The Big White Bike Park

Oct 4, 2016
by bikebigwhite  
Photography Robb Thompson

Big White Ski Resort has officially started constructing a world-class, lift-served mountain bike trail network with 100's of acres of gravity fed trails, terrain parks, pump tracks, and freestyle training facilities. In June, Alpine Bike Parks began trail design and construction started in early August. Alpine brought on local riders Tom and Bas van Steenbergen and started carving out trails for Big White’s master plan developed by Brent Harley and Associates. For 2017, there will be a spectrum of trails for all ability levels, including pro-level trails designed by Tom and Bas.

For over 50 years, Big White has been consistently ranked as Canada's top family ski resort. Located in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley, the resort village is a 45-minute drive from Kelowna, 5 hours from Vancouver and 6 hours from Seattle.

Bike Big White’s goal is to create a unique asylum for the mountain biking community. At full build out, this family-friendly trail network will include more than 30 trails (70% flow and 30% technical) to explore for years to come.

Bike Big White

Working around the clock to build world-class downhill trails before the snow flies, Alpine's team has just scratched the surface of the resort’s wild alpine terrain. Everyone is psyched to make Big White’s ride-in, ride-out alpine trails legendary. The collaboration process between the resort, the builders, and the hometown hero's has created something special that Big White is very proud to release. The bike park opens in the summer of 2017.

 bikebikewhite Photography Robb Thompson

Through the years, I have become an avid gravity mountain biker and often I find my family traveling long distances to ride great trails,” said Big White’s President, Peter Plimmer. “So, I have to say that this project is as much a personal lifestyle decision as it is a business decision. We want to have an awesome place to ride close to home and I believe the personal meaning of this project to our family will differentiate us from other lift-served riding destinations.

Photography Robb Thompson

 bikebikewhite Photography Robb Thompson
Tom and Bas scheme on the optimal line with Alpine's PM Morgan Benbough.

Images for The Big White Bike Park blog.

Dustin Gilding, Alpine's lead trail designer and excavator operator, points out the line to ReBull Media House producer Harrison Mendel. Harrison has brought together an all-star crew to capture the magic up on the mountain this summer. Be on the lookout for some great content dropping in the coming months.

 bikebikewhite Photography Robb Thompson

 bikebikewhite Photography Robb Thompson

Photography Robb Thompson

Images for The Big White Bike Park blog.
It would be an understatement to say that there are BIG things to come from Big White.

Photography Robb Thompson
The dirt at big white is prime right now.

Images for The Big White Bike Park blog.
Photography Robb Thompson
A couple trails on the lower mountain are complete and Tom and Bas took some time out to test ride them...

Photography Robb Thompson
There are multiple lips and wide landings aplenty.

Photography Robb Thompson
Alpine's owner Judd de Vall brought his kids out to test out the trails... 9-year old Anthony Shelly with the big no-footer!

Photography Robb Thompson
Smiles all around from the groms - Big White is Li'l Shredder approved.

Photography Robb Thompson

Images for The Big White Bike Park blog.
Thank you Dustin Gilding for all that you do - Good luck to you and Carson at Rampage in the weeks ahead

Images for The Big White Bike Park blog.

Images for The Big White Bike Park blog.
Up and comer Kelowna rider Ben Schleith... Thanks for your shovelling and filming.

Images for The Big White Bike Park blog.
#lightbro
Images for The Big White Bike Park blog.
Canada, Eh!

Images for The Big White Bike Park blog.
Thank you to the awesome crew. We could never have planned for this and we are so proud to have been able to get this park off to such a great start!

Big White mountain biking trails


Big White Resort has some exciting collaborations and projects in the works with trendsetting riders, builders, and bike industry companies,” adds Plimmer. “We look forward to sharing our story with you as we undertake and continue this exciting and creative process.”

For more information visit bikebigwhite.com


MENTIONS: @tomvansteenbergen / @Basvansteenbergen / @bikebigwhite / @robb / @Alpine-Bike-Parks / @hmendel




69 Comments

  • + 53
 The most imaginative trail names I've ever seen. Aline, Dirt Merchant, Red Dragon, all ain't got nothing on Trail C
  • + 18
 True. But this is a resort starting from ground zero. Names will come with time.
  • + 17
 We're working on it! Big Grin I was uploading these trails yesterday when I realized while they were being built we actually only reference them by numbers!. Stay tuned they'll be named before next summer.
  • + 15
 I couldn't help but to read "unique asylum" and "psyched" and "spectrum" in the description. I think we have some trail names right there. And this will be rad!
  • + 13
 @drumnbike: +1 For Unique Asylum! Love that name!
  • + 4
 Yeah I figured they'll get names later. The park looks awesome!
  • + 6
 @GreaterShadow: loving the fact that there is much green and blue planned.

As the years go on for many of us experienced riders; we find ourselves riding with family, wives, uncles and dads looking to stay in shape. The blues and greens can be a riot, manualling, and popping all over the place while the noobs turn their knuckles white.

