Whistler Mountain Bike Park Closes Creekside to Prepare for Big Plans Ahead

Apr 14, 2022 at 15:24
by WhistlerMountain BikePark  
photo: Christie Fitzpatrick

PRESS RELEASE: Whistler Mountain Bike Park

Whistler Blackcomb will be working the dirt, the cables and the helicopters this summer as the mountain launches a summer of construction to upgrade the Creekside Gondola and Big Red Express chairlift.

The Creekside trail system boasts a unique maze of flow and tech trails, moving from dense, loamy forest to picturesque alpine meadows with spectacular mountainside views of the lakes below. In demand from the outset of its 2018 debut, the Creek Zone is a favourite creative outlet for mountain visionaries and the new lifts should add fuel to the planners’ and builders’ fire for many years to come.


“It’s critical for us to innovate, create, and build out our trail network to keep the Whistler Mountain Bike Park among the best lift-accessed places to ride in the world. We want to attract the sport’s elite athletes, host big events like Crankworx, and attract everyone from the elite athletes to new riders for many years to come,” said Geoff Buchheister, Whistler Blackcomb COO.


To manage demand this year, two of the three open Zones will expand capacity. Garbanzo Chair will open at 10:15am, adding 45 minutes of laps to the Garbo Zone each day, and additional bike cabins will be earmarked on the Whistler Village Gondola to move riders up the mountain faster. Passes are on sale now here.


In other big news, the 1500-metre, world-renowned descent from Whistler’s Peak, know as Top of the World, will return to its pre-pandemic daily schedule. The trail opens early July, weather and snowmelt permitting. Riders can expect to see the traditional closures for Crankworx, returning to Whistler Aug. 5-14 for the first time since 2019, along with the Enduro World Series. General admission is free; upgrade to a VIP by purchasing a pass here.



With intense focus on the lift project, changes and updates to the park will be minimal this year. There is a new drop into the entrance of Tatiana. Phase 2 expansion of the Gatorade Skills Park will see the addition of jump features on a new trail called Cat’s Meow, and an outdoor lounge will be set up with Adirondack Chairs. Riders can also expect a reroute, or two, in the Garbo Zone as Creekside construction progresses.


Registration will open soon for GT Women’s Night and Men’s Nights, and Phat Wednesday presented by Kokanee will return to its regular cadence. Join us in the Whistler Mountain Bike Park starting May 13, 2022*. Passes are on sale now, along with Private lessons, Kids Lessons and all age groups of Summer Gravity Camps.


*dependent upon snowmelt/conditions


111 Comments

  • 71 0
 World Cup track coming?
  • 22 0
 Yes please
  • 42 0
 What ever happened to the Steve Smith "1199" World Cup DH track?
Whistler was building and posted about it pinkbike in 2018, and then never again?
Any word?

www.pinkbike.com/news/first-look-the-stevie-smith-1199-dh-track.html
  • 56 0
 @kyleluvsdh: Vail bought Whistler, and cool things like that aren't the Vail way
  • 2 0
 @vtracer: Oh no. Not Vail again. Been hearing a lot about them this year lol Razz . Did they pull the plug on this track? If so that would be a big mistake for Vail. Damn, I hope it's still coming but it was said to be open in 2019. But here we are in 2022, and not a peep :/
  • 1 2
 Surely a WC track would finish in the main town centre for maximum atmosphere and bar availability? Is the Canadian DH track not WC standard anyway?
  • 6 0
 @kyleluvsdh: You don't know Vail that well, do you? They've been killing parks for skiing/snowboarding at every resort they acquire. This is no surprise.
  • 6 1
 hopefully they just glue 6 goat's gully's together! lol
  • 2 4
 @L0rdTom: no it is not. I have a top 10 on that track. lmao
  • 1 0
 @conoat: top 10 of all time or just one Crankworx DH race? AFAIK they don't open it outside of that race as it crosses other tracks.
  • 1 1
 @L0rdTom: just strava.....like normal people. lol
  • 8 0
 Can confirm 1199 is on its way
  • 1 0
 @brendenbehan: dope! that's awesome to hear
  • 1 0
 @brendenbehan: HUCK YEAH! Cheers Big Grin \m/
  • 61 0
 This is written in such painful marketing speak that I can't even properly understand what's going on (which I suppose may be the point)... The whole Creekside zone + gondola is shut down for the entire summer? Do I have that right?
  • 3 0
 Agreed. The headline is like the TL;DR in this case. The rest of it is gibberish to me.

