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  1. #1
    DGC
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    trail riding info needed

    Hey all,
    I am looking to head up into the B.C. area to do 6 days of riding come the end of August. What I am looking for is some local knowledge concerning both riding and camping.
    As far as riding goes, I am looking for xcish stuff, but on the fun challenging trail riding side. Kinda hard these days to say freeride without meaning using a DH bike, which I dont mean. I will be on a Turner 5 Spot, so obviously climbing is no problem, but I dont wanna get killed doing big drops and stunts meant for DH bikes either. Rough terrain is fine minus the stunt type stuff that i hear of Whistler area. I may spend a day at Whistler on a loaner DH bike to check it out, but otherwise i really want to ride stuff that has good long flow like decents. Here in Lake Tahoe we are used to riding up 6-12 miles, and then decend about the same amount with average 2500+ vertical.
    I also hear Squamish is a little more tame than Whistler? I dont really care for the desert like xc riding, I have tons of that here or near here. I am looking to ride and stay in the Western B.C area so to speak, from Kamloops westward. I hear there is a lot of camping choices too??? With shower facilities.
    Thanks for any info you can give.
    P.S. these pix show the technical I am used to riding, but they dont have much for drops, just technical trail riding.
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  2. #2

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    That's reasonably challenging trail riding...you'll have fun here. You'll find that the XC type rides here are much more rolling - no really prolonged climbs or descents. Heading up the mountains into freeride territory means short, brutal climbs followed by a fast and (for me) terrifying descent. Even most of the XC trails have some woodwork - not so much stunts as they are low ladders to bridge over mucky bits.

    Both Whistler and Squamish have some good technical XC stuff...I haven't done much of Whislter (I hear great things about A River Runs Through It and Comfortably Numb), but Squamish has some nice stuff that I did a couple of years ago.

    Check out the BC Parks website for camping info... http://wlapwww.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/regions.htm

    There are provincial campsites at Alice Lake (closer to Squamish) and Brandywine Falls (close to Whistler). Alice Lake takes reservations - a good idea if you'll be here during the Labour Day long weekend (Sept 3-5th).

  3. #3
    a dad
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    i would like to piggy back on this link....i will be up in vancouver in october for a long weekend and will have only one day to ride....i am by no mean a badass freerider but love checking stuff out even if it means walking some stuff...i will need to rent a bike and gear so suggestions for place to rent would be great....i have seen the gutsploder website and thinking the closest areas would be best (fromme and something and eagle)...what would you guys ride?? thanks, looking forward to seeing you neck of the woods, its been long overdue...
    BBZ

    Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy - Benjamin Franklin

  4. #4
    DGC
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    thanks

    Quote Originally Posted by Gazz
    That's reasonably challenging trail riding...you'll have fun here. You'll find that the XC type rides here are much more rolling - no really prolonged climbs or descents. Heading up the mountains into freeride territory means short, brutal climbs followed by a fast and (for me) terrifying descent. Even most of the XC trails have some woodwork - not so much stunts as they are low ladders to bridge over mucky bits.

    Both Whistler and Squamish have some good technical XC stuff...I haven't done much of Whislter (I hear great things about A River Runs Through It and Comfortably Numb), but Squamish has some nice stuff that I did a couple of years ago.

    Check out the BC Parks website for camping info... http://wlapwww.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/regions.htm

    There are provincial campsites at Alice Lake (closer to Squamish) and Brandywine Falls (close to Whistler). Alice Lake takes reservations - a good idea if you'll be here during the Labour Day long weekend (Sept 3-5th).
    Thanks for the information, quite usefull.

  5. #5
    Canuck
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    Squamish has

    lots of good technical XC stuff that doesn't require a freeride bike, though basic leg and arm armour is recommended.

    Classics :
    - Climb up 9-mile road, descend Ring Creek Rip, Powerhouse Plunge [part of the Test of Metal race course]
    - Climb or shuttle Diamond Head, descend 19th Hole [some double diamond sections], Powersmart [upper part is kind of trashed], or a coupla other trails I can't remember.
    - Ring Creek area with Powersmart, ImbaSmart, Pseudosuga [can be linked with above]
    - Valleycliffe : short but grueling climb, with a myriad of awesome granite descents

    Lesser known :
    - Climb Debeck's Hill, descend Rigs In Zen (easy 150-foot log rides), Crouching Squirrel Hidden Monkey - one of the best 1000ft+ descents in Squamish
    - Entrails / Icy Hole of Death
    - tons of other short-but-sweet rides, all on the local map

  6. #6
    Gear Whore
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    Squamish has some great xcish stuff and believe it or not so does whistler....most people concentrate on the lifts...but there are a ton of great old school and new school trails in the area...just ask in the shops. There are a lot of XC'ers on nsmb as well...tons of local knowledge.

