Photo Epic: WHISTMAS - Whistler Bike Park Opening Weekend

May 22, 2018 at 9:53
by Clint Trahan  



Seven long months. It's been over half a year since we hooked our bikes onto the Fitzsimmons Express for a ride up to the top of the Fitzsimmons zone. A-Line, Crank It Up, Blueseum, Afternoon Delight, it's like no time has passed since we spent time on all of our favourite trails. Everything but Dirt Merchant that is, since the trail crew is ripping into a full rebuild of lower Dirt Merch as their first project of the season.

Everyone from weekend warriors to full-time pros made the trek to Whistler this weekend. With almost the entire Fitzsimmons zone open for riding, blue skies, and trails in as good a shape as they will be all season, no one was disappointed. Perfect berms, sticky dirt, and not a braking bump in sight. Well, for a few hours anyways. And, for 2018 the Fitz Chair is open from 10 – 8 every day until September 3rd, so we'll have even more time this summer than usual to burn through park laps.


It's Opening Day 2018 at the Whistler Bike Park. Bailey Goldstone is getting ready to send it FerdaGirls!

The Opening Day stoke is real. The Mudbunnies are ready for a dusty day.
Dual crown or not, it's Opening Day!

Getting ready to send it FerdaBoys.

What will lap #1 be?
Been waiting for this day for the past six months...

And here's one Ferda... AirRide?

Whistler
What does first chair of 2018 look like? A lot like this.

The crowds? Off the charts!

What's another hour after waiting for six months for lift access? Nothing, and so worth it!

So close to getting on the chair...

Whistler Bike Park sponsor Rockshox/SRAM showed up to give some free suspension clinics and get everyone off to a good start to the season.

SRAM was celebrating the 20th anniversary of BoXXer with historical displays and a trivia contest to win a new BoXXer.
They were also on hand to repair a few things. It IS bike season after all!

But really, what you want to see, are bikes doing bike things. So, up we go!

There are still some remaining patches of snow, but they won't last long!

Opening day stoke is real. And how about that back drop for the chair ride?

By request.

What goes up...

Been waiting all winter for it...

Sideways action on opening day.

Four wheel accessible.

Ollie Jones getting in some Opening Day laps.

Green, blue, black, double black. Something for everyone at the Whistler Bike Park.

It really isn't.

The Tippies wouldn't miss out on Opening Day.

Riding with the crew.

The first of many A-Line laps this year.

Winter boost dreams, finally a reality.

Trains on trains on trains. Nothing better than riding with buddies.

It was dry.

Whistler crew keeping busy.

Fresh berms.

SUCH a good day.

By the end, it's all a blur.

Jumps, woodwork, corners, rocks... Whistler has it all...

Velvety smooth Opening Day berms.

Doesn't get much better than this.

Open until 8pm, from Opening Day!

Send it all day and then swing by the GLC for The 90's Revival party, presented by GT, SRAM and RockShox.

The groms were out in full force.

If you haven't already, check out our video of Opening Day 2018 Bike Checks and see what people were out riding! This is one of the new GT Bicycles demo bikes. GT was also at the base of the park Friday through Sunday with some sweet swag.


Save the dates.

A season of this as a riding backdrop will never, ever get old.

Bring on 2018!

The Whistler Mountain Bike Park is supported by:
GT / SRAM / ROCKSHOX / IXS / Kokanee / GMC / Pinkbike / Monster Energy / DT Swiss/ Maxxis / Dakine / Spank / Muc-Off / Oakley / GoPro / Clif Bar / Garbanzo Bike and Bean / ODI


MENTIONS: @WhistlerMountainBikePark @GTBicycles / @SramMedia / @iXSsports / @pinkbikeaudience / @Maxxis / @dakine / @Spank-Ind / @mucoffltd / @GoPro / @CLIF / @Odigrips



123 Comments

  • + 130
 Raccoon picture ftw
  • + 16
 Avocado shirt for FTW!
  • + 7
 Racoon is jelly doughnut, 11/10. What he wouldn't give for opposable thumbs and IFP free dropper posts.

