Whistler Mountain Bike Park Report: The Know Before You Go Guide to Opening Day

Jun 27, 2020
by WhistlerMountain BikePark  
Photo by Laurence Crossman-Emms

PRESS RELEASE: Whistler Mountain Bike Park

With the clock winding down on opening day, the Whistler Trail Crew are eagerly anticipating the big reveal.

We’ve waited a little longer to put rubber to dirt this year and we know there are some questions. First off, Whistler Blackcomb has outlined its new COVID-19 Safety Protocols here. Before you head for the hill, you will want to:

1) Pre-purchase your ticket or pass online to save time in socially distanced lineups.

2) Bring your face mask or buff to cover your nose and mouth in lines, on lifts, and in buildings.

3) Prepare to roll without cash, we’re now a debit or credit environment to go touchless.

Photo Laurence Crossman-Emms

A month of wet weather and attention to detail from the one and only trail crew have left us with some clean, tacky berms and both tech and flow as smooth as they will be all season. Hand crews have been working since early May raking, repairing and reshaping our terrain to get it in prime condition—and it is ready.

This is a unique season and we’ve focused our attention on ensuring there is something for every level of rider—but it will look different. You will see riders and staff in masks, we are practicing social distancing and our footprint is somewhat reduced as we ease back into business. Our return to lift-accessed mountain biking is always exciting, but as in any other year we want you to ride like there’s a tomorrow.

Photo by Laurence Crossman-Emms

The park will open with the Fitz and Garbanzo lifts turning. Up in Garbo, the crew dug a heavy spring snowfall, which has largely melted out to leave us with a good complement of trails for day one. The big news in Fitz is the rebuild of Upper Crank It Up we worked on throughout last fall is finally ready for its big reveal. We’ve got some new dirt in there, and it’s riding great, so you’ll want to check it out.

We’re also ready for the inaugural ride of the new Weasel Juice Extension below Una Moss. This was a full season in the making, so we are pretty thrilled you’ll all be in there soon.

Photo Laurence Crossman-Emms

When you arrive, you will notice we have put our attention toward the more commonly ridden trails, and our highest traffic areas. As we move further into British Columbia’s Phase 3 Restart Plan, we do intend to build out a more robust product. For now, let’s ride with every rider in the park in mind and take a moment to reconnect as a community.

WMBP 2017

Regions in Article
Whistler Mountain Bike Park


  • 30 0
 You will notice we have put our attention toward the more commonly ridden trails except A-line, Dirt Merchant and Freight Train because no one likes those.
  • 3 1
 But real talk, are they gunna be open?
  • 2 2
 @mesdan69: yes its a go for monday!
  • 11 11
 Those trails are easily the most expensive for them to prepare, so they're cutting them in order to maximize bottom line. We still pay full price, their cost is smaller, so they make more money (or lose less).

When they see how many people are willing to still buy passes they'll know exactly how little they have to do in future years to maximize returns.
  • 16 2
 @goytay: No, they confirmed no black/double black/pro-line flow trails are opening initially. It's not a cost savings thing it is an injury risk factor thing given health care infrastructure and I'm sure based on their data of injury by trail.
  • 3 0
 @gramboh: exactly, for now the areas where injuries happen most is closed for the time being. They will open them up if people ride responsibly and not over their heads and don't overwhelm the small hospital.

For me I can have tons of fun on the blue trails there next month.
  • 2 0
 @gramboh: where did they confirm that? Or anything about what trails are open? I can't see it any where. All I find is rumours and hear say.
  • 3 0
 @themouse77: check there facebook they said that black tech trails will be open and the jump trails will open a bit later
  • 6 9
 @gramboh: except there is literally not a single person in the hospital for covid. Hmmm
  • 1 1
 @sixohfourx: CONSPIRACY!

Current state isn't relevant.
  • 26 1
 I think the big question we would all like answered is why the pass price INCREASED compared to last year despite the extensive list of drawbacks?
  • 35 1
 Because it's Vail and they suck
  • 5 4
 Yeah this is a real disappointing move. Shorter season and more restricted, lower overhead costs for the resort because they didn't have to pay wages to work on the expensive trails (All the good jump trails take a lot of hours to get the jumps running right), and they're trying to gouge us.
  • 15 60
flag WhistlerMountainBikePark (Jun 27, 2020 at 9:08) (Below Threshold)
 Everyone’s ideal day in the park is different, but our crew is working tirelessly to ensure there is something for every level of rider out there. Operating under our new COVID-19 reality requires resources to sanitize, set up social distancing practices and ensure you are safe. With beginner, intermediate, and advanced terrain open from day 1, we are confident we are providing value. Trail conditions are mint! Hope you can join us on the trails one day soon.
  • 18 0
 YOU GET A BLUE TRAIL! AND YOU GET A BLUE TRAIL!!! EVERYONE GETS FUCKING BLUE TRAILS!!!!! Real stoked to not be anywhere near a vail resort this year xo
  • 7 0
 The hugs and kisses were a nice touch
  • 13 0
 The season pass is $710 and $830 after July 5th ... Open 10-5, 2 m distance so basically only 2 ppl per gondola and apparently only green-blue trails gonna be open.

