Video: Aaron Gwin POV Preview of Mammoth's New DH Trail 'Velociraptor'

Sep 13, 2019
by Mammoth Mountain  
Views: 14,297    Faves: 12    Comments: 2


Velociraptor is now open to the public following a limited inaugural run as the pro DH track during last year's Kamikaze Bike Games.

A purist's DH trail, Velociraptor offers up multiple lines, rewarding commitment with speed with roll-around options through the gnarliest sections. Fresh cut last year, much of the trail sat under 40 feet of snow for a good portion of the winter which compressed the terrain between rock sections. The resulting track provides enough traction and control to balance out Velociraptor's steep, exposed and consequential nature. It's an instant classic.

The trail crew has been hard at work shaping an access trail to Velociraptor. To find it, ride down Skid Marks then head left at the top of Cloud Nine Express (CH 9). Some pedaling is definitely required, but the reward is one the best DH trails in the west.

Here's Aaron Gwin, whose vision was crucial in shaping the trail, getting the goods.



Regions in Article
Mammoth Mountain Bike Park

Trails in Article
Velociraptor Upper

Posted In:
Videos Aaron Gwin



118 Comments

  • 97 2
 to call this a track seems a bit much... I'd get absolutely lost
  • 2 0
 that s what i was thinking
  • 7 0
 Good signposting in bike parks is underrated
  • 13 18
flag bizutch (Sep 13, 2019 at 7:21) (Below Threshold)
 Looks like my idea of a perfect DH track. Full on pinned the whole way down with a few fire roads to get the arms back but open the lungs & legs before the next set of Mach 1 drifts. I should have worked so much harder in my youth to get that private jet.
  • 3 2
 @bizutch: And no huge consequential gap jumps?!
  • 10 1
 For real! I think the conversation went like this "Hey we need a new trail" - "Ok, lets just drag a piece of fence around and see what happens"
  • 1 0
 100% though the bits you can follow look fun!
  • 80 13
 Would be less painful to just cut off our ears with a hot blade.
  • 26 13
 Actually stopped watching as soon as the music started..
  • 18 3
 Says the german?! would you have preferred techno?! ;-P (seriously though, I'm with you on that)
  • 6 5
 @gnarnaimo: same, I can't tolerate that. It's not 1998 anymore producers, please.
  • 36 3
 @gnarnaimo: There is a volume button on your computer that goes to off. Just sayin'.
  • 14 1
 Nothing wrong with the music on my end, seems in line with what most videos use. You would have preferred something you could dance to?
  • 9 3
 Trail and music was sick. Anyone have the name of the track? @MammothMountain
  • 2 6
flag gnarnaimo (Sep 13, 2019 at 9:42) (Below Threshold)
 @merlin33: because watching videos on mute is fun..
  • 11 3
 I liked the music. Smile
  • 10 1
 @gnarnaimo: good god man, don't you have a stereo? play whatever you want while watching.
  • 10 2
 Dear Mammoth Mountain,

Every single video of yours is absolutely over produced and over edited. Who puts music over a POV track preview??!!
  • 1 0
 @BlackVR: Hell yeah, thanks!
  • 36 8
 “but the reward is one the best DH trails in the west.“

I guess Whistler isn’t considered the west...
  • 33 15
 It’s another country dude
  • 16 3
 @tobiusmaximum: sooooo....
  • 3 16
flag bizutch (Sep 13, 2019 at 7:20) (Below Threshold)
 @unrooted: Are you aware Whistler is a place, not a trail?

Well, it's more a state of mind.
  • 4 1
 @tobiusmaximum: For now....
  • 6 2
 @maxyedor: if ya can’t buy Greenland........
  • 3 3
 As far as technical double black DH race trails, the original upper velocity to Chainsmoke gives anything at Whistler a run for it's money. Very different styles though.
  • 4 8
flag unrooted (Sep 13, 2019 at 13:54) (Below Threshold)
 @bizutch: I know that, I live 45 minutes from mammoth, but rarely ride there...because it sucks.
  • 2 3
 I was watching this video seeing how loose it was and thinking, can't wait to read the comments. The Whistler fanboys are going to cry. anything other than packed hero dirt and it sucks. they never let you down.
  • 3 3
 @ranke: I think mammoth blows myself. Cant really see how it's in the same comment section as Whistler. Whistler the place has bigger longer more challenging and interesting riding. Not as much blown out pumice contributing to black lung but they actually get rain.
  • 5 2
 @ranke: hahah so true.

@Cyberhatter: how many times have you ridden both? Have you hit all of the lines at whistler? What about mammoth?

You talk as if you actually are in the know...but I can almost guarantee that you aren’t. “Mammoth blows”...lmao. Insolent little pleb.

Whistler is a lot of fun, and clearly has many bike parks beaten with its jump lines alone...but most parks have their own flavor, and mammoth is a great example of that.

Whistler has a lot of techy fun lines, but inside the park pretty much everything littered with features is also littered with exit support berms etc. You have to go on a limited amount of trails or ride outside the park for anything more natural (creek side is addressing this a bit now). That may be considered superior park design by some, but it’s a bit overly neutered to only have that.