That said, can one still drop in on Midgard to Earth Circus after a TOTW run?
  • 13 0
 For real! They just hyped the park for a few paragraphs and never explicitly said if Creekside zone is shut down for the season.
  • 3 0
 @sngltrkmnd: I would assume no. The bottom of EC is right under the gondi line and they wont want anyone near there while they are working, for obvious safety reasons.
  • 4 0
 I came to the comments trying to figure out the exact same thing.
  • 10 38
flag WhistlerMountainBikePark (Apr 15, 2022 at 11:56) (Below Threshold)
 Creekside Zone is closed for 2022 as it will be an active construction zone.
  • 1 4
 Garbanzo Chair will open at 10:15am, adding 45 minutes of laps to the Garbo Zone each day, and additional bike cabins will be earmarked on the Whistler Village Gondola to move riders up the mountain faster.
  • 13 1
 @WhistlerMountainBikePark: bummer you could answer that comment but not a word on the WC track named in Honor of Stevie
  • 9 0
 @WhistlerMountainBikePark: you should say that in your press release then, since that's the one single thing people need to get from this. Titles are just clickbait, everyone knows it, put the truth in the text of the post as well please.
  • 3 0
 @stormracing: 10000% Agreed!
  • 1 0
 Yes all of Creekside will be closed.
  • 69 24
 Fuk you Vail
Lines were insane last year, wrapping around the village. Creekside was lined up past the pedestrian overpass. Now you're shutting down a whole zone? A zone that wasn up and running with two chairs in 2019?!
Suck my balls!
  • 23 2
 hahahaha... please don't hold back how you really feel.
  • 7 12
flag ybsurf (Apr 15, 2022 at 9:47) (Below Threshold)
 Calm down, when are they suppose to do upgrades and maintenance? Maybe 50 people rides garbo at a time so I'm sure it wont be too bad and with those upgrade and new terrain they might be able to offer aline and dirt merchant type of trail there and really help relieve crowd on fitz.
  • 60 4
 Ah yes f*ck Vail for...

*checks notes*

...investing in much needed infrastructure
  • 36 0
 Dude - they are installing a brand-new Gondola - double the size of the existing Creekside Gondola, and swapping Red Express from 4 to a 6 chair. This will be a massive improvement once it is complete... and this isn't stuff you can do in the Winter months.
  • 13 1
 And btw other than openning and closing week end line up were pretty decent last season, just pick your days better.
  • 2 1
 @Powertrip1: They should do that with Fitzsimmons chairlift instead, it is old and outdated only 4 seats with massive line up. They can easily put a 6 seats + 4-5 bike racks on every chairlift like in Europe instead of every 2.

The line ups gonna be crazy it is gonna be like the crank works line ups 24/7.
  • 7 1
 Every time I've been to Creekside (perhaps a total of 10 different days over 2 years) the line is non-existent. They certainly don't need a bigger lift for the summer, but I guess they know what they're doing. I wonder if you can still ride down it and just end up down there to stay. I feel bad for that restaurant down there.
  • 1 0
 @Ba1rog: make sense but that will need to be a brand new lift as there is no way fitz could be close in summer.
  • 1 0
 @gtill9000: I'm assuming they planning on building better trails there to relieve the pressure on fitz, almost everyone ants to ride aline dirt merchant shlayer type of trails.
  • 3 1
 @gtill9000: buddy... were you there last summer? We went in late September. Line was easily 45 minutes consistently Friday / Saturday / Sunday. Restaurants were busy.
  • 4 18
flag WhistlerMountainBikePark (Apr 15, 2022 at 11:59) (Below Threshold)
 @gtill9000: The Creekside Zone is closed for 2022 as it will be an active construction zone.
  • 2 1
 @gtill9000: Yeah, the upgrades are for the winter. The creekside gondola is really old and can get backed up on bust winters. The Big Red almost always has a huge line in winter.
  • 6 2
 @Powertrip1: please explain how this will be such a massive improvement?The big lines are on the fitz chair, there’s hardly ever a line on Creekside…more capacity where its not needed and zero improvement where it’s actually needed.Yes, the improvement will be MASSIVE in the winter but for the bike park , this is shit, same price, longer lift lines, less terrain = f*ck you Vail
  • 1 1
 Part of the lift line length was due to distancing a couple metres between groups. It was ridiculous at times though. I want to know about parking and the increased capacity? Might not be an issue but…
  • 1 0
 @bobsten: Creekside gondi has never been open late Sept
  • 1 0
 @gtill9000: no, because they will be working over there and all trails to creekside will be closed. Tons of constructions and helicopters
  • 1 0
 @alanabailey: true. I've been watching the progress. And I take back my initial attack on Vail. I truly do appreciate what you're doing. It's just the pain of shutting down what is 25% of the hill is going to hurt this summer. It was already getting ridiculous with the line ups.
  • 27 0
 I have a mind bending idea for you vail. What about you do all your uphill sightseeing on Blackcomb and leave whistler gondola for bikers only. The sightseers could come back down Whistler gondola, but not up.

