Whistler Bike Park: Dual Diligence - Park Report

May 7, 2017
by WhistlerMountain BikePark  
Can you think of anyone you know who intentionally sabotages their own workplace half of the year? Well, I can. Take my Trail Crew Supervisor Pat Labrosse for instance. Pat works six months of the year as a Snowmaking Supervisor, diligently turning millions of gallons of reservoir water into a thick blanket of snow for the skiing masses to enjoy. In the world of ski area operations, the white line rules all. No one buys a lift ticket with the intent of downloading on the chair at the end of the day (even in May). Even if everyone did intend to ride the lift back down, the capacity for downloading couldn’t possibly meet the demand, hence the painful lineup to go home at the top of the commuter lifts in early/late season. This is where the Guns and Hoses gang come to save the day, zipping around the mountain powering up and down the fleet of snowmaking machines as they chase the freezing level up and down the hills, birthing the white whales the groomers will connect together to lock in our ski outs.


In order to ensure we have this highway from the alpine until the ski crowds dissipate sometime after Easter, Pat and his band produce ample product. The problem, I’m sure you can now see, is snow guns don’t discriminate on what they cover and will happily belch out snow-road building schmoo all over everything if given the chance. Add Mother Nature’s flakes and a long cold winter and we have ourselves some chest deep, compacted snowcrete to remove if we want to see the bike trails that went into hibernation last October. Pat is one of the first guys to start up the Bike Park for the season and he literally hangs up his snowmaking toque and replaces it with his Trail Crew hat the next week. Pat goes from building the white line to removing it a week later. Fortunately for all of us, Pat (who is a big intimidating guy) has a great sense of humor and appreciates the irony of his careers.

Pat and the boys have been in for a couple of weeks now and the report is that despite a large volume of snow, the uncapping of trails is moving along nicely. We are throwing all of our resources at the task with an unprecedented four excavators digging out the freeride trails and a team working its way around the single track labyrinth assessing which ones will yield to the shovel and which ones need a few more days/weeks to turn isothermal. It is early to say which trails will be ready for the opening but I am confident we will have more open on May 19th than we do right now. There will likely be some snow walls on the sides of some trails, (especially where they are near snowmaking pipelines) but that just adds to the opening week vibe.

May 5 2017
Photo by: Pat Labrosse

We will be hosting a public dig day on Saturday, May 13th for anyone who wants to come out and pitch in to get the trails cleared for the opening. We have not done this since 2011, the last time Spring lost its passport and got stuck at the border. If that is something you might like to participate in please see more on the Facebook event page. Only fourteen more sleeps (at the time of writing) and we will be back at it. Thanks again to Pat and his teams for always being one step ahead of us so we have a smooth ride, no matter what season it is.

See you in fourteen…
– Brian Finestone, Bike Park Manager

Planning on Riding More Than Five Days This Season?
Now is the best time to buy your ticket to a sleepless summer, with Early Bird rates and bonus offers on until May 21. A 5 Day Pass is $269, which works out to just $54 a day. If you want to ride more than that, we have 10 Day, Unlimited and other passes that will keep you rolling.

Get Your Pass Here.

