Whistler – any advice?
A great weeks trip after whistler would be The Northshore (A must), over to Silver Star (great little lift access mountain), then either up towards revelstoke for some high alpine riding or towards Nelson for the home of burly canadian trails.
See my picures website from summer 2006, I spent a year in Vancouver and rode all over BC.Posted 8 years ago
Four of us have flights booked for two weeks in June/July. Thought about first week in Whistler then second travelling around in a motorhome.
Mixed ability group so could do with some guilding/coaching in Whistler.
Any recommendations – Bearback? Ticket2ride?
Where are the must visit places for the second week.
Any advice much appreciated, CheersPosted 8 years agoGNARGNARMember
Yeah, I realise it almost goes without saying but, the riding over there really is a big step up over 99% of what we have here. You can never have too much armour on when you’re familiarising yourself with whistler – it inspires silliness in even the most sensible riders. During peak season the number of people breaking bones per day is pretty high.Posted 8 years agoone_happy_hippyMember
Bearback are f**king GREAT!
Went with them last year – absolutely flawless service, great guys, very accommodating, lent us demo fox 40’s when my mate snapped his steerer tube.
Cant say a bad word or enough good ones about them.
If your going for mainly DH, take it gently the first few days and wear armour. Between 10 of us, inc some guys that race, we had 1 broken wrist (first day or so) broken ribs, and a broken collarbone as well as more cuts and bruises than you can shake a stick at.Posted 8 years agodavid_rMember
I had a weekend there. Hired a bike from Ticket2Ride and took my own lid and armour etc. Ticket2Ride were great. Very helpful.
I consider myself to be an average rider, and can manage most things in the UK / alps etc…..In Whistler, I realised I suck 🙁 Completely outclassed. It’s a different level.
Having said all of that, I cant wait for an opportunity to get back there. Absolutely loved the place. The ratio of fit birds on bikes to hairy arsed goons was very pleasing to the eye as well.
I was there in July. Can’t say if it’s the norm but **** me it was hot and humid.
Best memory though is going up on the lift and looking down to see two bear cubs play fighting…awesome.Posted 8 years agoone_happy_hippyMember
Also make sure you have a credit card spare – a) parts will break and they arnt the cheapest in whistler and b) People do break and you have to pay xrays / medical costs upfront and then recoup them from your insurance.
My mate had to pay Ca$400 for an xray of his collarbone when he broke it.Posted 8 years agorichcMember
and let your bank know you are going, and take more than 1 card, the bastards kept disabling my cards even thought I told them I was over there.
Hence every other time I took money out (which I had to do over the counters as the ATM’s refused my card) I had to spend 40+ minutes on the phone to the bank to re-enable it (Natwest/Egg and Alliance & L), my GF also had the same problem with her Lloyds, and Barclay cards.
Apparently I wasn’t the only one suffering, as we met some US bikers who were having exactly the same problem.Posted 8 years agofrepsterMember
You havent really mentioned what kind of riding you enjoy, what your experience levels are what kind of budget you have, what bikes you are taking so its difficult to know what to advise.
If you are wanting to do the bike park thing then I dont really see the benefit of using a guiding company like T2r etc.. The bike park is well marked out and the maps really easy to follow. If you want DH skills
training then you could use the bike parks own guides which includes bike hire or my reccomendaton would be to use madmarchracing. This is ran by ex world cup downhiller Shaums March and he really knows his stuff. If you wanna do xc i can see some benefit in being guiding but really it is so well mapped and signed and there are some new good trail guides just published plus all the locals are mountain bikers and more than happy to help you out and point out the trails you should ride if limited on time. It all depends on how much you need you hand holding. I would not spend all week in the bike park as someof the trails in the valley are amazing. PHD, Bintys and Cheap thrills are my favourites
For me guiding companies are convenient but you do pay for it, much cheaper accomoadation can be found in whistler. Maybe you can afford this, I know i cant. T2r wanted me to pay £400 a week for a shared room, this was without guiding or transfers from airport. In the end for $800 i got my season pass and accomodation in employee housing. B&B’s also offer good value accomodation. Whistler mountain house would be my reccomendation, its ran by a year round local who is also a bike guide and 5 mins walk from the village.
As for outside oh whistler, pemberton squamish and vancouver all offer brillant riding and all quite different feel without having to spend too much of your holiday driving. Saying that kamloops is 4 hours away and has awesome trails of all types.
Also you will need some bug repellant as the bugs love fresh blood from abroad. The locals never seem to get bit half as much.Posted 8 years ago
Good stuff, keep it coming. Strong word with Natwest and extra armour on the to-do list.
Big shouts for both Bearback riding and T2R. I would like to go self catering to save some dosh but the most important thing is to get some skills training too. Me and my house mate have been riding for a good few years, have been to the Alps 4 times and placed mid-table in the Mega. We probably think we are quite good and won’t realise this isn’t the case until we head down A-Line for the first time. Our girlfriends on the other hand know they are less confident and would like some coaching to cope with jumps, drops etc. It seems to me the best way to get this would be to pay the premium and stay with a company like T2R.
Anyone take a less experienced partner to Whistler? or any laydeez in da house want to share their experiences of riding in Whistler/Canada?Posted 8 years agotoby1Member
There are trails round lost lake for the less confident/crazy rider which are rated and mapped accordingly. If anyone does fancy easier pedestrian riding it’s a good way to go.
Whistler and budgeting, not with my wife 😛 we stayed at the Adara on our honeymoon but I wouldn’t change a thing about it!Posted 8 years agodavid_rMember
Anyone take a less experienced partner to Whistler? or any laydeez in da house want to share their experiences of riding in Whistler/Canada?