Dosent that make any sense?
  • 5 0
 They did that for part of the summer in 2020 I think, works great to spread crowds out
  • 22 1
 Bumping up prices, reducing offering. Sounds like the Vail way.

At a minimum it would have been courteous to disclose that before starting selling passes for the season. "Glad" i got spooked by the new pricing and decided i was too poor for Canada this summer.
  • 5 0
 Welcome to 2022, pay more for less is the new motto
  • 18 0
 So they're closing like 15% of the bike park, does that mean we get lift tickets for 15% less?


Didn't think so
  • 15 0
 Checkout these other awesome bike parks instead this summer! Sun Peaks Bike Park Silver Star Bike Park Valemount Bike Park Fernie Bike Park Kicking Horse Bike Park Panorama Bike Park Mount Washington Bike Park Revelstoke Bike Park
  • 2 0
 Already have trip planned to hit many of those. Had 2 days planned at Whistler, but might need to re-arrange my days to hit Whistler more mid-week.
  • 2 0
 Also Big White Bike Park, and Coast Gravity Park Big Grin
  • 1 0
 @FatahRuark: if it's anything like last year, there was no down time. Tuesday am id casually ride to creekside, only to find a line up that extended onto the pedestrian overpass. That's one heck of a line for mid week.
  • 17 1
 You had me at Adirondack chairs.
  • 2 0
 'Murica, Huck Yeah! Big Grin
  • 11 0
 @WhistlerMountainBikePark With less than a month before the scheduled opening of the bike park, I am sure you could have warned travelers of this change of venue, as a common curtesy, given that many people plan months in advance, if not years, to come to Whistler. While it is not expected that there would be a reduction in ticket and pass prices for the reduction in the service provided, it would go a long way to improve the Vale name, which has such a poor reputation as it is. Lastly, even offering a shuttle service back to the Village from Creekside would have been a way to still the trails on Creekside without requiring the Gondola to get back up as there only two trails only cross under the Gondola, one time and could easily be rerouted at the bottom, if necessary.
At least add some more trails on the Garbo Zone to make up for the trails that have been taken away. What else will the trail crew be doing?
  • 1 0
 It's going to be an active construction zone. It would not be safe to be riding through. All trails will be closed, not just because the gondola is closed.
  • 3 0
 this was announced last fall
  • 13 0
 Maybe planning for a would cup DH event. Yes Please
  • 11 0
 I think we can pretty much count on that. Creekside will be ideal for such a course with the steeper topography, as well as a full village that can accommodate press and team trucks etc, while letting the main park remain open and unaffected. It's a wise move, even if it means no Earth Circus laps this summer. (Stamps feet in feigned protest.)
  • 7 0
 I dont know how they manage to do it but in France when they install or change a lift, they dont close down an entire section of the mountain. Except the construction zone (like max 50m around the actual construction site) at the bottom and the top nothing is close.
  • 2 0
 It's the way the mountain is laid out. This is the original southern base from which you have to get a long way up to a suitable mid station area and it rises up a narrow section of skiable terrain. There are only two ski runs, The Dave Murray Downhill as seen in the 2010 Olympics, and Lower Franz's. Creekbase has had various lifts dating from 1965 but recently has had one modern gondola. It sounds like they're expanding the gondola and adding a chairlift so going back to two lifts as it was in the past. This is in part because there's a renewed desire not to have to drive the further 4km to the village for traffic reasons, and that really has to do with the stupid housing crisis where so many people who work in whistler have to drive from Squamish, just like day skiers from Vancouver. There are some great tech trials down that side but the flow trails are more berms and less jumps, so are less popular than the village side.
  • 2 0
 @The-Foiling-Optimist: No Vail is building a new gondola with increased capacity to replace the old Creekside Gondola and increasing the capacity of the existing Big Red chair from 4 to 6 persons. But you are right in that all the Creekside trails are under the existing lifts or funnel into the bottom.
  • 1 0
 Vail is extremely restrictive of their construction zones because Vail. All other ski area operators in NA operate as you stated
  • 10 1
 And to compensate for the loss of Creekside parking and access, you're going to make lots 4 and 5 free parking like they used to be for the summer, right?
  • 10 4
 When you come from Europe, not very often, it's more than a bummer to see the whole creekside closing for the whole summer. Especially with no decrease in price for the bike park pass.
  • 10 25
flag scott-townes (Apr 15, 2022 at 12:52) (Below Threshold)
 Yeah man, what a tragedy having the ability to travel from Europe to Whister for a vaca and they don't decrease the pass price by $30 CAD. I bet that like makes it completely unaffordable for you types.
  • 7 0
 I have to bike from Alta Lake and get pissed when i see the lines for the bike park. Coming from Europe? Not a chance. Honestly, all that Whistler does well is marketing. Go to a place that values your business because these Vail pricks sure dont.
  • 5 0
 What ever happened to the Steve Smith "1199" World Cup DH track?
Whistler was building and posted about it pinkbike in 2018, and then never again?
Any word?