I guess it is time for me to put a big cassette on my downhill bike lol.
  • 21 2
 It never ceases to amaze me how poorly Whistler (Vale) treats the locals when it comes to the price of a lift ticket (a massive 4% savings for buying a 4 day pass) but can we expect any less when we live so close to a Resort town? They said when Vale bought the Operation, they were going to make it more affordable. What happened?
  • 9 2
 @KnollyBro: They dont care of the customers and the locals. They are a big company and for them we are just a stat that is it. They just want want to minimize the workforce and milk the cow. I will not be surprise if Vail will sell Whistler in 2021.
  • 7 1

Couldn’t have said it better myself. Joke of a company.
  • 10 0
 @KnollyBro: "They said when Vale bought the Operation, they were going to make it more affordable. What happened?"

They lied.
  • 3 0
 @friendlyfoe: It is Marketing !!! Just Bullsh*t with a nice package.
  • 1 1
 @sixohfourx: They generate revenue for shareholders, so as far as that goes they're successful.

As I'm not a shareholder, I do wish they'd treat me better.
  • 2 0
 @dawnchairy: Vail in terms of Whistler specifically is in the fortunate position of (at least during normal times) demand drastically exceeding supply. If the mountain is overcrowded you can't sell more tickets, so you might as well raise prices. This unfortunately means it's largely tourists (especially with the much stronger american dollar) and locals get priced out.
  • 1 0
 @friendlyfoe: least we got dirt merchant upgraded to proline out of the whole vail deal, d1 upgraded and more trails in creekside
  • 1 0
 @tabletop-master-ls: Creekside looks like fun! Really the only issue since Vail bought it is significant price increases.
  • 1 0
 @KnollyBro: To be fair to Vail, season passes are very good value for money compared to day passes in both summer and winter and If your a local you will pretty much definately have a season pass.

So the question is are the overall prices to high? There not ripping off just the locals to be fair, there ripping off everyone and locals for sure have more chance of getting better value out of it as most will ride at least over 50 days.

In saying this I'm talking about a normal season and not this one, it seems unbelievable there still trying to charge as much for a season pass as last year when days and quality is massive reduced.
  • 1 0
 @friendlyfoe: That's the problem with being late to the party.
  • 12 0
 If they actually open crank it up and not a-line in the name of keeping people safe they will be doing the exact opposite. Putting pissed off fast riders that are sick of riding tech all spring on crank it up with a bunch of beginners is about as dumb as it gets. They want to keep people safe and separate, open it all up and spread people out.
  • 14 12
 "Putting pissed off fast riders that are sick of riding tech"

Those riders need to suck it up or not get a pass. Green and blues slower riders have priority. If theyre going to be a dick they can f*ck right off.
  • 11 0
 This article seems rather vague, I guess we’ll find out what’s actually open on Monday but after months of rumours it would have been nice to get some clarity before buying passes. Either way I’m pretty stoked to ride some lift access trails, thanks to the trail builders and all involved making it happen!
  • 3 0
 I cant see them saying what will and wont be open prior to opening day. That would drop sales if the masses weren't happy with the selection of trails open.
  • 11 1
 @Tmackstab:, no Aline or dirt Merchant, the choice to not open them was not entirely W/B decision, things such as the Whistler medical clinic needed to be considered, and the amount of riders on Aline injured, not the riders that belong there, the newbies that read about it wanting to go ride it. Unfortunately those two trails are victims of their success. I’m more concerned with losing crank it up as well, as the Aline crew will head there, and run over the true crank it up riders
  • 9 40
flag WhistlerMountainBikePark (Jun 27, 2020 at 9:10) (Below Threshold)
 We are still working around the clock to finalize our terrain after BC announced this week businesses could start to open. We have trails for all levels—beginner, intermediate and advanced—with a tech focus in the blacks. We will reopen in the spirit of every BC business, easing back into our new reality, as our staff and community learn about our COVID-19 safety protocols. Check out the trails page come Monday to see what’s open and remember to bring your face mask. We hope to see you in the park soon.
  • 13 2
 @TAHW: So I keep hearing the "overwhelm the Whistler medical clinic" angle but this doesn't make any sense beyond a minor reduction in capacity for extra distancing protocols. No one with Covid is spending any time in this clinic, they're either recovering at home or going to a real hospital, so what will overwhelm them? What's the extra work load that I don't get?