#RideNowSleepLater
WMBP 2017



105 Comments

  • 37 1
 I'm not even going this year and I'm excited
  • 60 43
 A 5 Day Pass is $269, which works out to just $54 a day. LOL that's still unbelievably expensive.
  • 58 1
 Or if you're from USA, with the exchange rate, it's $38/day. Easier for the wallet to tolerate.
  • 104 1
 If you think that's expensive try skiing there!
  • 6 4
 STOP
  • 98 0
 hammer time ?
  • 16 4
 We answer to the Vail shareholders now...Whistler doesn't cater to locals, they want all the USD they can get.
  • 31 1
 @vw4ever: Snowshoe on the East Coast also charges $38 a day for a lift ticket. I believe the high $30 Mark is about standard at a downhill park for a lift ride. I can't think of anything else I could take two $20 bills and spend it on and have more fun. Well at least that is legal.
  • 4 0
 Or buy a season pass.... Which they obviously want you to do
  • 43 2
 The lift ticket is easily the least expensive part of any trip to Whistler. $54 is cheap!
  • 11 1
 @ertman: i agree with the first sentence.
  • 24 8
 Expensive? How so? Do you have any clue how much time , money and man hours it cost to get Whistler to the legendary status it is today? Do you know how much operating and insurance costs? That is an incredible deal. If it was $25, Whistler wouldn't be anything it is now.
  • 22 1
 Compared to any other bike park in north america, thats reasonable. It whistler! The best bike park in the world. Totally worth it.
  • 59 4
 You can pedal up and ride down trails all day long in Whistler for free. You can sleep in your car/van for free. You can buy groceries and beer for a few bucks a day at the store and enjoy at the trailhead after the ride. Spending big bucks to ride your bike is a choice not mandatory.
  • 14 0
 Prices in Canada would be a wake up call for you then. Skiing a day is over 100... Considering the park is open 10am-8pm in June-August its an awesome deal with the amount of riding you can pack into a day.
  • 14 1
 Was there last year, worth every damn penny. I mean so many superbly shaped trails, almost 10km from top to bottom, this massive infrastructure and so many people working there... think about it.
Todtnau costs you 40 euros ten rides. Lenzerheide 44 swiss franks for 3 medium nice trails/day.. that's expensive. Of course portes du soleil is around 27 euros a day which is supernice for one of the biggest bike areas in the world.
But still, when they understand to shape trails here in europe like in whistler, I am willing to pay more.
  • 3 0
 54 canadian dollars are by the way just 36€ or 39,5USD. The exchange rate for canadian dollars is quite good. It's not that pricey if you think about it.
  • 9 0
 Its about the same as the cost of most UK uplifts give or take, ie. £30-35 a day. Now there is no way I would knock a single UK uplift and the effort that goes into making a small hillside rideable, but given the choice, I think we all know where we would rather be Wink
  • 2 1
 @slayerdegnar: right on man. The price seems high until you actually shop around. The local hill here charges 45 for a day pass, and all its runs combined probably wouldn't make the length of a single Whistler run.
  • 8 11
 Just really bored by all the crybaby price complaining.
  • 9 2
 Also, if you're complaining about the 54 you've probably never been there.
  • 13 4
 54 bucks is an absolute bargin when you see what you get as a product. best bike park in the world is in whistler and its still dirt cheap. cheap, cheap.
  • 3 2
 $54 a day to ride the best park in the world. And mid summer they stay open until 8pm...
  • 3 1
 40 USD is around MYR180 in Malaysia. Minimum wage is MYR900/month. Average Mcdonald salary is RM8/hour. Lol
  • 7 0
 I've pretty much stopped skiing there at $145 a day. Bike park seems like a way better deal, longer days and warm weather. Skiing is dead to me there.
  • 3 1
 mammoth is about the same and whistler is in another league... We pay so much more during the ski season, i guess that's why the bike park seems cheap.
  • 6 4
 Yeah, you're absolutely right. Way too expensive. It may be the best bike park in the world by a few orders of magnitude, but way too costly. Best for you to stay away.
  • 1 0
 buy the 5 day pass before may 21 and they give you a free day. brings the price down to 44.
  • 1 1
 @ilovedust: said it for me ;-)
  • 1 0
 @ertman: Nailed it
  • 4 0
 @Fufi7: You should come over to Chatel bikepark this summer! We do regular maintenance on our trails all season long. Plus we have revamped a bunch of our trails for this year. Nico Vink and Gaeten Rey have also added their touch to the bikepark. Worth checking out for the low price of €27 per day Wink that includes the rest of the Portes du Soleil and NOT just Chatel by the way!
  • 1 0
 @vikb: well said
  • 1 0
 @SintraFreeride:
Thx for the reply ???? I know i am there every year... it is one of my favourites in europe ???? live just 3 h away
  • 2 1
 Haha $54 is not expensive! You just need a thicker wallet...
  • 4 0
 @SintraFreeride: hmm, the ported de soleil region has so much potential ...been there about a dozen times now...but I must say, 90% of the trails had the shit kicked out of them...loads of erosion, little to no trail maintenance ...blessed to call whistler my home town... besides the obvious design of the trails, what really sets whistler apart and what is well worth the extra $$ is the huge amount of trail maintenance that goes on daily ...I still come and visit your gorgeous alps, but I try to find some of the lessser known alpine trails that see less traffic and are not pounded to death with little maintenance
  • 3 0
 54 dollars a day to ride the best trails in the world is not that bad. I gladly pay that every year I go plus all that goes along with it. Which my trip every year I go usually works out to be abt 1000-1200 usd by the time I pay for air line ticket,get my bike there, condo for a week, food, and my lift tickets. And with all that I get a week of vacation riding the best trails in the world at a cost of what some crazy rich people spend on a glass of wine.
  • 1 1
 @ertman: very true,eating a burger and a few beers every night easily cost twice that. And wtf whistler why can't you have a good selection of beer
  • 2 0
 @bman33: only people that have actually been there shoveling dirt building incredible lines in remote locations understands what goes into make these kinds of things possible
  • 2 0
 I'd be more than happy to pay $54 day to ride Whistler. We've got nothing even CLOSE to that here and 50 bucks normally gets you a shuttle ride in a troopy with 6 other mingin' ball sacks...
  • 1 0
 @ilovedust: I do knock em. Bastards need to work harder. Till I've got a Whistler in the nantlle valley they cant do enough
  • 3 0
 Come to Utah, you can ride shit trails all day long(till 5pm) at deer valley for $45!
  • 1 0
 @wheeled no its not. Tahoe vail resorts charge $125 a day for skiing...
  • 1 16
flag billreilly (May 7, 2017 at 18:08) (Below Threshold)
 @vikb:

