Yet Another Whistler Thread- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    MarkyMark
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    Yet Another Whistler Thread

    Whistler has been in my bucket list for a while and I finally managed to tick it off! You've probably been thinking about it as well, right? Just go! Reading and watching videos DOESN'T do it justice. You need to be there to experience it.

    I just got back from a 6 day trip and it was mind-blowing. Garbo and Top of The World were closed, but I didn't really notice.

    Just a bit of background: I grew up riding around the east coast (rocky, rooty) and have been living in Bay Area, California for the past decade or so. I'd say I'm an all-mountain rider (XC + features). I never been to a bike park or on a downhill bike before.

    My main focus was riding the bike park. This was more of a recon trip so I wanted to ride A-line and the GLC drop as must-do's. I brought my SC Blur LT so I could do some XC riding around Squamish and Whistler as well.

    I was super excited so I arrived early, booked a room in Squamish for one night, and made my way out to Half Nelson and Full Nelson the next morning. These are relatively short, but very fun jump/flow trails. I could have stayed here all day going up and down, up and down..

    Squamish and Whistler by markmass, on Flickr

    Squamish and Whistler, BC by markmass, on Flickr

    There are tons of trails out there in Squamish that I wanted to explore, but I made my way to Whistler so I could ride Kill Me, Thrill Me.

    I parked at my hotel and rode to the trailhead thinking 5km was short for a ride. This was the longest, hardest 5km I've ever ridden and I really wish I parked near the trail. KMTM was still slick from rain so it was treacherous. I managed to slip and fall down a few times. I really should have worn my knee pads that day.

    Squamish and Whistler, BC by markmass, on Flickr

    Next up was three consecutive full days of Max4 lessons in the bike park proper. There weren't many people signed-up so I had two 1-on-1 days with Duncan M. and another day with only one other person.

    Squamish and Whistler, BC by markmass, on Flickr

    I think we hit all of the greens and blues by the end of the 3 days. We also rode some of the blacks (Angry Pirate) and double blacks. I got my A-line lap in (skipped the HUGE drop), did the GLC drop (3x), and rode the Upper Whistler Downhill on the last day. I rode down the Upper Whistler Downhill's long, steep rock face at which point my nerves were fried. That was my limit. We skipped the Lower Whistler Downhill (I did part of it the previous day) and went back to laps of Crank It Up to calm down.

    I can't recommend signing-up for the lessons enough. I got super fortunate getting Duncan as my instructor. (I have to warn you that he can be awe inspiring when he's railing berms and flying 10+ft in the air and whipped it or no footing it. ) Having the Giant Glory DH rental bike made a huge difference allowing me to monster truck roll over virtually everything.

    I've been riding MTB for decades, but Whistler is something else. I couldn't believe what "intermediate/blue" trails were in Whistler! I learned a lot from Duncan and he really pushed me, but kept it safe and fun. I had exactly zero crashes/scars from 3 days of riding in the bike park on terrain that was well above anything I've seen let alone done before.

    I was sore from the bike park, but I wanted to ride Comfortably Numb (CN). After Kill Me Thrill Me (KMTM) I was dubious about attempting CN since KMTM was so brutal. I talked to some people, read ride reports, and I felt better about it. I don't want to sugar coat anything--CN was brutal just like KMTM. There's a bit more flow on CN, but I felt like I was still working 90% the time, even on the downs. My Comfortably Numb ride was 23 miles long and took me ~5.5 hours total from my hotel in the Village.

    The tech on CN and KMTM is completely off the scales. Being on your bike and rolling up to the features/gnar in-person is completely different from any the pictures and videos you'll see.

    Squamish and Whistler, BC by markmass, on Flickr

    A beautiful shot of Green Lake from the vista point:

    Squamish and Whistler, BC by markmass, on Flickr

    I had another day in Whistler, but I was feeling exhausted and decided to bail and head back home. I'll be back next year with some other things to check off (A-line drop, Fade to Black, Top Of the World).

    Oh yeah, you might see one of these wandering around..

    Squamish and Whistler, BC by markmass, on Flickr

  2. #2
    mtbr member
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    duncan is the man!

  3. #3
    MarkyMark
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    Just got back from another trip to Whistler. 3 x full-day lessons again in the bike park. I brought my Knolly Chilcotin to ride in the park instead of renting at DH rig.

    - First two days with Kevin (Kevin267?)
    - Last day with Dave (British)

    We had perfect conditions (w/short lines) during the first two days with Kevin. Kevin was a great instructor and we hit a variety of trails! We got up to Garbo a few times and checked-out some of the stuff up there. I got comfortable with jumping and we did the first half of A-line near the end of the 2nd day. I wish I had Kevin again for my 3rd day so I could continue my progression, but he was assigned to another group. I headed out with Dave and a couple other guys.

    Dave was another really good instructor and gave me some really great tips on riding and jumping. I think I know what I need to do to dial-in my jumping now. Dave kept things interesting for all of us even though it was my 3rd day there and the 1st for the other two. I probably had my best day on Crank It Up.

    It started raining a bit on my 3rd day so I called it early and headed down to Oregon to ride some more. I'll check out more of the trails around Squamish and Whistler next time. I'm looking forward to next year!

  4. #4
    mtbr member
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    Yeah that's me, cool write up mark! Neat to see outsiders perspectives of the riding here.

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