Looking forward to it.
  • + 3
 Every season pass sold comes with a complimentary gift bag consisting of a flat-brim hat, a pair of white frame sunglasses and a key lanyard!
  • + 2
 @gonecoastal: :'D You might be on to something!!
  • + 49
 Should call it Big brown in the summer
  • + 15
 I aways think that commuter lanes that they call greenways in Vancouver should have jump/pumptrack options on the side called brownways.
  • + 9
 @drumnbike: that is genius. You should be on council
  • + 3
 I would do it for free!
  • + 21
 Alberta needs bike parks!!!!!!
  • + 8
 COP could start it off by showing their bike park a little love...
  • + 7
 Alberta is 90% flat with most of the good mountains locked in the Parks.
  • + 12
 Yes!! Why can't they do this at Nakiska?? It's not part of Banff National park I believe.
  • + 9
 @spinto21: Nakiska has perfect pitch/lifts/dirt and plenty of treed areas and proximity to population base. Years ago when they held a cc race you could see the potential. Sadly the not in my backyard narrow minded so called "environmentalists"( just people that don't ride and want the mountains for themselves as their personal refuge as opposed to a place for people to promote healthy pursuits and an appreciation of the area). It's a "park" not a refuge and a provincial park at that. There is a place for everything and that would be a small piece of the total park area as well as help a struggling ski area
  • + 4
 @won-sean-animal-chin: And here I thought BC environmentalists were tougher to pass things by than the oil producing Alberta ones. Too bad.. Nakiska is great location and would be a huge success.
  • + 2
 @spinto21: I used the term "environmentalist" very loosely. I think a lot of us are real ones. There needs to be a balance. They take the cake there. A lot of them actually live in Banff at the same time preaching restrictions. Bc has a nice balance in its provincial parks. Quite a few are supportive of cycling and some are in place for cycling. I've had a lot of great years riding k country. It used to be the talk of the mtb world and it still stacks up to bc and it's backcountry epics. A bike park on par with those k country epics is what it needs. Maybe moose needs a lift and park status too while we're at it
  • + 16
 70% flow and 30% technical. Too bad they have that backwards right from the start. Still exciting to hear there will be more lift access biking. Hopefully they scratch in some of those tech lines for next summer.
  • + 12
 They got to give the market what it wants...
  • + 16
 if the flow trails are designed by bas then i'm 100% cool with that but yea get some more tech made next year.
  • + 19
 Let's hope for flow that actually flooooooooows...using terrain to bleed speed vs. brakes to help keep brake bumps to a minimum. CGP has done this perfectly. Lots of fast tech would be deadly too!
  • + 6
 @stormrider99: CGP has done an amazing job at this very thing. DEFINITELY high on the priority list!
  • + 13
 @plyawn: This seems to be true. Blue flow trails seem to attract the masses that rent bikes and gear as well as pay for lessons. Double black flow is really hard to get right but they have the right guys on the program.

What doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me though, is why is North Van, Squamish, Whistler (outside the park) and Pemberton so highly revered for their trails when only recently there's one or two flow trails in each location if you're lucky, with the rest being highly technical? Obviously people really do love technical trails. Not sure why this gets turned on its head for bike parks, although it does explain why DH bikes are a dying breed. I've been thinking of ditching mine lately, as I'd rather ride tech and you generally have to pedal to get that these days, unless you're into riding OS and In Deep for the 1,897th time. It makes me sad that in 13 years of garbo we have no more singletrack than we had when it opened. If anything we got less when the snowmaking for the olympics killed the original No Joke.

But as you suggest, what the majority wants, is what the minority has to suck on too, and these days what we get is not what comes to my mind when I think of smashing shit on a DH bike. How's that for an old man rant about the good old days? Smile
  • + 5
 @kram: flow trails cost big money man. Tons of machinework, tons of labour for upkeep. The trail networks are run by volunteers and small time trail organizations. It's actually really incredible what they have accomplished.

How much work do you think goes into maintaining Half Nelson alone?
  • + 2
 We'll be working on it! Personally I love tech trails as most of my riding has been self propelled and not relying on shuttling or lifts! We've got a lot of terrain to cover and lots to work with!
  • + 4
 @xTwoSnakesx is kinda on to something. Most the trails I ride are tech single track cuz they are easy to build and maintain. don't get me wrong they are super fun but I love getting to places like whistler and just railing berms and smashing jumps because its sooo hard to make trails like that without a lot of man power. If you live in places like whistler I could see it maybe getting boring but for most people that only get to ride that stuff a few times a year its killer!
  • + 2
 @kram: there are a few good places for tech though - SunPeaks is definitely less flowy than somewhere like SStar, and Golden (due to a lack of actual, ya know, dirt) is all pretty techie (despite their best efforts). I'm in Calgary and (again due to lack of actual dirt) most of the DH-oriented tracks we shuttle are more technical than flow.