  7. #7
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    A river runs through it and Comfortably Numb are 2 good classic rides here in Whistler, but lets not forget about Kill Me Thrill Me. Or riding up Microwave tower rd then Tunnel Vision and up kadenwood and finish off with Big Timber and down to Dusty's to enjoy a couple of cold bevvies.

    The riding here does not have tobe all extreme. Many locals ride up the mtn to midstation and then down in under an hour in the morning, before work.

  8. #8
    FM
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    Yo DGC,


    Check out whistler's westside trails. Cheap thrills is probably my favorite..... Use the flank trail to climb up to cheap thrills, then connect with yodas playground or beaver pass(?)... then you can hit river runs through it if you want more after that. PLenty of vert, very technical, all singletrack, no crowds.

    Comfortabley numb and kill me thrill me are also must do's.

    There's lots more but thats an excellant start....

    so much more to whistler than the park.....

    [QUOTE=DGC]Hey all,
    Rough terrain is fine minus the stunt type stuff that i hear of Whistler area. I may spend a day at Whistler on a loaner DH bike to check it out, but otherwise i really want to ride stuff that has good long flow like decents. I also hear Squamish is a little more tame than Whistler?QUOTE]

  9. #9
    DGC
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    Fm

    [QUOTE=FM]Yo DGC,


    Check out whistler's westside trails. Cheap thrills is probably my favorite..... Use the flank trail to climb up to cheap thrills, then connect with yodas playground or beaver pass(?)... then you can hit river runs through it if you want more after that. PLenty of vert, very technical, all singletrack, no crowds.

    Comfortabley numb and kill me thrill me are also must do's.

    There's lots more but thats an excellant start....

    so much more to whistler than the park.....

    Quote Originally Posted by DGC
    Hey all,
    Rough terrain is fine minus the stunt type stuff that i hear of Whistler area. I may spend a day at Whistler on a loaner DH bike to check it out, but otherwise i really want to ride stuff that has good long flow like decents. I also hear Squamish is a little more tame than Whistler?QUOTE]
    FM, a big thanks for the info, it will come in handy when I get up there in a few weeks.

  10. #10
    Just roll it......
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    DGC, what FM said.....

    The westside of the valley has awesome trails. Cheap Thrills is not to be missed and combining that with River Runs Through it and a swim at Rainbow park afterwards makes for a great day.

    Another good loop would be to do Section 102 to Cougar Mountain Forest Road. Take that right out to the highway and ride less than a mile to the beginning of Kill Me Thrill Me. KMTM is directional heading north, so you just ride the highway back from the end of the trail. FYI, Section 102 starts in Emerald Estates (about 5k north of town) and it was one of the cooler trails I've ridden there.

    There are other trails near Emerald Estates that I haven't ridden yet (Big Kahuna, Sh*t Happens, White Knuckles, Anal Intruder) that are supposed to be great as well, but I don't know the best loop for those. I did Section 102 to Gargamel a few weeks ago and it was awesome - but definitely steep and scary in spots! I was on my XC bike, but will ride that on the big bike next time and just deal with pushing it up the long climb where necessary for the comfort of the 66RC on the descent.

    Other fun loops are Trash to Trainwreck (aka runaway train) to Tunnel Vision (these are all near Function Junction) and Cut Yer Bars to Bob's Rebob to Binty's.

    I know FM likes Comfortably Numb, but I'm only luke-warm (78 degrees) on that ride as it doesn't seem like the reward is worth the amount of effort. With that said, it's continuous singletrack and the scenery is absolutely beautiful, but I was on my big bike (45 lbs.) when I rode it last year and I didn't get any benefit for dragging that thing along for that ride. Next time, I'd definitely do it on my XC rig. If you were to do Comfortably Numb, I would not recommend that you do Kill Me Thrill Me with that combined. Borneo (on the Washington forum) just did that a month ago (he's in great shape) and it took his group ~8 hours and they were too tuckered to enjoy the fun granite slabs at the end of CN.