The idea of a bike park doesn't interest me in the slightest!... I've never paid to ride a trail anywhere and I have no intention of ever paying to ride my bike... I guess I'm lucky that there are tons of free open trails where I live so I just go out and ride.

I've also never taken a lift to the top of a mountain, either, that's for fat wannabees... If you don't ride to the top you don't deserve the pleasure of barrelling down to the bottom!
  • 3 0
 @billreilly: you don't pay to ride the park only for the uplift
  • 3 0
 @billreilly: Glad you're not an elitist, pfft.

I too rarely pay to get to the top of the hill but sometimes it's fantastic and a great way to get your groove on.
  • 3 0
 @billreilly: So are you calling all DH pros 'fat wannabees'? I am sure each World Cup DH pro could out ride you on department store bike. I am a 'fat wannabee' and will gladly challenge you to keep up with me both up and down a hill
  • 3 0
 Should come to australia - Buller only has about 4 'dh' trails and thats $60 a day.
And that only runs for 2 weeks of the year.
  • 2 0
 £35 for the gondola at fort William, 10.15am-3.45pm, one DH track and a red trail.
  • 1 1
 @sevensixtwo: "STOP" .... in the name of love?
  • 1 0
 @Fufi7: Todtnau 40€? holy shit man, wanted to try it but not sure now...i'll stick with beerfelden for a few more times i guess (17€ tageskarte)
  • 1 0
 @poah: @poah: yeah but WHAT A TRACK, right?
  • 1 0
 @chantalfelten: I don't doubt Whistler's quality trails but just wanted to remind others that Chatel is the exception in the Portes du Soleil. We works around the clock to keep our trails in the best shape possible through out the season.
  • 1 0
 worth every penny. places by me no where near as good as whistler trying to charge $50+ a day to ride.
  • 4 2
 Whistler is unique and the best OK but some Bikepark s in Italy cost 7.50 Euro a day if you pay 16 Euro you can ride 3 Bikepark in the same day places so beautiful like Monte Moro Frabosa where they gone do the first round of Gravitalia race. There is only one slow lift but the trails are so well done and Cuneo mountains are so beautiful. Big Bikepark s live Mottolino with tons 9f trails cost only around 25 euro a day. Port de Soleil Bikepark s you pay around 25-28 Euro you can ride the best Bikeparks of Suiss and France. OK Whistler is Whitaker but 50 bucks for lift day for me is expensive. Overrated due to the fact that anyone wants to go to Whistler. My friend that went many times to Whistler was complaining about how expensive the day pass is and the fact that there are not many more Bikeparks near Whistler. Whistler is a very expensive trip for Brazilians, you need to pay for the stupid Visa that are dinied to people with money and are been accepted for persons without money and even criminal records. I recommend everyone that dreams to ride Whistler to give a try to Euripuan Bikeparks and Gondolas that are growing bigger and Bigger every year. Look at Mottolino Bikepark in that amazing Livigno city. Fast lift, no lines to wait, tons of trails for DH race, Slopestyle, jumps and parabolic also wooden stuff, the city is tax free so bike products are cheaper, you can find room to sleep in the same block of the lift for around 20 Euro a day, food is the best in the world and now new trails in the Carrosello 3000...
  • 4 1
 @StanMarsh: Dude, get over it. An Epic pass is less than $900 for a season pass to every Vail resort in NA, as well free/cheap days in Europe and Japan with Vail-affiliates.