6" ain't dead.
  • + 15
 @gerhards: That's not a raccoon, that's a sweet rabbit
  • + 8
 If you look deep into its eyes, you can see the darkness and evil that resides in its soul.
  • + 1
 Got a smile out of the "ferda" coopt too...
  • + 3
 @SpillWay: yeah it is so adorable and lovely, and then you get home and realize that one of those little devils had trashed it to pieces Big Grin
  • + 1
 It looks like my dog..... weird.....
  • + 68
 One day I will visit Whistler... I can't wait for that day!
  • + 6
 This year is the year for me!
  • + 1
 @Fresh1: Move to Bellingham, WA! Best decision you'll make! Or even better, Lynden. Just a little over 2hrs away!
  • + 1
 Frigg that, ride in Squamish.
  • + 2
 @scott-townes: Riding there too!
  • + 33
 Has the data collected over the years been detailed enough to show the mix between dh and enduro bikes? Would be interesting to see the change over the last few years at locations such as here
  • + 3
 This would be an awesome write up to see at the end of the season. Single crown bikes have surely become more popular at locations like this as the bikes have become more capable and it would be interesting to see that data for sure!
  • + 6
 Yep, there was a PB dude standing at the lift line noting down bikes as they pass by, they usually put the info out in the week after opening... but it's observational and not scientific. Still cool to read and I would still say DH bikes dominate.
  • + 15
 Not long ago DH bikes, had less travel than enduro bikes, so one could argue they're all DH bikes.
  • + 3
 @gramboh: We need charts to assess trends. Ideally with CAGR figures etc, and ideally in a neat Powerpoint presentation with "Pinkbike Research" logo.
  • + 5
 Anecdotally, I've been going since around 2001, you almost never saw anything singlecrown there until around 2008, where it seems like the number of singlecrown bikes started to increase - no doubt thanks to more aggressive geometry. Another awesome thing is it seems like more women are getting out on the mountain than ever before. I think this is likely due to the fantastic coverage of both genders in the media for racing as well as bike vids etc.
  • + 5
 Pie charts, we need some MFing Pie charts.
  • + 4
 @Boardlife69: and now i want pie. Thanks!
  • + 28
 No "Just The Tip - Whistmas 2018" this year????
  • + 9
 ^ this
  • + 13
 He was in the bike check so I guess the answer is no. Maybe he left with Vernon, PB is downsizing while showing ads to convert my bike into an Ebike. This makes me almost mad enough to make a comment about it.
  • + 2
 @Boardlife69: if only the rest of us could learn such restraint. Then pinkbike would be a better place.
  • + 23
 It was interesting to watch how brake bumps develop over the course of a day
  • + 7
 We need a brake bump timelapse to show exactly why you shouldn't lock up the brakes and make everyone watch it while they stand in line for their pass.
  • + 19
 In December 2012, I uploaded an album to Facebook called "Whistmas" which I believe is the first recorded use of the word online...I have very good lawyers Pinkbike so it would be in your best interest to settle out of court..I am willing to accept offers in the form of bikes/bike parts and/or bike park passes...
  • + 4
 But duuude did you tm it??? It’s a bit old when I forgot to patent my version of the VPP and Santa Cruz lifted it #gutted
  • + 31
 Settle for some socks and half a can of Red Bull?
  • + 15
 i think that’s a reasonable offer. Take the socks.
  • + 35
 @brianpark: if the socks are a matching pair then my lawyers have advised me to accept.
  • + 9
 @lilrocket: He didn't say new socks.
  • + 9
 @lilrocket: Matching how? They both smell the same, does that count?
  • + 12
 Even though I am stuck behind a desk all day, I am super stoked for everyone who made it up there this weekend. See you soon, Whistler.
  • + 14
 Why is Rocket there???
  • + 2
 Yesssss!
  • + 1
 The Rabbit is ready to shred Wink
  • + 12
 Those lines give me a panic attack.
  • + 1
 I don't understand, the lift is a good lift but not that efficient. Why don't they spend money on a new bikehanging system? Loads of bikeparks in Europe can take 4 bikes and 5 people each seat, not 4 bikes and 4 riders for 2 'seats'. Probably almost the most used lift in summer all over the world, should maybe get an upgrade?
  • + 11
 I spy a Tidworth Freeride Tee...Represent!
  • + 7
 What's the story with the full squish scooter? Seems like it would be hard to ride with out really being able to change foot position.
  • + 5
 The story is in the dudes face behind him.
  • + 2
 Personally I couldn't possibly ride it........ its only single pivot!
  • + 4
 Serious question, how much time do you spend standing in line waiting for a lift? That was my biggest gripe about going snowboarding at places like this. I would love to visit Whistler, but standing in a line like that is such a turnoff.
  • + 1
 I was there in late June (possibly early July, idk) and the lift line's weren't too bad, occasionally got busy (after lunch, to be expected) but no where near what these pictures show. Two or three rows of people at worst, but a lot of the time there was only a dozen or so people in the line.
  • + 6
 When the lift line is completely full and out of the gates a bit on Crankworx weekends, it's around 30ish minutes maybe? Usually those super busy times the upper lift(s) are open and they never have lines ever.

I was riding solo this past Saturday and I'd say average wait was 5-10 minutes. A few longer than that and a bunch with zero wait in singles later in the afternoon.

