Video: The A-LINE Evolution

Jun 3, 2015 at 10:38
by WhistlerMountain BikePark  
A-Line. It's the lifeline of the Fitz Zone and heartbeat of the Whistler Mountain Bike Park. It's the trail where mega-trains were born and where more laps go down than anywhere else on earth. It's the original freeride trail that gave birth to a new style of riding and it started a movement in the evolution of modern trail designs. But there is only one A-Line, and it's here.

Views: 80,342    Faves: 566    Comments: 33


Video by: Goldstein Productions
Team Riders: James McSkimming, Lula Darquier, Peter Matthews, and Trevor Berg


2015 is a major evolutionary year for this iconic trail. A-Line has seen countless evolutions in the past but this year it will see a complete rebuild top-to-bottom which will result in improved jump shapes, clearer sight lines, and better flow. Did you know that the original A-Line trail was a single track and has taken 17 years to get to where it is at today?

In The Zone - A-LINE Evolution images
Trevor Berg on the new 2-pack jumps on upper A-Line. Photo by: Mark Mackay

Changes to what we all know and love can be scary and not always accepted right away. The Whistler Mountain Bike Park Trail Crew are a group of passionate and dedicated riders who are committed to building progressive trails for riders of all levels. A-Line still continues to deliver advanced lines and feature options for expert riders and maintains its place as the progression step to Dirt Merchant and Crabapple Hits.

In The Zone - A-LINE Evolution images
James McSkimming jumping the rock drop feature with Mike Goldstein pushing the limits of running with a RED. Photo by: Mark Mackay

So have you ridden A-Line yet this year? Has change been all that scary? The evolution of A-Line and the trails in the Whistler Mountain Bike Park will never be complete. What changes would you like to see as the evolution continues?

In The Zone - A-LINE Evolution images
Lula Darquier cornering one of the trails massive berms. Photo by: Mark Mackay

The Bike Park is open daily from 10am-5pm with Extended Play hours until 8pm on Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday evenings. Extended Play hours begin daily on June 13 running until September 7.

Garbanzo Zone is still scheduled to open on June 20. More updates about this zone can be expected in the coming weeks.

Still don't have a pass to ride the Park? Early Bird rates on all passes are still on sale until June 12. For more info and to buy click here.