The Epic pass works for both one summer and one winter, so the only other thing you need to do is buy a bike haul - I don't know anywhere that is more wallet friendly for locals, tbh. I'm not going to pretend like Vail cares for its locals, because the bottom line is just that - the bottom line. But for instance, my home hill is over $1k for a single 4-lift mountain, Aspen is more expensive for only 3 mountains, Jackson is even more expensive. Oh, and none of these other places offer merchant passes that make getting on the hill easier for the people who live in the area but don't work for the mountain itself.

And for you to imply that Whistler was some Ma & Pa operation, or somehow not insanely expensive before Vail bought it is ignorant.
  • 1 1
 That's fucking dirt cheap. Wait til Vail buys up all the resorts it will be three times that much
  • 1 0
 @properp: yea sounds like a steal. Fork over 2 twenties, get $2 back and ride all day
  • 1 0
 @aspendlove: and don't forget they are maintained all season long lmao
  • 1 0
 @Monarch87: That's right. especially if you consider that a daily in Leogang is 38€ ( 57 cad or 41 usd).

And there you can hit only 4 tracks....
  • 1 0
 @poah: don't even talk about bike rental....... six yers ago was 100£ a day....
  • 1 4
 @n3sta: Ignorant LOL, go watch the 50th anniversary documentary, Whistler was built by passionate "ma and pa" type people. This place was a laid back hippie town all about the skiing before the massive hotel chains and corporations moved in. And the epic pass isn't that great when you see all the discounts and perks of the old season pass are not included with the epic pass.
  • 1 3
 @n3sta: And saying all I have to do is buy a bike haul is just so LOL, why would I want to travel to the USA (where my canadian dollars have no value) to ride bikes at some resorts far worse than Whistler, when I can stay here in the sea-to-sky instead. Are food, lodging and gas included with the epic pass?
  • 1 2
 @StanMarsh: 50th anniversary? Really? 99% of ALL ski towns were mom and pop back then. Whistler MTB park as we know it is s modern (last 15 years or so) creation. You are welcome to move to Amish country in Pennsylvania if you hate modern life
  • 2 1
 If you think a lift ticket is too expensive or you're too cheap to pay for it just shut your mouth and pedal your bike up the hill then problem solved you'll be richer and stronger for it. Enjoy your climb and your fat wallet. You know you want the fat thing it's the big Trend right now.
  • 1 2
 @bman33: you obviously are not familiar with the Okanagan ski and bike resorts. far from amish my friend. revelstoke, nelson, and trail, bc still do it right!
  • 2 2
 @StanMarsh: so you are saying Whistler "doesn't do it right"? Tell how much Whistler should cost? Free? $20? Nothing against any of those other resorts (BC is just a region, not a resort). However, they all pale in scope and size of Whistler (again, BC being a region, not a resort). Whistler is considered the benchmark for lift assisted bike parks (not backwoods XC trail riding). Sounds like you just despise it because it's popular. Well, as @properp says above, have fun pedaling up and saving money. A bike park the quality of Whistler isn't cheap to build and maintain. "Mom and Pop" may have started it back before computers, cells phones and modern mountain bikes. However, this is 2017 and not a single mom & pop set up can make a bike park with the same quality and charge $20 (or whatever) cheap skate price you feel is 'fair'.
  • 4 0
 Im saying the old season pass, that gave locals discounts at shops and restaurants around the village was better than the shitty vail epic pass. Im saying Whistler was better off before vail came in and fired many local management at WB, replacing them with their American staff, who have no vested interested in the local community. Please don't put words in my mouth i never said the price is too high and never said it should be $20.

