7 Tips For Surviving the Whistler Mountain Bike Park Lift Line - Crankworx Whistler 2019

Aug 16, 2019
by chris pilling  


It should come with no surprise that the biggest mountain bike festival in the world is jam-packed with people. There are so many things to see and do from product booths featuring the latest and greatest, to the world's best athletes laying it all on the line for glory. But you can't come to Whistler and not ride the trails. Luckily for you, we have some tips to help you get through the maze and onto the lift.




You're standing in a sea of people and you're a little bored. Strike up a conversation with your neighbor! See what trails are running good and share some stories. We're not sure what Caleb was trying to say here, but social norms should be respected.



Plan your next trail and see what's new in the park. New trail development is constantly happening in the park, and with Trailforks you can stay up to date. Believe it or not, A-Line isn't the only trail in the world.

Whistler Mountain Bike Park mountain biking trails



Pop the helmet off, remove your sleeves, and shave your head into a mullet. If its hot out one of the best things you can do is stay cool. Water stations are provided at the chair lift so you can keep hydrated and avoid heat exhaustion.



Grab an iced coffee from Lift Coffee and make that wait time melt away. This isn't your pre-mixed, out of a machine coffee. They'll brew you up a fresh shot of espresso poured over ice. The cups are compostable and there are waste stations available but bonus points if you bring your own cup.




Listen, we know it's packed. We know you might be there for 30 minutes. But it should be easy to keep entertained. See how many squid lids (full face with visor removed) you and your buddy can find, winner chooses the trail.



If you know, you know. Whistler's newest riding zone has some of the best trails in the park. The terrain is different, the dirt is lush, and the lines... typically small. The Creek Zone offers up some tasty flow trails and some outstanding tech. You can access the Creekside Gondola from either the Garbonzo Zone or driving/riding to the Creekside Village.



Avoid the lift lines altogether! The park is great, like, REALLY great. But you've only scratched the surface of what Whistler has to offer. Grab the trail bike and go for a pedal. Trails like 'High Side' in Cheakamus, 'Green Monster' in Alpine, and 'Lord of the Squirrels' all offer up something different that can round out your trip. You'll be glad you did.

Whistler mountain biking trails

Regions in Article
Whistler Mountain Bike Park


67 Comments

  • + 101
 8. Take a deep breath and appreciate the fact that you are waiting in line at Whistler. Life doesn't get much better than the terrain that surrounds you!
  • + 11
 If one day I face this problem... Boooy I can die in peace
  • + 19
 I did whistler a few years ago to tick off my bucketlist to ride A-Line. Honestly i will talk about this the rest of my life. I'm only a weekend warrior but god damn hitting a trail with over 40 jumps topping out at 69kph (according to strava) was insane for me
  • + 2
 preach it
  • + 34
 All the park rats are riding A-line and dirt merchant, stay on upper mountain so you can avoid the crazy line at the bottom
  • + 3
 this is the hint!
  • + 6
 Agreed...most of the good trails are up top.
  • + 5
 And sometimes you can grab the gondola up when the chair line is huge, saved me a few times!
  • + 4
 But then how do I ride dirt merchant and a-line? Smile
  • + 2
 End of the day@PeterT:
  • + 12
 Been to whistler twice. Once in late season august/september and once in mid-july.

Kudos to the lift operators for keeping things running smoothly, I never had to wait long.

I've waited longer for shuttles at tracks with barely 50 riders on the trail.