Whistler Bike Park



134 Comments

  • 114 1
 OMG, OMG, OMG! I was gonna sell everything, leave my fiance and job, and move to New Zealand... But now I'm moving to BC. Maybe she'll come with me... My old bike, not the fiance.
  • 99 0
 but we have flightless birds n stuff, what you got on that canada
  • 67 0
 Hhmm, Whistler+A-Line vs let's say, Queenstown+Kiwis. That's a tough one. It's pretty much like Stevie Smith's moustache vs Brook Macdonald's lumberjack beard. You just can't have both....
  • 36 2
 @eivomedia Canada does have Brett Tippie, but toilets flush backwards in nz and that is pretty cool. I'd say its a tie, may aswell flip a coin
  • 8 0
 we have polar bears?
  • 2 0
 you don't have tuataras. tuataras look like lizards, but they're not really lizards. wait, what? bring back the moa, and NZ has flightless man-eating giant birds. and whistler has a trail wide enough to drive a truck down.
  • 4 0
 also, NZ has the marlborough valley, where they grow brilliant sauvignon blanc and pinot noir. and killer surf. NZ for the motherfuckin win.
  • 7 5
 BC wines destroy NZ wines all over, sorry. NZ wins on surf, BC wins on skiing/boarding. It's a tough one, but the Tippie factor? Game over. . .
  • 12 0
 as someone who was lived in whistler and the south island in NZ. There is literally no better place on earth than NZ
  • 13 0
 NZ has lots of sheep, i hear they are really soft.
  • 1 0
 that was south island thats why. south island is epic AF
  • 7 0
 The idea of sheep is a big fluffy White ball that's reasonably docile. In reality they are a dirty cream colour with poo stuck to their fur and get spooked very easily which causes kaos when 100 sheep start running in all directions.
  • 4 0
 ^exactly why I love sheep
  • 4 0
 So Spain has the running of the Bulls in Pamplona, where would NZ hold the running of the sheep?
  • 2 0
 10/10 would take part in that
  • 3 2
 @Mwmg15 : uh, you're comparing a town to a country, you realize.. what other towns in BC have you lived in? (because Whistler is FAR from the best).. but I've never been to NZ so I've got no insight to offer
  • 9 0
 I don't know if you guys heard, but NZ has hobbits, wizards, elfs, etc.... saw this documentary called Lord of the Rings and another one called the Hobbit (such an unoriginal title.....) No more dragons apparently though which makes it so much safer now. Would hate to have my beautiful Yeti all burned up.
  • 4 0
 @squishybike its a huge generalization dont get me wrong but south island NZ is almost like Canada 'squished' down to 800km from 6000k. Its tiny in comparison and has so many outdoor gems. It doesnt matter if you hike bike ski kayak fish dive freedive climb or anything it has the same gnarliness plus a vibe that is 1980's whistler compared to 2012 whistler. Don't get me wrong, im and ontario guy who spend as much time as possible on the 'best' coast. I've driven across canada and bc, spent some time in sea to sky, vic, gulf islands and a little bit in the interior But NZ is truly a special place. its probably way less than a 1/8th of the size of BC come to think of it. Im just saying, go there (hopefully 3-4 weeks min) and you will have an incredible time.
  • 1 0
 @Mwmg15 GO ONTERRIBLE!!
  • 1 0
 @upchuckyeager was a real suprise reading "marlborough" in the comment from you!
lucky enough to say I live here, too young for wine but shit pretty spoilt with the old back country enduro trails!
plenty of fun to be had for a small place like mighty marlborough Smile
  • 3 0
 i m from Portugal and i ve never been in whistler, but i think, that, if one day I travel to whistler and ride the A line, i won t need to do the track walk, i know the track top to bottom, only from watching the videos here in PB Wink
  • 88 0
 I absolutely love A-Line. It keeps all the traffic off of Schleyer.
  • 9 0
 This is gold!
  • 6 0
 Schleyer is pretty rad. I will be there in 7 days, It's like waiting for Christmas
  • 3 0
