its wet, it gets a little slippery.
    Ship the bike to the Hotel. They'll hold it for you while you fly out. Much cheaper than bringing it on the plane.

  14. #14
    It's carbon dontcha know.
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    You'll have a blast, Highline with 66 works just fine.


    Hopefully you've picked a bike friendly airline, I've used Cathay Pacific for my two visits. Then just book yourself onto one of the coaches which head to Whistler, I think I've used both, Perimeter and whatever the other is called.
    Rolling on 29", 650b, 8.3" and 23mm

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by his dudeness View Post
    Comparing livewire to Aline is like comparing a civic SI to a Ferrari. While yes one is fun, there really is no comparison. Aline is just so much longer and better. But with that said, Whistler shares a similarity with Northstar in that if all you do is ride Aline all day you're a complete moron. There are so many really good trails up there. There is so much incredible stuff in the too that a little pedal from the top chairlift will reward you with massive descents.
    I was wondering about how the size fo the jumps on Livewire compare to the size of the jumps on Aline. Aline is legendary for a reason, I was just wondering, If I'm comfortable hitting all the jumps on livewire, can I hit all the jumps on A-Line?

    I can't wait and I still have 4 or so months to go.

    Once rental prices come out I'll look more into shipping my Evil.

  16. #16
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    Sorry for yet another hijack, but I'll be heading up for the first time this summer to and was wondering where to stay. I was looking on alluradirect.com but where is the best spot as far as location and allowing you to bring your bikes in? North village?

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moosey View Post
    I was wondering about how the size fo the jumps on Livewire compare to the size of the jumps on Aline. Aline is legendary for a reason, I was just wondering, If I'm comfortable hitting all the jumps on livewire, can I hit all the jumps on A-Line?

    I can't wait and I still have 4 or so months to go.

    Once rental prices come out I'll look more into shipping my Evil.
    Well, I'd say that some of the larger jumps on the bottom of Livewire are pretty representative of the medium jumps on Aline. The vast majority of the big jumps on Aline aren't exactly hard to hit since they're all tabletops they're just bigger than most anything on Livewire and there's exponentially more of them. If anything Bline is a closer representative of Livewire.

    Like I said earlier, livewire is cool but there really is no comparison to Aline.
    The arsonist has oddly shaped feet!

  18. #18
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    Bring your bike and rent the first day. Renting is a great way to go. If you find the first day went fine with little abuse, ride yours. Planes have a "special" shipping charge for bikes. Take that into consideration. I use leftover bike boxes from my shop and break down my bike and ship it in that when I fly to Colorado.

  19. #19
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    Take your own bike

    I would agree with some of the above posts, that if you have capable DH/FR bike take it with you. I feel a lot safer and more confident when riding my own bike versus a rental thatís been bagged to sh!t and isnít set-up for my riding style.

    I really want to go to Whistler this year, but itís a long drive from my province and I donít have anyone to pitch in for gas.

  20. #20
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    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.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Northender View Post
    I would agree with some of the above posts, that if you have capable DH/FR bike take it with you. I feel a lot safer and more confident when riding my own bike versus a rental thatís been bagged to sh!t and isnít set-up for my riding style.

    I really want to go to Whistler this year, but itís a long drive from my province and I donít have anyone to pitch in for gas.
    Told my wife when we were discussing this trip that "The bike is coming, regardless of cost, and that's non-negotiable." Probably going to ship it to avoid the hassle, unless I can find someone local to lend me a case & the airline is significantly cheaper.

    The 12-pack idea when shipping the bike home is genius.

  22. #22
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    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'd say just bring the tackier tires on the bike and stuff the harder compound in the box with your bike. Also try to fit as much of your gear (ie-pads, helmet, shoes, riding clothes) in the bike box to ship up with your bike... It'll save you luggage space and will help keep the bike protected inside the box.
    The arsonist has oddly shaped feet!

  23. #23
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    Already mentioned but there is so much more to Whistler than the lift served. Make sure you don't miss out on the other trails.
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by B-Mac View Post
    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.
    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 (N* and local stuff) so i can hopefully go 4 days without getting too tired.

    Can you ride rentals in the Airdome? Like if I rent a Kona Operator (Or whatev) can I jump it into the foam pit at the airdome?

  25. #25
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    Yah, bet I'm going to be whupped. At the closest park to me, 7 Springs in PA, runs take 5-10 minutes and you drop around 400-500 feet. How long does a run last at whistler? 30 minutes??

    Man - can't freaking wait!!!!

    Need to quit thinking about it LOL.

    That suggestion above about packing gear and armour with the bike is fantastic. I've been wondering how I'm going to get my gear there.

    I'd rent an XC bike to check out some of the other trails if possible. Going to have to balance riding with keeping the wife happy. We're also planning to spend at least one day in Vancouver. I suggested that she rent a bike and spend some time on the green trails with me. My suggestion was rejected without adequate consideration. Maybe she'll change her mind when she sees the place.
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