www.pinkbike.com/news/first-look-the-stevie-smith-1199-dh-track.html
  • 4 0
 Still in progress. It was being constructed din 2019, but paused in 2020 for covid. Apparently last season there was a small amount of work done on it, but it is still in the cards. NSMB forums have some info on it.
  • 2 0
 @Angu58: have a link? Would be sweet to see updates on it
  • 1 0
 @Angu58: I couldn't find a link haha, send it? (please) ;D
  • 3 0
 www.pinkbike.com/forum/listcomments/?threadid=31119&pagenum=1564#commentid7002524

last few entries on this page, and the first comment on the next. Nickel is involved in the park crew, and knows his stuff.
  • 4 0
 In our experience last year, Creekside was quite quiet on summer weekdays so it doesn't feel like a huge imposition. Having said that, we're booked to stay at Creekside for a week in August, which was organized before we knew about the closure. I have a DH bike, and we know that summer road traffic between the bases can be really bad so you ideally don't want to have to drive. Fortunately the rest of my family are on Enduro bikes, so they can literally tow me up the Valley Trail to the Village every morning. Will have to remember to bring a tow rope.
  • 1 0
 its 4km from creekside to the village. if there is accidents on the highway that 4km can take over an hour, supposing traffic is "normal busy" you're looking at a 5-10 min drive. but then you have to find parking in the village... other option is the bus, but they've been on strike for over 2 months in whistler with no end in sight.
  • 5 1
 Damn, now how am I going to ride some featureless blue trails that make me want to kill myself lol for real though its still super worth it to go to whistler. Buy passes, stay there!! Silverstar is good too, but don't bother with Sun Peaks. It's just not worth it, the whole place is mediocre, they aren't doing any big plans or anything don't bother. Just keep riding whistler and silverstar, please.
  • 3 0
 Vail: Hmm when should we begin this construction and close down Creek Side? .... the first Summer season that internationals can easily travel to Canada

Also Vail: as per the above actions, we will consciously increase lift wait times and do nothing to counterbalance it.

You do realize there will be an influx of overseas visitors now that country exit / re-entry and entry into Canada is more laxed?

Some don't care as Creekside may not have all the bells and whistles as the rest of the bike park, but I think its a great place to have chill laps and alleviates queue and dining wait times, plus lightens trail degradation due to more spread usage.

What Vail has also done is just taken a noticeable chunk of the business away from the Creekside area. Who knows, maybe most of it is Vail owned. Likely those businesses will have to reduce shifts to workers during the summer season.
  • 1 0
 Most of the facilities in creekside are owned by vail. And most of the businesses are currently closing early because of limited employees
  • 3 0
 That’s a very sloppy press release - clear as mud. Assuming that the whole of Creekside zone is closed the park will be a zoo this summer. No season ticket purchase for me this year. The upgrades are necessary for sure. Roll on 2023.
  • 3 0
 We have had to cancel past 2 years due to travel restrictions and this year we booked accomodation and planned our whole holiday from being based out of Creekside. (we booked november last year and now any accomodation to change is well out of our price range) This is a once in a lifetime trip for us, and I couldnt wait to ride missfire into BC's trail etc Seriously, first year people can travel from abroad and the whole zone is closed?! 3 months notice? @WhistlerMountainBikePark
  • 3 0
 it was announced last September that Creekside lifts were getting upgrade this spring.
  • 1 0
 No worries, friend. You’ll still have an amazing time.

