Opening Day at the Whistler Bike Park

May 22, 2016 at 17:05
by Fraser Britton  
The 40 minute opening day light line was back under sunny skies. The dirt was tacky form overnight rain and the trails are in the best shape you ll see them all year so get down to the Whistler Bike Park and ride some bikes

Like kids in a candy store, hundreds of enthusiastic downhillers waited patiently in line as the Fitzsimmons Express chairlift spun up to get the 2016 bike park season underway at Whistler Blackcomb.

Everyone from weekend warriors to big name pros made the trek to Whistler this weekend, some even coming from as far away as Asia and Europe. They were definitely not disappointed. With almost the entire Fitzsimmons zone open for riding, and brief rain showers the night before, the trails were in as good a shape as they will be all season. Perfect berms, sticky dirt, and not a braking bump in sight. Well, for a few hours anyways.

Whistler Bike Park Manager Brian Finestone had a smile on his face all day while everyone enjoyed the trails that his crew groomed in an incredibly productive pre-season build-a-thon. And all that was happening while they also geared up to get the heavy dirt movers down the Sea to Sky highway to Creekside in order to create even more options for riders. "I can tell you we set [rider] records for opening days, and conditions were as good as it gets,'' Finestone said of the weekend. ''I am stoked to be up and running with a long list of build projects for the summer. We are revamping our skills parks and planning to put in some final upgrades to the front side before we get approval and move into a development period over in at Creekside."
The opening day lineup is a great place to catch up with friends you haven t seen all winter while you hibernated. At times it stretched to the Gondola entrance but no one was complaining.

While Brett Tippie got everyone in the lift line fired up, we put tires to fresh dirt and shot some photos of local EWS pro and Rocky Mountain/Urge team rider Jesse Melamed and everyone's favorite grom, Jackson Goldstone, as they enjoyed the conditions.

Jesse Melamed flies into the Kovarik line on upper Funshine and Rolly Drops.
  Rocky Mountain's Jesse Melamed flies into the Kovarik line on upper Funshine Rolly Drops.

Whistler opening day images 2016
  Not to be outdone, Jackson thought about it for all of ten seconds before coming in fast.

Whistler opening day images 2016
  A rider from Slovakia rider makes her way down the rock roll on Blueseum.

Whistler opening day images 2016
  Jackson decided to air out that same rock roll on his pint-sized Norco.

Whistler opening day images 2016
  Jesse keeping it low on his enduro bike.

Jesse Melamed and Jackson Goldstone shred Wednesday night delight together as Jesse takes the high road and Jackson the low.
  Jackson coming off the far drop on Wednesday Night Delight while Jesse decides to skip the woodwork altogether by taking the high line.

Jackstone Goldstone on Duane Johnson.
  The rock drop on Dwayne Johnson is easily twice as high as Jackson is tall, although that didn't seem to matter to him that much.

Jesse Melamed On Afternoon Delight.
  Being a local means knowing all of the fast lines. Jesse takes the widest entry possible into a berm on Afternoon Delight.

Jackstone Goldstone on Afternoon Delight.
  Did someone mention berms? Jackson comes into the same line on Afternoon Delight, a local's favorite.

Jill Kintner on Afternoon Delight.
  Jill Kintner made a guest appearance on Afternoon Delight after making the drive up from Bellingham.


36 Comments

  • + 97
 ...and you thought Disneyland had long lines. Welcome to Whistlerland. The happiest place on Earth.
  • + 3
 What do you figure the wait time was on opening day?
  • + 10
 line ups weren't bad. I was there on Opening Day, Friday - 15min for the singles and 25min for the main lines. And way more fun than Disneyland!
  • + 7
 It's only long if you have friends. I have no friends; singles line = quick.
  • + 4
 and by 5 on Saturday the line up was 5-10 minutes. Awesome to have extended play on opening weekend with almost the entire lower park open!
  • + 2
 @richierocket: Pretty quick right at the start of the day, them the queue was out the back of the maze. I rode from 10:15 till 2 and only managed 4 laps. Singles line didn't seem to be going much quicker than anyone else either!
  • + 1
 @aoneal
Lets just say that by the time you got to the front of the line, it was no longer opening day
  • + 1
 @richierocket: I was there saturday and sunday, on saturday I'd may minimum was about 20 minutes, max probably closer to 40.
  • + 42
 "Jesse decides to skip the woodwork altogether by taking the high line."
How the hell did he get up there?
  • + 2
 Exactly my first though. Where the f88k did he come from!!! Surely not a bunny hop at the start of the wood work? Big Grin
  • + 4
 I think there is a kicker picture left at the start of the boardwalk?
  • + 1
 Haha dude looks like he was launched from a catapult!
  • + 4
 The roll-on off this obstacle can be used as kicker to jump all over.
You just need enough speed and less brain to get this idea.
Also saw some locals doing this a few years ago Wink
  • + 1
 Having hit that wood run in, I can honestly say I am humiliated for knowing I want have the balls to do that line if I get back up there.
  • + 2
 Black magic
  • + 14
 Thanks for doing a story on Whistler that doesn't include the same old A-Line/Jump trail pics.
  • + 5
 agreed, though they're exposing some of the best under-the-radar trails in the park! Stay off Del Boca Vista - it's a lame green trail!
  • + 10
 I feel utterly useless and full of regret when I see a kid that small taking lines that big ... Well done kiddo! ... Make The Saw proud Smile There must be something in the BC water!
  • + 4
 Yeah! I think it should be prohibited... I mean PB posting these photos of a kid that rips so well for us old, fat, arm chair warriors... I am so sad... Oh, it's Monday! And I'm off on Thu and Fri... Hell yeah! Weekend in three days! I'll be dreaming about shredding my local hills like being in Whistler..
  • + 3
 Cleanest tap water in the world ☺
  • + 6
 I've stared at that woodwork pic for like 5 minutes and I still cant figure out where hes popped off? anyone care to explain?!

Also, anyone care to speed up my working holiday visa so I can get over there Big Grin
  • + 7
 At the start of the woodwork there is a little roll of dirt to get up level with the wood, bunny hop off it. It's not that hard, more forgetting about what would happen if you came up short with your back wheel
  • + 2
 @Fastestracer: i can bunny hop quite well actually, thanks. just from the length of the wood/cant see a kicker, it seems to be a strange amount of height off the platform
  • + 5
 There is a double compression roll into the wooden bridge. Work them like a pump track champion and the release from the second compression gives enough pop to clear the bridge. I first saw this three years ago and have been working on it ever since. It requires a lot of speed through the preceeding berms and near perfect timing. If you don't quite make it the rear wheel clips the end of the bridge and one is saving a front wheel endo on a steep landing (which I have managed once or twice I have to admit). Feels great when you get it right. It is Whistler so there are probably lots of riders on any given day who can clear it without really thinking about it (Melamed, Kovarik, Metallier etc etc).
  • + 1
 @amrskipro:

yep... two years ago I did the scariest endo of my life there... you describe it perfectly sir!!
  • + 5
 Just to let all of you non-parents in on the fact that yes, he is still a kid (not some mutant dwarf bred in a lab), I'm 99% certain that's an upside down mustache on his head tube.

So @bretttippie , your interview must start with "I moustache you a question."
  • + 4
 Booked my pass last night! so stoked
  • + 3
 I came onto this page to look at whistler opening day, not goldstone
  • + 1
 Some hot girl from BC, please adopt me! I m faithful!!! I wanna live in BC!!!
  • + 1
 Bikes and riders 2016 please!
  • + 2
 Pasta Primavera!

pic #5
  • + 0
 there are just one or two shots of Goldstone - deserved!
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