genuine question if anybody can shed light on this...
  • 9 3

Working tirelessly, I was up that way and saw people sitting around doing f*ck all for hours on end. Don’t even try to spew this bullshit.
  • 11 0

  • 12 1
 @WhistlerMountainBikePark: I don't believe you are offering value compared to "normal" seasons in your bike park. I believe Vail is charging full price for a lesser product. Probably because of financial loss due to 20% credit given to winter pass holders for next ski season and early closer of the hill. If a company is to offer 15-25% of their normal operations this should be reflected in the price. If a bike mechanic was to do only 75% of the work requested on a bike should he still charge full price? Or better question, is charging full price for 75% of the service the right thing to do?
  • 10 0
 I sure wish Pinkbike would asks Vail some questions on this rather than just post a press release. Would love to know exactly which trails are opening, what the timeline for more trails is, why they aren't opening Creekside...
  • 13 1
 Vote with your wallets folks! Definitely not buying a pass this year. Vail can kick rocks.
  • 9 0
 Well.. 710 CAN dollars for the pass....starting in July.. roughly same price as last year for the full season with all the trails open... will have to know how many trails gonna be open before buying... fair enough he?
  • 20 0
 Goes up to 830$ after July 5th...problem isnt about a shorter season, its always been like this.Price has always been the same if you buy a pass in May or August.

Real problem is : limited trails, weird vibe, but STILL full price despite the decreased in terrain...oh and also cashless is a f*cking joke.Restaurants , grocers and several other business are now taking cash, this isnt a government enforced rule, and they are simply taking advantage of the pandemic to avoid having to go to the banks and deposit the money at the end of the day..

After 20 years of buying seasons passes for both summers and winters, I wanna say, from the bottom of my heart:

f*ck you Vail, you’ve lost one more loyal customer.
  • 2 1
 @neroleeloo: If the money you are offering is legal tender they have to accept it - end of chat. Like a lot of businesses they are hoping that you as the customer cannot be bothered with the additional cash handling measures (oh you want to use cash, let me start to move really slowly whilst saying it really loudly so everyone else in the queue knows that it is YOU that is holding up their shred, I'll have to go and get a trained staff member who has to put on gloves to handle your cash) which take up more of your time (and get the people in the queue behind you foot tapping) and just use a card or NFC payment method.
  • 7 0
 People, empty lines will show them that treating locals like morons won't be tolerated. Full pop for an unknown season is rediculous. I want to ride but they are not even promising a full bike park. Seasons pass ... Ya right if something happens and they close your $ are gone. Just like ski season...
Screw you Vail Resorts...
  • 6 0
 @stormrider99 you are dreaming. The lower mainland is full of riders who only have a DH bike and will pay whatever it takes to ride more trail after a shorter drive than it takes them to get to Silver Star or Sun Peaks. Sure some people will go the Sunshine Coast but they have limited capacity and there is a cost of the ferry. Nope the fee is high, the trails will be busy, the village will be full of tools who don't know what 2 metres or a mask is, the clinic will be slammed dealing with crash test dummies who thought they were more skilled than they are and Vail will give themselves another reach around about a job well done even when they are only excelling at delivering mediocre again. Just like the sun rises in the East every morning it will be another gong show but as I like climbing and have a trail bike it is going to be, as they say: "Not my problem". Of course that it is until the lack of mask and distance discipline means that Whistler becomes the Covid-19 hotspot and community spread hub that leads to another shut down we cannot afford.
  • 1 0
 @andrewbikeguide: Story of my DH life, so mad i can t come back to my french alps, 2 to 4 times cheaper and without bullshit and trashy company like Vail !!!!
  • 7 1
 Sure are a lot of complainers here. Here’s a thought, appreciate what you have here. Best bike park in the world at your finger tips. The staff is working hard to open after (during, actually) a crazy/bizarre year where the resort has surely lost more money than any of us can even imagine.

First world problems. My god.. Think about how lucky you are to have WBP access before you complain, there are a lot of us who it is a 4+ hour drive, a flight, or an international flight that don’t have your opportunity to ride this place regularly, or at all this year.