Your body is usually the limit in Whistler, not lift lines.
  • + 2
 Most of the time there isn't much of a line, except for around crankworx, weekends with good weather in spring/fall. And lines tend to be longer the first part of the day too. When the park is open till 8 it's pretty sweet too, all the laps you want.
  • + 2
 Very few times in the 7 summers I’ve ridden Whistler have I waited more than 20min. If you plan it right, i.e. September when all the kiddos go back to school, you can walk right on and ride until 8pm. It is glorious!!
  • + 6
 Meanwhile in Southern California our modest (but almost always sunny with fake snow) resort is still closed.
#lookingatyousnowsummit
  • + 1
 Opening this weekend, geez
  • + 1
 @drunknride: Exactly. AFTER Whistler which is way up north and gets tons of snow.
Summit could have opened in Feb FFS.
  • + 1
 @Dustfarter: I think they should just leave the center of the mountain for snow in the winter but still have a couple chairs that can take bikes up for all the side trails. Downhill fatbiking?
  • + 8
 Emergency room stats?
  • + 1
 this is from 2012 but I would expect the data to be relatively close or proportionate to the traffic seen at whistler.

www.wemjournal.org/article/S1080-6032(12)00015-4/pdf12
  • + 3
 Am I the only one crying on the inside at this article because ei have never gone, probably never will but more importantly wasn't lucky enough to be born living nearby so I can have a season pass!
  • + 1
 1 hour queue! That is nuts, that maximum of maybe 7 runs in a day if you don't stop. Is it always that bad? Or just opening weekend. I realise also not all peaks and lifts are open.
  • + 3
 Nah man, sometimes theres no queue at all!
  • + 1
 Lift line was not an hour, maybe 30min max and most times under 15min.

I did 13 laps Saturday and 15 laps Monday from about 10am-5pm with an hour break for lunch and a few other breaks to fix bike setup issues, bathroom etc. That's close to 5,000m vertical descended a day. Faster/fitter riders could easily have done 20 laps in that time, and the lifts are open till 8pm.
  • + 2
 I love ripping down A line and getting past by a twelve year old grom doing perfect whips over the jumps.
  • + 3
 Elbow pads trend still hasn't caught up in Whistler I notice.
  • + 4
 I'm jealous...
  • + 3
 Those lines look insane Eek
  • + 3
 Holy shit that scooter ain’t messing around
  • + 1
 Check out this video of it: alpineriding.com
  • + 3
 Is Mr. Tippie running a pre-prod Assegai out front? No label.
  • + 1
 Does anyone have tips on getting the best out of Whistler without dropping nearly 4 G's? Is SCG the only sick camp to choose from? Can someone give me 4 grand?
  • + 10
 Why don't you just buy a $50cdn lift ticket ?
  • + 8
 got my knees out wide, only ride with a guide!
  • + 4
 Why would you do the camp? 4gs could get you a room for a few months and a season pass.
  • + 3
 Camps and trips through Zep Mountain Bike and Arbutus Routes. Plus Bear Back Biking and others. But grab a few buddies, book a hotel and come riding is still a good way to get something out of Whistler. If you want to say a pro said you were good then SCG might be worth the cash. If you want to have fun there are many options.
  • + 3
 Get a group or individual lesson for your first day. It will get you "grounded".
  • + 5
 Brought my own groceries and camped outside of town on my first trip there from Utah. Did a six day trip for $500. Maybe the best $500 I've ever spent? SGC would be awesome, but completely unnecessary.
  • + 2
 Season pass $500USD
Private room in a shared accommodation $1,500/mo (overbudgeting)
Bike part/repair budget: $500
Food/beer for a month: $1,000

There's a month for $3,500 less plane ticket. You could definitely spend way less on food/accoms if you want.
  • + 1
 @BiNARYBiKE: was gas most of the cost?
  • + 4
 @bizutch: gas was a lot but I was in a truck with like 4 other guys so even that wasn’t too bad.
  • + 1
 @preston67: Thanks guys, these are all good ideas n tips for my first time out.
  • + 2
 Creekside Hostel is only ~$35 CAD a night. Bike storage/wash area, hot tubs, grills, huge kitchen, and good vibes. You can ride to and from the front door to the gondi. My favorite budget accommodation in Whistler!
  • + 4
 Lucky bastards!
  • + 1
 Do they have real trailbike trails there or is it kust groomed flow trails jumps and berms? Srs question
  • + 4
 Yep. There are 15ish true flow/jump trails and then around 55 technical singletrack or DH track style trails.
  • + 1
 im the bomb,im the bomb, blue steel, Im the bomb....... turns around ahh Chris Kovarik. Im nobody......
  • + 1
 Pink bike are killing me this week with all these sick riding locations haha
  • + 2
 I'm into that avocado shirt...
  • + 2
 First picture is a RABBIT.
  • + 2
 Less than a month till my first trip to Whistler!
  • + 1
 Nice!! Winter is overpriced....but we still have Summer in Whistler...for now.
  • + 2
 Man knows his way around a camera...... Chapeau
  • + 2
 I totally love this shit big time .
  • + 1
 Can sense the stoke from all the way over here in Australia!
  • + 1
 Hell Yeah!!! September cant come fast enough!!!
  • + 4
 Gear down big rig, let’s enjoy some riding season before we wish for fall...I know your probably going in sept, but damn dude, that’s lots of months of riding before we get to September, don’t rush it!
  • + 1
 See you this weekend, Whistler!
  • + 1
 Anyone know what is closed other than dirt merch?
  • + 1
 #FerdaRaccoons
  • + 1
 I'm home June 21st
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