And yes it is possible, Revelstoke is a world class resort and they managed that without selling out to massive corporations who put profit before biking/skiing
  • 1 1
 @StanMarsh: I live in Colorado, no love for Vail resorts on my end either​. That said, Whistler hadn't been a small "hippie" village in many years. Shit changes, it does blow. But it is what it is
  • 2 0
 @properp: haha made my day thanks for the laughs
  • 1 0
 @bman33: I think you may have misunderstood my post. I totally support a 40 $50 lift ticket. I'm a trail Builder I understand how much blood sweat and work goes into building a single mile of trail let alone maintaining a whole bike park for others pleasure
  • 2 0
 @properp: I was totally supporting you on calling him out for being cheap.
  • 2 0
 @bman33: right on my bad
  • 1 1
 @properp: I didnt mention the price of a lift ticket in a single comment but ok call me cheap lol. My issue is with Vail not with the cost of a day ticket. (as a BP vollie I get a free season pass btw) You guys kept spouting out $20, $50, free but what do I expect debating americans.
  • 1 0
 @StanMarsh: ahh, it's American​ vs. Canadians in your eyes? Classy. And I thought stereotypes were a bad thing. Couldn't be just 3 clowns like us debating on a first world website about our blessed lives and first world problems. So blessed we are all debating resort details. Neither I nor properp talked down about Canada or Canadians. But you use ""...Debating American​s.". Got it. All us Americans are identical so I suppose you can use your lame elitist analogy.


That said, you didn't mention specific light prices , but you did mention "discounts and perks" so we are in the same ballpark.
  • 1 0
 @ertman: no kidding! add on hotel, meals, booze, spare parts and fixes and you'll probably decide *now* is a good time to buy a new DH bike or upgrade some parts...
  • 1 1
 Thats right it is expensive, stay away, it is not worth it!!!
  • 1 1
 absolutely right dude

@stacykohut:
  • 7 0
 People complaining about the price being steep need to take a good look at what you get for your money and then compare to other bike parks. I think it's pretty reasonable and no I am not a dentist.
  • 12 5
 Make your town work weekends to support tourism. Then hold a volunteered day for tourism on the weekends in which everyone is already working. Good work! Rolleyes
  • 18 4
 A for-profit entity is asking for free (volunteer) labour. That's a bit much.
  • 31 0
 @DMal: facebook event page says you get a burger, a beer and a day pass to the bike park, pretty good deal if you ask me
  • 8 0
 @zholmes: Yeah that's pretty decent.I didn't see that.
  • 1 0
 @samoooli: in the article, towards the end (I know, I know, TL;DR)
  • 8 0
 Booked my second Whistler trip for September Big Grin . Anyone know when the bike park's fall pass usually goes on sale?
  • 4 0
 Labour day weekend.
  • 7 1
 If you give volunteers a free pass, I'm flying from Europe for it...just saying
  • 2 1
 you need to have a look at the cost of airfare man. your bike is going to cost more than a day pass to get to whistler
  • 5 0
 first WORCA trail sweep day on the year in on Saturday May 13, come and help the true volunteers in this town clear our awesome FREE valley trail network
  • 3 0
 I want to know when summer bike park passes will be shared at the other bike parks owned by vail
  • 1 0
 $10.00 Surcharge on 29er's to help improve drainage on Dirt Merchant and to build wooden structures seems more then fair. Glad to see the bike park taking protective measures to improve the sport.
  • 1 0
 It's worth the money, I have done 3 trips to whistler, first was for 3 weeks, 2nd 9 weeks and the 3rd 4 weeks, I will go back again for sure.
  • 3 1
 It's happening!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • 2 1
 Wish i could be there for the dig day, but other things have conspired against me.
  • 2 0
 YOLO!, Whistler trip this season YEWWWWWWWWW!!!!
  • 5 3
 Aline!!!!!!!
  • 2 1
 Seems pricey in either cad or usd. Market driven I guess.
  • 1 0
 Shame on everyone for getting anywhere near work buzzwords
  • 1 0
 Dear Whistler, Your are awesome! Sincerely, Disgruntled northstar rider.
  • 1 0
 Vail is $200 a day to ski
  • 1 0
 $10.00
  • 1 3
 "14 more sleeps left"...im guessing this means volunteers get a free place to stay for the night?
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