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."
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.
| Rocky Mountain's Jesse Melamed flies into the Kovarik line on upper Funshine Rolly Drops.|
| Not to be outdone, Jackson thought about it for all of ten seconds before coming in fast.|
| A rider from Slovakia rider makes her way down the rock roll on Blueseum.|
| Jackson decided to air out that same rock roll on his pint-sized Norco.|
| Jesse keeping it low on his enduro bike.|
| Jackson coming off the far drop on Wednesday Night Delight while Jesse decides to skip the woodwork altogether by taking the high line.|
| 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.|
| Being a local means knowing all of the fast lines. Jesse takes the widest entry possible into a berm on Afternoon Delight.|
| Did someone mention berms? Jackson comes into the same line on Afternoon Delight, a local's favorite.|
| Jill Kintner made a guest appearance on Afternoon Delight after making the drive up from Bellingham.|