Well, there we go...as of this morning, the Whistler Bike Park is officially open for 2011! This marks the 12th year that Whistler has welcomed and supported gravity assisted mountain biking. It was touch and go for a bit leading up to opening day. Having had the biggest dump of snow since '99, the folks at Whistler Bike Park had to go for it to open on time - there was still lots of the white stuff on the ground.
Not only did they get 'er done, they did so in style! The bike park had 10 runs dug out by 3 machines and 8 guys working like crazy. The dirt was surprisingly wicked, except for a few deadly wet and soft sections here and there. So cool to be on my Flatline ripping lap after lap again.
Traction was great and the soil felt like chocolate!
People at the front of line had waited all night to be on the first chair of the year. Crazy! The line at the beginning of the day only went to the end of the first queue and nearly all day the lines were very short, at times almost non-existent.
How cool is it to rock a run and then roll right back onto the lift?
The first few laps I did were with Keith White, the man behind the soundboard for 3 Minute Gaps and Freeride Entertainment (NWD Films). He's a total ripper and we pinned the first 1/2 dozen laps while we had lots of energy.
After a dozen laps my hands, legs and smile were seriously worked. Time to do a few interviews! GoPro's Kris "Jaymo" Jamieson and I were filming for the next "Just the Tip" webisode - always a labour of love!
Throughout the day, I had the pleasure of riding and shooting with a ton of shredders! The Whistler locals came out for the A-line train.
Notable locals ripping it up included Banshee's Trevwah Burke, fellow speedster Ryan De La Rue, Alex Pro, Omar Abdel-Al, Mason Mashon. C4 Rider Training's
Zander Geddes, Lee Jackson, and Jack Iles were also on hand. Everyone was pinning it!
Red Bull's Cody Swansborough was on hand as well as Norco's Sam Dueck and his buddy Taylor Ratzlaff. I even saw one of the 'green guys' from the Vancouver Canucks hockey games rocking a big bike.
It was super cool to have Alex Dove join us to shoot all the stills you see here. I don't know how those camera guys ride with heavy packs loaded with gear. We rode a bunch of A-line, Hornet, B-line, Crank it Up, Heart of Darkness, World Cup Singletrack, Ho Chi Min, Monkey Hands, and the GLC drop. Killer!
It was good to be back! We were on the mountain from 10am - 5pm and it was sweet to shred the park again - it was a long winter. The park is in great shape and they're working hard to make it even better by the minute. Yeah! I feel pretty worked but I'm glad we arrived early and got to rip a full day...y'know what they say, "The early bird gets the BERM"
Stoked to ride all the bike parks in BC? Don't forget to enter the Bike Park BC contest, The Ultimate Summer Of FREE Ride 2011
All photos courtesy of Alex Dove
. Big ups to Rocky Mountain
, Race Face, Roach Clothing
, Camp Of Champions
, Smith Optics
, and Whistler Bike Park
. You guys rule!