    I recommend swinging into a shop and picking up this free guide. The map is outstanding and they give good info. about the trails and directions. Also, most shops should have them in stock. I got a couple at Katmandu last month..

    http://www.whistlermountainbike.com/pages/index.php

    Cheers,
    EB

  11. #11
    DGC
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    man, good info

    Quote Originally Posted by ebxtreme
    The westside of the valley has awesome trails. Cheap Thrills is not to be missed and combining that with River Runs Through it and a swim at Rainbow park afterwards makes for a great day.

    Another good loop would be to do Section 102 to Cougar Mountain Forest Road. Take that right out to the highway and ride less than a mile to the beginning of Kill Me Thrill Me. KMTM is directional heading north, so you just ride the highway back from the end of the trail. FYI, Section 102 starts in Emerald Estates (about 5k north of town) and it was one of the cooler trails I've ridden there.

    There are other trails near Emerald Estates that I haven't ridden yet (Big Kahuna, Sh*t Happens, White Knuckles, Anal Intruder) that are supposed to be great as well, but I don't know the best loop for those. I did Section 102 to Gargamel a few weeks ago and it was awesome - but definitely steep and scary in spots! I was on my XC bike, but will ride that on the big bike next time and just deal with pushing it up the long climb where necessary for the comfort of the 66RC on the descent.

    Other fun loops are Trash to Trainwreck (aka runaway train) to Tunnel Vision (these are all near Function Junction) and Cut Yer Bars to Bob's Rebob to Binty's.

    I know FM likes Comfortably Numb, but I'm only luke-warm (78 degrees) on that ride as it doesn't seem like the reward is worth the amount of effort. With that said, it's continuous singletrack and the scenery is absolutely beautiful, but I was on my big bike (45 lbs.) when I rode it last year and I didn't get any benefit for dragging that thing along for that ride. Next time, I'd definitely do it on my XC rig. If you were to do Comfortably Numb, I would not recommend that you do Kill Me Thrill Me with that combined. Borneo (on the Washington forum) just did that a month ago (he's in great shape) and it took his group ~8 hours and they were too tuckered to enjoy the fun granite slabs at the end of CN.

    I recommend swinging into a shop and picking up this free guide. The map is outstanding and they give good info. about the trails and directions. Also, most shops should have them in stock. I got a couple at Katmandu last month..

    http://www.whistlermountainbike.com/pages/index.php

    Cheers,
    EB
    I am looking forward to this trip, I have 6-7 day worth of riding time, so I should get some good riding in. I am a little weary about all the wood stunts and drops being on my xc bike (5 Spot), and not being all that young anymore. Thanks again for the info.

  12. #12
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    More Advice...........

    Most of the above advice is pretty good - lots of cross country riding in the area - it is however, a little skewed to the technical side as compare to most other areas I've ridden. The Bike Park has a lot of stuntsand jumps, but they are not that common on most of the cross country trails, although most trails are quite rocky and rooty with rock slab climbs and deescents.

    First bit of advice - The cross country trails around Whistler are great (and somewhat underrated or ignored by the press we get) but do not miss the Bike Park or Squamish. Dirtsnake had some really good ideas on Squamish, do at least one ride there ( I like Powerhouse Plunge myself, a good climb with a long relatively technical downhill). Do the Bike Park but don't do the bike park until at least halfway through your trip as there are countless stories of people going to the park on their first day, getting carried away by enthusiasm and injuring themselves (& goodbye holiday). The bike park is pretty cool, even for cross country riders - basically there are technical trails and "air" trails, pick and choose or mix and match. A freeride or downhill bike also definitely make a difference too.

    For cross country riding. My best advice would be to do Kill Me Thrill Me as your first ride. It is only about an hour to one and a half hours if you drive to the trail head. This trail has lots of variety, some climbing, technical, etc. Once you finish this trail, figure out what more you would like (or less) and go to a bike shop and describe your 'perfect trail' as compared to this - they will then set you up on several suggestions.

    IF you like climbing and a smoother trail maybe do the North Flank (from North to South - I think about 2500 feet of not technical climbing) then continue on the next section of the Flank trail. Bail out at Billy Epic if you want an awesome technical descent to the valley rtaher than a smooth trail downhill. (once you get onto the second section of the Flank continue a gentle uphill and traverse untill you see a super steep singletrack crossng -maybe 2km - then take the nest left on a singletrack, maybe 300-550 meters farther - thats Billy Epic - go downhill until you hit an old logging road which is now singletrack, turn left, go a few hundred meters untill the singletrack crooses thie and turn right - descend to the valley)

    With regard to previous comments, I have to agree with ebextreme about Comfortably Numb - an epic in length, with a fantastic 2 hour beginning (technical climbing, etc.) and one of the best (high intermediate) descents in the valley, but with about 2 hours of 'slogging' singletrack in the middle. (you can do the technical climb alone and then descend on Young Lust and skip the middle and another day climb the finish and then do the wonderful descent as a ride on its own - or... do the whole thing, why not, your on vacation)

    I am not quite as keen on Cheap Thrills as the others. Its a one hour climb to get to a relatively short trail that has a few super steep sections. If its combined with the Sproat Lake trail and Danimal for a descent it is about a half hour down but Cheap Thrills would be a double Black Diamond, Sproat Lake a green and Danimal a blue.