Covid19 is inconveniencing you, like it is everyone. Call the whaabulance.
  • 3 0
 I live in Whistler, and with no twilight I won't really have a chance to ride. Not to mention how much won't be open / may open - they have really gutted what has been offered in previous years to the point many locals won't be able to justify the cost. Whatever, there are no line-ups to endure on the trails outside the park
  • 8 0
 After reading the comments I'm getting the impression people don't like Vail lol
  • 7 0
 How about opening up Creekside??? Spread the line up crowds out over two areas.
  • 2 0
 Creek side will not open, not enough staff, and the time required to swap over the creek side consolation doesn’t make it feasible
  • 4 0
 @TAHW: That's too bad. I only did a day at the park last year and while there were 60 minute lines at Fitz there were literally zero people over at Creekside. Didn't see a single person on any of the trails on that side. The bored lady working at the bottom said it's like that everyday. Never a lineup, and seems like no interest in those trails. Meanwhile it was downright dangerous to ride A-Line with 300 other people and then wait in line for an hour.
  • 3 1
 @TAHW: so dumb. As if there is a staff shortage. There are so many people to employ they could have their shit figured out and run all lift locations if they didn't care to simply milk the cow. Whistler shot all locals when it comes to winter mountain access with unfathomable prices and their terrain isn't worth the money. Now they're puling the same strings with the bike park.
  • 2 1
 @nevertoofast: Whistlers ski / snowboard terrain is still some of the best lift accessible in North America- sure the alpine took longer to open this season on some days after monster storms( 3 ft plus ) and the weekends are a gong show after January ( no different than most resorts) . As for pricing - a 5 or 10 day edge card works out to 80.00 / day cdn - free early season skiing, and you can cash in Air miles for free tickets as well- but hey i guess no one can match the big mountain experience of Ottawa eh -
  • 1 0
 @regdunlop: lol I guess you shred A-line eh? Whistlers terrain in the winter is alright. Its not worth the money for what a lift day costs since Vail took over. I used to live out west bud...some of us have to support families and pay for adult things like houses and stuff....we move sometimes. When you grow out of the "I clear every jump on A-line" phase you may see life through a different lens . Back to my original point, theyre limiting terrain and the prices are going up.
  • 1 1
 @nevertoofast: nope that wasn’t your point at all - your reply was about staffing. Your point was about winter mountain access - in which i replied is pretty good with examples backing it up. Im more a Comfortably Numb and Danimal kinda guy when i go up to Whistler to bike. but i will say Top of the World is a awesome mountain biking experience.
  • 6 0
 Some more Vail fail action
  • 5 0
 Looking forward to riding the other bike parks BC has to offer!
  • 5 0
 Can I still get drunk and cause mayhem?
  • 3 1
 I with Remy. Lets stay positive, ride where and what you got with more positively that 2021 brings us good health and even better riding! If you dont like what WB is rolling out, just..... stay home.
  • 4 0
 1st time since 2008 that I won't have a seasons pass. Fuck you Vail. Fuck you to hell and back.
  • 3 1
 Man, sounds like a bunch of spoiled kids. Be happy they're trying to open for YOU. Just like every other business in this province.
  • 2 1
 Clever, open green and blue for beginners that leads to fewer safety issues. And whis earns more because they are the bigger consumer group.
  • 7 4
 Thanks for putting more e-bikes into the Sea to Sky corridor, Vail. FU
  • 5 1
 I can hear the E-bike sales going up as I type. Chairlift not needed.
  • 18 15
 Stoked for bikepark season!
  • 2 3
 Thanks Remy finally some positive attitude!!!! I'm stoked too!!
  • 2 1
 Why are people downvoting this, haha. Can’t we have any positivity in 2020?! I also can’t wait to hop in lift line first thing tomorrow morning
  • 6 7
 I wish people here would cut Whistler some slack for the limited trails open. They are doing what they can to make BC Health happy in limiting injuries that might overwhelm the small hospital there and still provide great trails for people to ride. Blues are just fine for now and everyone can still have fun on those. Yes it's unfortunate that not everything is open but I thank Whistler for being cautious and using baby steps to get the hill in operation.
  • 2 0
 Their webcams are down too. So you can't see what the lineups look like. Vail, you suck.
  • 1 0
 People will still all be there anyway, eh! Let's just be happy they are opening at all this year. Hope they don't have to close down again after a week or something.
  • 1 0
 WB posted earlier on FB, green and blue only, now they have posted that there will be black trails open too.
  • 1 0
 Hmmm. Let me get better details from neighbour and see whats actually up.
  • 1 0
 should say 15-25% less of normal operations
  • 1 0
 A cash less society is Bull sh_t
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