Bring your enduro bike too, the trails outside the bike park are just as incredible & fun.
  • 2 0
 @WhistlerMountainBikePark: So less total Trails to ride, longer wait times but the same high price? No discount?

Also, why is this information not available on the Page where you purchase passes?

Seems like a sneaky hidden detail they dont want to advertise and be straight up about....
  • 4 0
 Doh, the house we are renting is on that side. Looks like we will be pedaling much more than planned.
  • 4 0
 its 4km (2.5 miles) and about 30m (98 feet) in elevation gain. with a bit of pace on an enduro rig it takes me 10-12 mins (10-12 mins), you'll be alright!
  • 3 0
 @captaindingus: but on a DH rig, itll SUCK balls
  • 1 0
 @neroleeloo: I did it for a summer from Alpha Lake to WBP on the west side bike trail. Not so bad, put a little easier cassette on, all good.
  • 5 0
 I like creekside Smile the hotels on that side are going to be pissed.
  • 1 0
 Hotels there are owned by vail
  • 1 0
 Just wait until they close down your favorite trails all summer to lay down underground snow making pipes. And above ground snow guns. You'll love that!

At least you have a shitton of other trails and lifts to choose from. Not so much from Keystone or Vail bike park/trails.

As said from a Coloradoan whose lift access trail days have been affected many, many times by these winter time "improvements". Like since the late 1990's (That being said, winter time activities do bring in the revenue so we can have summer time activities. At least from what has been explained to me.)

"What do you mean Magic Forest to Old9 is closed?!?! Still?!?! Son of A biscuit!!! That's the only reason I came here!!" Is what I say kinda more than you'd think....

Ah yeah Big Grin
  • 5 0
 Ride don’t slide?
  • 1 0
 Hoping that remains accessible. Can't see why not, but again, who knows.
  • 4 20
flag WhistlerMountainBikePark (Apr 15, 2022 at 11:42) (Below Threshold)
 The portion of Ride Don't Slide which is in the Whistler Mountain Bike Park will remain closed for Summer 2022, as will all other trail sections contained inside the bike park which lead to Creekside.
  • 12 12
 @WhistlerMountainBikePark: you guys are so lame, the least you could do is to offer massive discount but even at a sale price, the pricing is pretty much the same as last year…with SO much closed off.

You really are the worst
  • 1 1
 @neroleeloo: Maybe just don’t buy a ticket then? Either it’s worth it or it’s not.

All these people complaining about lift lines, but reducing the price just makes that worse. Why on earth would they change their prices if the lifts are already at capacity?

Instead of complaining about the inevitable effects of improving infrastructure, seems like people could focus on
  • 5 2
 So many complainers. Look forward to the lines being shorter given all the haters won’t be coming up this year.
  • 6 0
 Oh boy, you're not gonna like the surprise you're about to get!
  • 3 1
 Lol
Love seeing your knickers in a bunch.
These closures have been posted all winter.

8 man gondola to 6 pack chair.
Math doesn’t work out so well.
  • 3 0
 I mean it’s currently a 6 person gondola to a 4 person chair, shouldn’t be that different but capacity should go up overall
  • 1 0
 Just announced that they are going to a 10 person gondola.
  • 1 0
 But once you take the gondola up from creek side, you don’t have to take red chair. You can ski to the village and head up whistler or over to blackcomb. I’m sure the majority people are going to wait to go up red, but there are other options, especially for people who are just going over to the village.
  • 2 0
 South Park and Earth Circus??? Please no!!!! These are my favorite chill day trails. Sonofabitch!
  • 1 0
 Agreed, a great way to end the day with some fun twisty stuff. Next year.
  • 1 0
 Silverstar is super fun. Walk the line is dope. I haven't checked out Big White yet but it looks like they are building a lot.
  • 1 0
 @whistlermountainbikepark This info could have been put out a lot earlier in the year. People plan for and save money to book condos to ride in the whole park.
  • 1 0
 Info that they were replacing the gondola was put out last september
  • 1 0
 Welp.. had a Whistler trip planned.. opted for 2 of my 3 nights lodging in creekside to get easy access to this zone for 1-2 riding days.. now I gotta pedal to the village..
  • 1 0
 Midguard and misfire still open? Hopefully just everything below this is closed
  • 1 0
 They're going to be closed :/
  • 2 0
 bummer





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