 +100000
My buddy and I took our first trip to whistler last season and were amazed at the lack of crowds on the gnarlier trails. Felt like we had the park to ourselves!

So much fun
  • 35 1
 There aren't enough technical tracks at Whisler anymore...
There is only: Ho Chi Min, Fantastic, Karate Monkey, Blueseum, Smoke and Mirrors, Wednesday Night Delight, Angry Pirate, Samurai Pizza Cat, Funshine, Hornet, Monkey Hands, Too Tight, Duffman, Little Alder, Fatcrobat, No Joke, original Sin, Devil's Club, Top of the World, MRT, Afternoon Delight, Drop in Clinic, Technoir, Whistler DH, Schleyer, In Deep, No Duff, Captain Safety, Clown Shoes, Joyride(s), Crack Addict, Detroit Rock City, Canadian open, Goats Gully and French Connection...
(Make sure your sarcasm sensor is properly calibrated before replying.)
  • 3 0
 .. and makenzie river... and renegade. Love me some gnar
  • 4 0
 That's it?
  • 40 6
 Sweet looking track , groomed more than an alter boy , still love old school gnarly rough tracks where you actually need a dh bike though ...
  • 18 17
 Looks like a BMX track.
  • 63 6
 It's A-Line, if you don't know what A-Line is about you need to hand in your MTB card and stick to spelunking
  • 13 3
 This ^^^^
  • 9 30
flag Wuddii (Jun 4, 2015 at 6:34) (Below Threshold)
 @captainspaulding Please stop clinging to some false sense of mountain biking heritage. Sure great things happened there and nothing can change that, but great things also happened on fully rigid bikes too. Things change and while they may have been great at one time their heritage doesn't exclusively make them great all the time. You're not telling anyone to hand in their MTB card because they don't ride fully rigid. There's no other way to say it A-Line has been dumbed down, it's as simple as that.
  • 28 0
 Someone takes the internet too seriously....
  • 10 1
 @Wuddii You missed my point completely... I don't think A-Line has ever been a old school gnarly track, it's not about that, it's a flow track.. if you want to call a flow track/trail dumbed down that's fine, but nobody is expecting a gnarly "old school" huck trail when they go down A-Line.
  • 3 0
 @ Wuddii - I would disagree completely that it's been dumbed down. That massive jump nearish the bottom that was built last year certainly isn't a step backwards... I would wager that because DM and Crabapple have gotten much bigger, Aline simply seems smaller now.
  • 5 0
 The new left/right berms and the jump mentioned by @ldhbaker is a massive improvement compared to the old layout. It's a bigger jump with a good lip and endless landing - if "dumbing it down" means shaping the kick out of the lips and silky smooth landings on the flow runs - please, keep at it!
  • 4 0
 If you don't like groomed tracks like A-Line, B-Line, Crank it Up, etc., then ride a different trail at Whistler like In Deep or Freight Train... Technical gnar is NOT the point of A-Line and not every trail can be exactly what you want. Variety is the spice of life, and Whistler has it.
  • 1 0
 ^ Or Goat's Gully, which is still my favorite trail... even though I haven't been in the park in 9 years, haha. I heard they're also revamping Clown Shoes! I wonder what form that will take and if they'll keep the Berrecloth elevations.
  • 2 1
 Clownshoes was already largely redone last year. Still super steep with tons of wood, tons of steep and a drop that is scary just to walk to the end of.
  • 1 0
 Siiick! Are you talking about that last drop (6-7ft. with a steep landing) with an opt out drop on the outside of it?
  • 4 0
 Trails like A-line are what COMPLETE whistler...sure I love the gnar (schleyer/goats/clown/etcetctc), but a well dialed jump trail is something we simply don't have locally here in southern california. Mammoth and Snow summit try, but Whistler's jump dialage is incredible! so fun
  • 1 0
 The new clownshoe drop is a bit bigger than that even...
www.youtube.com/watch?v=IHIwKDIlaG4