    To answer ebextreme, the Emeral trails are great old school technical trails lots of technical climbs and descents with lots of rocks and roots - very challenging or frustrating depending on your frame of mind. A good 2 hour loop is White Knuckles uphill to Sh*t Happens (make sure you take 2 left turns after you have completed the climb on White Knuckles), ride up Sh*t Happens for about 200 meters, take a right on Big Kahuna, when you hit a road, ride uphill to Sh*t Happens and then ride this trail all the way back to Alpine Meadows - no 2500 vertical feet of climbing but a good workout of cardio and technical skills.

    Finally, don't be fooled by the 'short' distances of our trails, they are more technical than most places and take a lot more time. For example Comfortabley Numb is only about 12 miles log but generally takes 4-7 hours to complete.

    Also, if you have an extra day drive 2 hours north to Tyax Lake, take a floatplane to Spruce Lake and ride (mostly) downhill back to Tyax. About a 3 hour ride but you are in the middle of nowhere, in incredible scenery, with nobody else around. (do it with others or a guide - call Tyax Lodge, they coudl set it up) There was a thread a few months ago covering this titled South Chilcotins.

    Happy Trails - I hope this helps

  13. #13
    Flyin Canine
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    Hey DGC, good advice above, definitly check out the map and check out Kill Me Thrill Me. With your style of riding there in Tahoe you will love it. It's a little like Mr.toads, cept not as long and the downhill is a little steeper in parts. Beware in whistler and bc in general the trails are not as well signed as in cali. It is easy to get lost so give yourself extra time and bring a map and compass at the very least. Other trails you might like a lot can be found in squamish and Pemberton. Pemberton is about 30 min north of Whistler and is a a little slower moving. I did a trail there a few years ago called "lumpys epic" that was pretty fun. There's a bout a million trails between squamish, whistler, and pemberton so you'll have lots of fun. Squamish does have some great xc rides but beware they have their fair share of high, big ladders if you find yourself picking the wrong trail to come down.

  14. #14
    DGC
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    again....

    Quote Originally Posted by shanedawg
    Hey DGC, good advice above, definitly check out the map and check out Kill Me Thrill Me. With your style of riding there in Tahoe you will love it. It's a little like Mr.toads, cept not as long and the downhill is a little steeper in parts. Beware in whistler and bc in general the trails are not as well signed as in cali. It is easy to get lost so give yourself extra time and bring a map and compass at the very least. Other trails you might like a lot can be found in squamish and Pemberton. Pemberton is about 30 min north of Whistler and is a a little slower moving. I did a trail there a few years ago called "lumpys epic" that was pretty fun. There's a bout a million trails between squamish, whistler, and pemberton so you'll have lots of fun. Squamish does have some great xc rides but beware they have their fair share of high, big ladders if you find yourself picking the wrong trail to come down.
    again thanx to all of you for the info, I think I will now have 7 maybe 8 full days to ride. All the advice is great, and I will read it all over a few times and map out some ideas for rides. I plan on 1 day at the park, with a freeride/DH bike. I also had planned on doing that towards the end of my stay, I do have pads and a full face helmet to sorta keep me covered. I do tend to stop and check something out before trying something I feel is over my head, I guess 43 years of living has helped be a little smarter......
    This is from today, again quite rocky but not wet, not slimed out, just tipical dry dusty trail with the big rocks embedded so you tend to be able to roll over a lot of stuff, but mixed with loose gravely junk too, slippery but from being dry, on the extremely dry side of slippery dust on rocks right now.......but it just started raining hard for the first time all summer....That might change everything.
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  15. #15
    meh....
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    If you are looking for a ride partner I'm heading up Wed or Thur next week from Bellingham, WA, 31st or 1st, staying till the 4th or 5th.

    I'll say thanks too for the trail info given here, I'll most likely use it.

    Monte

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