Mammoth’s runs are shorter and jankier, but offer a totally different type of riding. I know I’m not alone in enjoying fast loose jank, and mammoth has a lot of that.

All of the joeys bad mouthing mammoth probably just lost the front end in a corner or two into their first run and wrote the place off.
  • 1 1
 @nvranka: I guess if people have an opinion other than yours they are not in the know? Dicks like you another negative to mammoth. Why are Californians such ass hats.
  • 2 1
 @Cyberhatter: go back and read what you wrote. And no, I don’t believe everyone gets the right to just run their mouth with no consequence.

You shared your baseless opinion and I responded to it with salient points.

Don’t talk shit on bike parks that you can’t even ride.
  • 1 0
 @nvranka:
1. I love the application of the word salient. Excellent.
2. I also love the use of the words ass hats by @Cyberhatter

Keep up the entertainment fellas. Big Grin .
  • 1 0
 @bizutch: happy to be of service. I'm a part time CRE consultant and full time PB goon...sometimes my worlds overlap. Who am I kidding...I am always a goon.
  • 23 1
 SOOOOOOOO glad I live in the PNW with actual dirt.
  • 4 1
 That's how I felt. Poor things.
  • 6 5
 Yep, I live 45 minutes from mammoth and If I had the money I’d fly to eureka, Ashland or Bellingham every weekend...mammoth is the most over rated bike destination I’ve ever ridden...with matching customer service.
  • 1 1
 @unrooted: it’s sad you feel that way. Must not like good fast loose tech.

Any racers or good riders I know love mammoth. No one thinks it has it all, but few places do.
  • 19 1
 That looks like my ideal trail. Lots of tech but still rollable at slower speeds for us humans. AKA, fun on the first lap, but also fun to repeat and refine.
  • 19 4
 Again, proof that PB commentators will whine about everything under the sun. You bitch about music? Why don't you bitch about the fact that Mammoth killed the Kamikaze Games and won't be holding any races for the foreseeable future. Maybe if some of you got off of Pinkbike and signed up for races the amateur DH racing scene wouldn't be in the toilet.
  • 3 10
flag unrooted (Sep 13, 2019 at 13:54) (Below Threshold)
 Maybe because people don’t want to waste their time or money riding at mammoth?
  • 3 1
 Yeah, lame for sure. Putting all effort into summit's 3 trails, Crafts & Cranks / USOpen
  • 1 1
 @unrooted: based on your comments here I very much doubt what you are doing can be considered “riding”.
  • 17 3
 Song name?

I want to torture my enemies with it.
  • 12 0
 Nice walk on the beach.
  • 12 4
 Purist DH is industry code for "trail that will shake loose the fillings in your teeth"
  • 8 0
 It's just generic butt rock everyone. Calm down. At least it's not country.
  • 2 0
 That’s a good point
  • 6 0
 So it turns out despite the Jurassic Park films depiction of 8’tall super smart predators, the Velociraptor was really just a slightly larger chicken with claws with the thinking power of a rock.
  • 10 0
 Clever girl
  • 8 0
 Isn't this just the full velocity track from the late 90's?
  • 4 0
 I think the new part is just the upper section. Some of that mid section looked like technorock.
  • 3 0
 @Eatsdirt: I could be wrong, but I think the track consists of pieces of Pinball, Sunset Strip, Techno Rock and Velocity with a few super gnarly rock gardens that you hardly imagine anyone would ride down.
  • 9 0
 Is he on the moon?
  • 5 1
 I looked down at the 4 minute mark and realized I would've barfed twice by then. That's a long track!

Sidenote: Put some temporary wooden features on the ski slope crossings. That was a long haul across the desert, eh?
  • 2 2
 That seems like the best part. That first tricky section though.... yup, screw that.
  • 5 0
 Love how his voice and explanations on the background were just cut off with music
  • 7 0
 I prefer loam
  • 3 0
 it's why we can still enjoying riding Whistler when it's "blown out" . Riding this kitty litter is quite fun once you comfortable with it.
  • 2 1
 @femto505: but gets quite old really fast...
  • 5 0
 @femto505: Yep. Blown out Whistler the last weekend of crankworx had 100x better conditions than mammoth opening weekend. Still fun though.
  • 2 0
 @unrooted: there he is! Another comment complaining about loose conditions.

Man you sound like such a fairy.
  • 2 0
 it look's so fun... kind of... top to the bottom....this track reminds me for the good old DH stile of tracks...
'nd yep if you change the music, look's more pleasure than stress... Razz
  • 5 0
 Kudos to the trail builders for keeping it almost non existent ...
  • 6 4
 Not too sure, but that looked kinda awful. All I can picture is flat tires and broken collar bones by normal riders. Yes, Aaron Gwin helped and did that demo, but he is a 1%er.
  • 2 1
 That's not a new trail. That's just upper velocity (which is 20 years old). They've just cut out all the hard chutes up top. Here's what it used to be a few years ago.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=pQ2T4AnL12Y&frags=pl%2Cwn
  • 3 0
 Trail sanitation guised as a new trail. Put the thing back in the rocks!
  • 2 0
 He really took off 1/2 way down. Blazing! You can certainly tell when he was riding the new part of the trail, versus the lower half he was familiar with. So fast on the bottom half!
  • 3 2
 Deym.. He made it so easy.. This trail is no joke. Me and my friends run this last month and we finish it all the way down but really slow.lol. Next I can run this like Aaron G..Smile
  • 12 1
 Thanks for showing off America’s education system...
  • 3 1
 @unrooted: Lmao priceless!
  • 1 1
 @unrooted: holy shit you really are everywhere in this comment section.