I completely agree with the above suggestions however never personally experienced the extremely long lines people speak of (ie Crankworx)
  • + 1
 So what do you think, early season or late season? just trying to plan ahead.
  • + 8
 @BST33: Late season, September, is cheaper but the risk of rain is much higher...interestingly, Whistler dirt has good grip in rain too, even rocks are not too slippery.
  • + 5
 @BST33:
Duellingbanjos got it. It does rain more, can lead to some trail closures but super grippy.
July was extremely dusty but again still fun. I was there in 2017 July, from memory the longest line was maybe 15 to 20 minutes.
It's not like a Disneyland queue
  • + 2
 @BST33: early mid I would say you can ride till 8 in the evening at least from mid mountain
  • + 4
 @BST33 September, for sure. With school being back in Sept weekdays are nearly empty and, as said, late summer rains really help the trails. There will be more braking bumps after a summer of heavy traffic, but that's probably the only downside to going late season.
  • + 1
 I went the last week of June 2018 and it was perfect. Stupid short lift lines on weekdays, light sprinkle of rain every now and then but never saw a thunderstorm. Almost all of the mountain was open too.
  • + 2
 @BST33: i went early season. Early June and there was still a lot of trails that weren’t open. Probably depends on the winter but i really only got to ride half the trails. They were in great shape tho and lines weren’t bad.
  • + 3
 @BST33: Arrive after the long weekend in September, they generally release a Fall Pass which allows you to ride until the close in October and it's cheaper than a 5 day lift ticket. You will most likely get wet and the park closes at 1700 but start early, finish early.
  • + 1
 I went August 2018, the week after Crankworks - no lines during the week until Friday. Only negative was trail conditions - breakbumps and some maintenance work - but what can they do with all those riders there the week before. Weather was great.
  • + 1
 @BST33: ive been to whistler five year in a row, always 2 last week of July, never seen a rain day, the trail are in excellent condition and not too much people!!
  • + 15
 Go to sunpeaks for the week.
  • - 2
 Big White actually...
  • + 11
 @tiredsoul: you misspelled silverstar
  • + 2
 @tiredsoul: big white sucks
  • + 1
 Sorry, but even though Sunpeaks is beautiful, the park is not even close to being as dialed as Whistler is.
  • + 1
 @rrolly: I have done 8 full seasons in whistler, it’s great but some tracks at sunpeaks are just as good, definitely steeper. If you love technical riding it’s is worth skipping Crankworx and riding there.
  • + 15
 There has to be at least 1 soldier in every country when playing risk
  • + 11
 Just join the single riders line. You can chat to your buddies in the queue and over a beer afterwards, no need to sit on the same chair!
  • + 5
 That or go straight to Garbo and stay
  • + 4
 i find when its really busy the singles line is just as bad because nearly every chair has 4 people on it trying to get up in the most efficient way
  • + 3
 @imho4ep: yup, when it's busy it's a wash. Our group of 3 and another group got in the main line at the same time. They decided to go to the singles, cause they thought it would be faster. I joked with them that we'd see them at the lift. They ended up beating us by 1 chair.
  • + 1
 @krashDH85: Brilliant research. I shall take this info with me in future excursions.
  • + 1
 @mtbmaniatv: because.... Science!
  • + 7
 Fitsimmons is the only zone where there's ever a brutal lift line. Garbanzo & Creekside literally never have lift lines more than 2 mins long.
  • + 6
 Yeah we're in line anyways so why not play a game of Twister...?!
  • + 6
 What do you mean A-line isn't the only trail in the park?!
  • + 2
 What a nice problem to have....meanwhile most of us are sited on a chair in f****** office!!!
Hahahaha... good luck in the line guys!!!
  • + 1
 "We're not sure what Caleb was trying to say here, but social norms should be respected."

Are social norms different in Canadia??? At Mammoth you're lucky to get an awkward stare if you try to talk to ANYONE.
  • + 3
 Any pro tips for staving off heat exhaustion on the creek side gondola?
  • + 1
 The struggle is real! Those things are sweat boxes!
  • + 2
 It's the world biggest mountain bike party. Set that expectation and appreciate that reality. It's Game On, Whistler.
  • + 3
 and most of all coin for beers
  • + 4
 8. Don't go to Whistler.
  • + 6
 This. It's actually really terrible here.
  • + 1
 @onemind123: Oh no, do you think it's too late to cancel my lift pass next week?
  • + 2
 When you need tips on how to survive the lift line, you know you fucked up
  • + 2
 8. Use the sunscreen they have
  • + 1
 Go ride other bc bike parks such as mt washington Excellent riding no lift lines
  • + 2
 8. Loris Vergier Soundboard...
  • + 2
 9. Don't go during Crankworx to ride your bike... Go, a month earlier...
  • + 2
 Bribe lift workers with maple syrup. They honestly never say no.
  • + 1
 Just stay up around Upper freight train. Most of the parkies don’t make it up there.
  • + 1
 creekside and mid mountain for the win
  • + 1
 Skyline at snowshoe. , is hard to beat,
  • + 1
 Skip Crankworx, it's not worth it if you only want to ride.
  • + 0
 Singles line tip - jump over there before groups of 2 riders group up to be 4 riders
  • + 1
 Valley trails FTW. I haven't paid to ride my bike in Whistler yet. Smile
  • + 1
 A real tip is chug electrolytes before you go out and ride.
  • + 1
 Solved: Go to Garbo zone. Stay there all day....or go to Sun Peaks?!!
  • + 0
 Whistler is amazing! I hope get back out there soon !!!!!
  • + 0
 9. It's called a flask!!!
  • + 0
 Go pedal some amazing trails in NELSON!!!!
  • + 0
 Or pedal up ????
  • + 3
 Pedal up.... a bike park? I don't know how it is elsewhere but in whistler, the roads are seriously off limits. They have crew and equipment moving on them constantly, and if they catch you on them there are consequences. It's really a safety thing, not a money grab as some people think
  • + 0
 #8-Go in June
  • + 2
 dude no go in September or October, the lines are short, the dirt sick, and you don't have to fight the sun (the sun usually wins)

Post a Comment



Copyright © 2000 - 2019. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv65 0.052972
Mobile Version of Website