It's a tough choice - as I get older I can have flow with the odd big crash or tech with lots of little ones...
  • + 1
 @xTwoSnakesx: and @nismo325
You've actually raised a point I often make myself and fits nicely into this discussion. Bike parks spend shitloads of time and money on not only building flow trails, but maintaining them as well. And let's not get started on woodwork (which thankfully is no longer as popular as it once was). You'd think they could scratch a line or 3 in up in garbo once every decade or so, but no; they spend countless dollars and hours building and then maintaining machine built stuff. There's absolutely a contingent of riders that love tech, yet Whistler is a prime example of failing in that department. They wonder why rogue trails like Dark Crystal happen and are wildly popular, yet they are too busy providing for blue flow riders. It's their choice of course, and it's not like the park isn't popular. But there's a lot of folks like me that don't go hardly at all any longer as tech has be relegated to the back of the bus. Sure, Canadian Open section was a welcome addition, but we are talking about 300m here. They are for sure losing local business as many people I know are done with the park on account of the lack of singletrack development, which as you point out is cheaper to build and easier to maintain. Shit, let a few guys each year scratch a line in for free.

As for Half Nelson, it serves a great purpose for keeping the masses off the mountain bike trails, for which I'm grateful. Couldn't care less if I ever rode it again personally, but that's the thing about opinions... I'm sure you don't care too much about mine.
@plyawn Golden for me provides another good example of wasted time, money and effort. Building ridiculous woodwork and jumps that don't work. The only thing worth riding there is the race course and it's world class. (Or Terminator Ridge out of bounds) Too bad they didn't put half the time and money spent on the wood right beside it and knock out another 3 race course style trails and have one of the best parks going. At least the best race course in the world is on the other side of the valley.
  • + 1
 @kram: Riders in North Van are a different breed!

We see the tension between those that want to attract new people to the sport with green trails and catering to experienced riders with black trails. But if you go for ride with NSRide you will see mums and kids riding the scariest, blackest trails with matching pink Walmart pads on crappy bikes. They are nuts!

Man, I miss Van...
  • + 3
 can't we have trails that are both flowy and technical?
  • + 1
 @rifu: Are you asking for a single run that's flow and tech? or are you asking if both can be built?
  • + 1
 @rifu: Yup, it's called Schleyer.
  • + 6
 This project has been a great collaboration between a lot of passionate people and we look forward to building new exciting trails out @bikebigwhite in the years to come. Theres some great ideas on the table for the future so be sure to keep your eyes peeled everyone!
  • + 8
 That's the biggest no footer I've ever seen! Basically doing the splits mid air!!
  • + 6
 Man if they get trails going down the Gem Lake Express chair... they'd be so long and the terrain is so diverse. I have high hoped for this park.
  • + 6
 This is cool, Big Name resorts can't turn their back on the revenue and the atmosphere our sport provides! The sport is getting legit
  • + 3
 Thank you Team Big White for giving our team so much freedom to bring our building and riding community together and make magic happen at your resort.

The terrain on the mountain is awesome. We just started a tech trail designed by dustin, tom, and bas that will become a "van Steenbergen" signature trail from top to bottom of the mountain.

We are proud to be working with you and looking forward to burning as much diesel as possible until we get snowed out!

????????✊????????
  • + 3
 @jcup You're welcome! It's hard to be caught in between wanting it to snow and wanting it to stay clear so we can build!! Smile Well regardless we'll be continuing next summer!
  • + 1
 @bikebigwhite: what will be your dates for operation?
may till oct?
  • + 1
 @stacykohut: Snow won't be gone in May... We are looking for an opening date of Saturday June 24th. Closing dates aren't finalized but I would suggest for the first year it will be the last weekend of school holidays. This gives us some time in the shoulder season to focus on continuing to build.
  • + 5
 Seeing pictures of groms hitting big jumps with style makes me feel really bad about my riding skills.
  • + 6
 Big white, silver star, sun peaks...oh my!
  • + 2
 Right? My first though was that this gives me a reason to make the long trek out to SS again next summer. Having two parks to ride in one weekend totally works for me!
  • + 1
 the name " big white park" sounds more like average length , you have to brag to hide something, girls might same ohh its cute, not the same when its cold, ect..... BUT if it was named " the big black stallion bike park" more girls will be interested, no introduction needed, its business time
  • + 3
 Sweet! So stoked to add this to my biking vacation spots. Keep it up Big White!
  • + 3
 Sorry silverstar but big white has my vote this year
  • + 2
 Looks like a good mix of trail types and difficulty ratings. Looking forward to trying this out!
  • + 2
 Damn....and I just moved away from Kelowna.
  • + 3
 It's about FU**ING TIME!
  • + 1
 anyone know the green and blue "grom" bike? i know the other is a lil' shredder.
  • + 2
 www.spawncycles.com
  • + 2
 need more pro trails Frown
  • + 1
 They'll come... Big Grin
  • + 1
 what's the airbag for? practicing tricks? any pics?
  • + 4
 The airbag is part of our future plans, won't be available during the 2017 season. We'll be updating this release to reflect this.
  • + 2
 BC does it best!
  • + 1
 I can hardly wait to go check it out.
  • + 1
 Looks great
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