Since this was filmed a wooden downramp was added. The ramp is nearly vertical and it's probably safer to do the drop than attempt to roll it.

Otherwise the new wood stuff is rather tame compared to before. It's all rather highspeed though.
  • 1 0
 Oh wow, that's a completely different approach. They were carrying so much speed and yeah, that's definitely bigger by at least 4-5ft. That's sick but kinda enjoyed the disconnected skinny/tight turns into that last bit. The times a changing.
  • 1 0
 Oh wow, I've never seen it without the ramp. That is nuts. I've rolled down the new ramp many times and it's actually really easy. It is by no means nearly vertical, and certainly easier than dropping that monster.
  • 9 0
 You can find roots and rocks almost anywhere East/West Coast. You can't get the flow like A-Line as easily, where you can scale it back or open it up. Don't slag the trailbuilders that did an amazing job on that mountain. They nailed the flow!
  • 2 0
 Good point. Rough tracks are easy, building flow art.
  • 1 0
 Totally agree.

Trails like A-line are what COMPLETE whistler...sure I love the gnar (schleyer/goats/clown/etcetctc), but a well dialed jump trail is something we simply don't have locally here in southern california. Mammoth and Snow summit try, but Whistler's jump dialage is incredible! so fun
  • 14 5
 I think team robot was right
  • 11 3
 Flightless birds wtf ?? You're using the wrong club - try an 8 iron
  • 6 2
 I prefer a 56* wedge personally. Give just the right amount of pop with a little backspin if hit just right. It's almost like giving the little things a redbull.
  • 8 3
 They straight up neutered it. But if it keeps people off of Dirt Merchant then I don't care. That is now the iconic jump trail in the park!
  • 5 4
 I disagree - seems to have only gotten bigger and faster over the last couple of years. Because DM and crabapple have gotten bigger, it just seems smaller.
  • 12 9
 It seems the trend these days at bike parks are in making more A-line type trails - little, natural feature and mostly dirt roads a kid on a 16" bike could ride. And they do. That's where money is - the non DH'ers, the DJ'ers, XC guys trying it out and the family. I understand this but a lot of terrain gets used up in their making and an over abundance of them get made. At least this is how I see it going. Please Bike Park trail builders - don't crowd out the mountain and over- sanitize the trails.
  • 2 0
 @neimbc Have you ever ridden Killington? Definitely plenty of fun trails that haven't been over-sanitized. We've definitely got the rooty and rocky goods on the east coast.
  • 2 1
 Yes I love Killington! They contracted Gravity Logic to make trails like A-Line, and they already did a bit of work on some. I hope they leave the good stuff that's already there alone. I'm thinking of Berkshire East (AKA Thunder Mountain), where the trails they 're making look pretty boring, at least in the vids they posted. But, I think the trend is more smooth easy flow, jump trails.
  • 2 0
 @neimbc Oh wow I didn't realize Killington was working with Gravity Logic. I really hope they keep the good stuff their too, such a fun mountain as is! I saw the Berkshire east trails and they definitely look boring. I'm hoping that there are better trails that they aren't showing us because its pretty close to where I live. If you haven't already, go ride Plattekill. It's such a sick mountain and they really don't have any flow trails to speak of (although that mountain has great flow IMO if you know how to ride it).
  • 2 4
 I no longer own a DH bike or a park pass for this reason. All the techy natural trails seem to removed for 4ft wide flow trails you can do on a hardtail until the brake bumps get as big as the jumps they built.
  • 6 1
 Whistler has lots of rough tracks and yet they get a fraction of the traffic that the flow lines do, so you can't blame WBP for trying to keep up with the demand. Plus weekend warriors like me can ride freight train, dirt merchant, Aline, etc all day but my old body could never lap goat's gully all weekend...
  • 3 0
 Besides the simple answer of riding, could someone explain to me how berms in well used bike parks (such as the one in last photo) develop these mini motocross like rhythm sections?
  • 3 1
 Brake bumps. You can guess where they come from just based on that name, haha.
  • 1 1
 Do you mean the braking bump chatter or the roller sections that are fun to pump and manual (and for me are a break from jumping)?
  • 2 0
 @scott-townes Many thanks for informing me of the technical term and confirming the theory that I presumed to cause them.