Must be a really pathetic little cuck irl.

Let’s meet at mammoth sometime and you can show me how gender fluid you are.
  • 1 0
 @nvranka: I think you’re lost, 4chan is two tabs over.
  • 5 1
 So does it actually snow here in the winter? Looks like a desert
  • 9 0
 "trail sat under 40 feet of snow for a good portion of the winter". I'd call that a "yes". 40 feet = 12.2m. Even by alpine standards, that's a lot of snow...
  • 6 0
 Uhh, yeah. I know a few dudes who were skiing there mid-July.
  • 10 0
 Interestingly, Mammoth can be one of the wettest (in terms of total precipitation) in the contiguous US. The catch is, it nearly all falls in the winter as snow in discrete and massive events.
  • 4 0
 @pmhobson: there are thunderstorms at Mammoth all the time in the summer. I believe Mammoth is 2nd in USA for most snowfall BTW.
  • 1 0
 @Rubberelli: Oh word. That makes total sense being up in the mountains. I heard (but have not confirmed) that the ski resorted was founded (or at least sited) by a hydrologist who knew what was up from the get-go.
  • 1 0
 The soil is mostly volcanic pumice...which is a real treat to ride on.../s.
  • 2 0
 I lived in Mammoth winter 04/05 and there like ~600+ inches on the season, homes buried. We saw ~300 inches in about a week. When the storms line up just right in the Pacific and the temps are low it gets pounded as storms basically funnel through a gap in the Sierras and directly hit the mountain. Some amazing terrain, great side country, backcountry riding is good since the snowpack is pretty stable (unlike here in CO). Fun mountain for sure when they get moisture.
  • 2 0
 That season was amazing.
  • 1 0
 @chacou: I think my buddy from Atlanta moved up to Mammoth that year. His first week there he had to dig out out his apartment and stake around his car so his landlord could plow the parking lot w/o destroying cars. Quite the shock to a kid from the southeast.
  • 3 0
 The dust cloud from that run just came over the Northeast coast...no wonder it chilled off last night here.
  • 4 0
 i just bought my mute button a beer.
  • 3 0
 I would get so lost hahaha that trail needs tape !
  • 5 2
 Anyone else wince when that horrible music started?
  • 4 1
 Janky rock and kitty litter. Bless em for trying.
  • 4 2
 Mammoth is a gem of an area. Awesome camping, fishing, bike park and bike trails in one area.
  • 3 1
 ...and hot springs
  • 2 2
 Canada: "what should we name this trail?" Aaaah severed dick!, Panty line!, Jersey Shore!, Roach clip!

USA: "what should we name this trail?" VELOCIRAPTOR!!!!!!! GET IT!? CAUSE THE WORD VELO IS IN THERE! PASS ME A MONSTER!
  • 2 0
 666 feet of descent. Anyone ride this today on Friday the 13th with the full moon? Still in this dimension?
  • 2 1
 Friend: "Did you see that video mammoth posted, super sped up."

Me: "Yeah, whos video?"

Friend: "Idk, Aaron Gwin I think?"

Me: ...
  • 1 0
 This video was posted up before either way I would’ve been lost already hahaha
  • 2 0
 At what point is it not a new trail, when was opened last year?
  • 3 0
 Sand biking.
  • 2 0
 Just in time for the resort to close, good timing Mammoth.
  • 1 0
 Is it called velociraptor because the odds of survival are practically nil?
  • 1 0
 I hope they will tape it for any races... All I can see is huge Frenchlines Big Grin
  • 1 0
 After riding the chunk at China peak. I think I’ll be going there over mammoth from now on. No lift lines
  • 1 0
 The first section is awesome, great steepness to it.
  • 1 0
 Did Gwin get a speeding ticket after that preview?
  • 1 0
 That section between 1:35 and 2:00 is just about perfect for me.
  • 1 1
 I got dust in my butt crack just from watching that video. Holy kitty litter, Batman!
  • 1 0
 Almost a 700ft descent in less than .5 miles. Steeper than it looks.
  • 2 0
 Its VERY steep. It's basically straight down a single black ski run.
  • 1 1
 Expect to see a new Sand Paddle Tire from all major brands coming soon for this one! Not.
  • 2 0
 Looks a tad dry.
  • 1 0
 Nice preview, looks like a cool track
  • 1 1
 Great song choice, finally...
  • 2 2
 Looks like a junk track.
  • 1 3
 Syncline is mo beta , climb for it you shuttle gypsie!
  • 2 0
 You’re high. Syncline is ok but it’s by no means a proper DH trail. They aren’t even on the same planet.
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