@thrasher2 They are fun provided you do not ride a DJ 100mm travel fork hard tail.
  • 4 2
 Like many others with multiple 100's and 100's of laps it a bit disappointing seeing an old friend get a shit face lift. Unfortunately regardless of what they are putting on video, it really is a lot tamer. Evolution vs. Progression...please don't evolve anymore I am pretty disappointed with it as are many others. Try Progression instead...Whistler has always been pushing riders with progression, lets keep it that way.
  • 2 1
 I can sign under this. We have better bikes, better knowledge and so much progress in riding generally has been made, yet . The policy is to make trails easier to make more $ and dummying down the trails to bring more and more people into it. Well guess what why other people cannot learn on the trails we did ? Easier a mellow trails rather than maintain what is there an reflect progression of riders with progression of trails. And that goes for North shore as well. British Columbia Place when MTB and freeride was born will soon have only the easiest trails on the world.
  • 3 0
 Huh. I've been of the impression that it's been getting bigger over the last 3 to 4 years, having ridden it at least a couple weekends a year. The new jump nearish the bottom is most certainly bigger. I think the policy is actually to have the full spectrum of difficulty levels, and so if you feel it's "dumbed down", go ride DM or Crabapple. I think it only feels like it's been made easier by riders progression and new bike technology (try riding it on a RM pipeline and see if you still feel the same way).
Either way, I'm happy with the changes, and it still scares me the first couple of times down it.
  • 3 0
 Where has Aline gotten tamer? (Serious question, only my 2nd year in Whistler) The small shitty 3-pack was replaced by a bigger 2-pack and the jump before now has an option to send it way to the left, which is super fun!
  • 3 0
 that 3 pack sucked, worst jumps on the mountain
  • 1 0
 Still better than anything you'd find in England
  • 4 0
 Jumping on a 2 hour plane ride south tonight and I'll be riding A-Line tomorrow and all weekend.
  • 5 1
 "Do you know how to get to A-Line?"
  • 3 1
 a dream trip for all gravity mtbikers... but I think if I will ever go there... I would like to ride more technical and rough stuff...
  • 5 0
 @AloxT They have that too, Goat's Gully, In Deep, Captain Safety, Detroit Rock City, Canadian Open Etc Etc are all super gnarly
  • 2 0
 I know!!! that was my point ! Smile
  • 5 2
 Been there the other day, is way to mellow, but man still had a fun time there
  • 4 0
 Gotta work on my manual...
  • 1 0
 ^ Word
  • 3 2
 The WBP has done a great job with Aline, as well as providing more advanced trails like Dirt Merchant and Crabapple. The "new" Aline seems to flow better without sacrificing jump size and air time.
  • 1 0
 Regardless of the changes to a line this is an outstanding edit, can't wait to ride this later next month and see how it varies to last years a line !!
  • 5 0
 Besides the music, yes.
  • 1 0
 I did like the music they used for last years in the zone edits by factor eight
  • 2 1
 I loved the music, in fact. Smile
  • 1 0
 @mlr428 yeah - i feel almost as repetitive as the music choices used when i complain, but it's just downright laziness and predictability at this point.
  • 2 0
 Its a well made clip, but how many A line edits do we actually need in a season?
  • 2 2
 The real inspiration for A-line was B-line. that was the original dumbed down trail that people couldn't get enough of.It was so busy newbies were being chased off so they built A-line.
  • 4 1
 I remember when that trail was sweet
  • 3 0
 RAD.
  • 2 0
 The running with the red cam was solid. Some great shots
  • 1 0
 f*ck, that made me interested in groomed tracks and DH bikes at the same time, WTF? Looks fun, great edit.
  • 2 0
 looks as smooth as a German autobahn, where's all the rocks n roots ?
  • 1 0
 One day I will book myself a two week trip to that place.... ...one day...
  • 2 1
 You could ride that trail on a dirt jump bike fine, looks like a very long 4x/DS track to be honest. soo smooth.
  • 2 0
 Your wrists will hate you mid season, probably your teeth too. Though maybe the new changes will reduce braking and the associated braking bump chatter.
  • 1 0
 Best video I've seen in a long time, wow. No stupid hipster intro of people not riding, decent music, great riding. Win.
  • 1 0
 Is canada accepting any illegal immigrants from the south? Asylum from desert conditions loophole?
  • 2 0
 this gets me unbelievably stoked
  • 1 0
 Never yet in my born day but definitely before I die. Looks like the Garden of Eden!
  • 1 2
 As much as this looks amazing to ride and the dream of going to whistler is strong. In reality I will probably never have the balls or skill to ride jumps that big so will probably never live the dream of riding there.
  • 1 2
 I'm acting hard now? Lol! Mate I'm taking the piss and your biting. Like I've really got any intention of taking a BMX bike to whistler. I would take my daughters tricycle though...
  • 2 2
 So smooth right now I bet there s a video this year with bmx s on the a line
  • 4 2
 Where is Remy Metailler?
  • 4 9
flag olsen-chuck (Jun 4, 2015 at 2:44) (Below Threshold)
 Remy with a helmet cam is a 1000% interesting than this production.
  • 2 3
 yeah!!
  • 2 3
 I think everyone agrees that Remy with a GoPro is GOLD! But we want to see the trail and not the trees he barely eats.
  • 2 3
 Yeah,but Remy is beast.Remy Metailler+A-line=Very interesting production!
  • 1 0
 I'll stick to Cat's Paw and Hellion here in merica!
  • 1 0
 zero pedaling! not so Enduro Razz
  • 1 1
 sure its flowy but doesnt mean its not bumpy. it is so damn bumpy you can hardly hold on at the moment.
  • 1 0
 the video is highly love the music tracks to this top
  • 1 0
 Weird, my pulse just jumped to 180 and I'm sitting down ...
  • 4 4
 Looks much more mellow nowFrown
  • 1 0
 Song?
  • 1 0
 Har Megiddo - Dawn
  • 1 0
 Some day... #stoked
  • 4 3
 A-Line, the new B-Line
  • 1 3
 Pretty much...its gna bring back the 40-55ish guys whom were turned off by 'lippy' jumps, then discouraged to spend $$$ on a trip=disappointment that A-line is no longer doable for them. Now, being able to 'clear' A-line, these big spenders may return for glory.
  • 1 0
 Could watch this all day
  • 1 0
 I wanna ride A-line.
  • 2 4
 To steal a line from the the late Nathan Rennie. "Flat slow, boring, lot of pedaling."
  • 4 0
 I didn't see any pedaling.
  • 1 1
 Nathan rennie isn't dead either. It's a reference To a movie
  • 1 0
 He's building trails around Australia while sinking cans of beer.
  • 3 6
 I've ridden fire roads more technical than that.
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