I was working out there (Vancouver) with a work colleague. He hadn’t ridden a bike in years, but I convinced him he’d be fine! (He was French so to be honest, I didn’t really care! ;-)) He kept on the easy stuff and was still in one piece when we met up at the end of the day…he loved it.
IIRC there is a skills area you can go and practice drops etc. The runs I seem to remember also had little tests at the start like “if you can’t ride this drop, do not attempt this route” sort of thing.Posted 8 years agofrepsterMember
Whistler is a great place to travel with the girlfriend as there are so many other women that ride both the park and the valley. The bike park do womens only nights which are about 3 hours and a great deal Womens Wednesday its like $27 for a lift pass and lesson with beer and prizes at the end. They only run in the peak months when the park stays open later.
Look at this woman specific company they do skills camps in whistler a lot in the summer. Believe it or not Canadaian companies can offer excellent skills coaching and actually use qualified instructors where IME some tour operators just use good young riders who are cheap but not necessarily got good teaching methodsPosted 8 years agoBurtsMember
Anyone take a less experienced partner to Whistler? or any laydeez in da house want to share their experiences of riding in Whistler/Canada?
My wife loves it, she’s done several XC trips to the Alps before but cannot jump and still had a lot of fun in the park on a XC hardtail (FS preferred though!). Green trails are a good introduction to the gradient (smooth hard-pack) and most of the blue trails will be rideable by people with alpine experience. Just be careful on the fast blues like Crank it Up, all the tables/jumps can be ridden wheels-on-the-ground but you have to control your speed well to do so (my wife witnessed the result of not doing so and it wasn’t pretty). Get a full-facer for the bike park whatever your skill level, you can rent them in town for approx $15/day.
Lost Lake trails are good tech XC for an hour or 2, tons of other stuff in the valley beyond that but its another step-up (especially if you’re not used to Shore riding). Head south to Squamish if you want to ride longer XC trails at a slightly easier level (although there’s also plenty there thats hard/extreme too).
There are some skills area in the park, but it might seem like a bit of a waste of lift-ticket-time. If you are in Vancouver, there are free skills parks on the North Shore (Inter-river) and Burnaby (SFU).
If your dates match, then your partners could try this. My wife did it last year:Posted 8 years ago
We went up to Tyax and did the floatplane trip up to Warner Lake with Tyax Air. Not cheap, but an amazing experience.
And while in Whistler, the highlight was Comfortably Numb, on the local trail map. Epic XC ride. Take food and water, and make sure your bike is working well.
My photos are on Flickr:Posted 8 years ago
Tell you what is a MUST DO .Take a helicopter trip to the top of Rainbow Mountain and bike back down .The most bonkers funnest thing i’ve ever (or probably will do ) on a bike.Also 2nd the float plane to Tyax the meadows are sweet a la Collective.Oh and the lodge is something else as well.Posted 8 years agoJonEdwardsMember
We’ve been a couple of times and both me and her have really enjoyed it. The park has something for everyone – I spent a lot of time scaring the crap out of myself on the double blacks, she loved the greens and the blues, but could alsoride some of the single blacks at a cautious pace.
The valley trails are damn fine – some of the “XC” routes are truly hard – supertech ups and downs, often only deperated by feet. Lots of climbing with your saddle down and descending in the granny ring.
Tyaughton and the float plane trip is well worth a couple of (expensive) days. *THE* North Shore is a must too. There are a lot of mental trails, but there’s also plenty that are almost sane. It’s worth riding CBC, whatever your level, just to see how good a “man made” trail can be.
Squamish and Pemberton have some top notch riding too, but you will need guides to find the trails there.
Kit? Just about any bike will do, but a decent 6″&6″er should be able to deal with nigh on anything. Use the biggest, toughest, stickiest tyres that will fit, and flat pedals are worth it too. Armour? Yup. How much is up to you. Other than pure XC days, I always went for the full storm trooper look, and I think it saved me a few trips to the hospital.
We went with T2R, but that was before it changed hands last year, so I don’t know what it’s like now.Posted 8 years agoBearBackMember
Don’t worry about stuff for the girls (or the boys) to do if they want some time off the bike. Whistler is a tourist town first and foremost, its just handy that it offers incredible riding too 😉
The bike park is a great development tool (even if you’re not into DH) and I’d disagree that you don’t need a guide. Having a guide means that experienced riders can pick and choose the most appropriate trails that suit your ability and confidence level and can chop and change between trails to put you on an appropriate one for any particular issues that you are having.
All our guides are assessed and certified by Whistler Blackcomb to guide and coach in the park.
Same thing goes for trails in the Valley. The trails can be self guided by map book.. but a map book doesn’t tell you what’s coming in the next section or coach you through sections that may be pushing your comfort level. I think unless you’ve had good guiding, you wont appreciate the value that good guiding brings to your holiday. I’m 100% positive that we offer great guiding and that its adds a tremendous amount of value to our already excellent value for money holidays. We wouldn’t offer guiding if it didn’t improve the holiday experience for our guests if you see what I mean.
In terms of other coaching companies who can and do coach in Whistler, I can strongly recommend Endless Biking. They are North Vancouver based so ideal to use if you plan to hit the North Shore. They are currently establishing a new standard in MTB coaching and I wouldn’t be surprised if this ended up as a course embraced by the NCCP(National Coacing Certification Program) and Cycling BC.
The dirt series is a great program for ladies learning in a group environment and they do have some amazing talent throughout their coaching team. They also have one Whistler based co-ed camp too.
After Whistler, it depends if your riding big bikes or small bikes.
Big bikes, I’d head to Sun Peaks and Silver Star. Small bikes then probably Sunshine Coast and the Chilcotins (Spruce/Warner lakes).
Feel free to get in touch – although I have a feeling we already have been?
JonnyPosted 8 years ago100mphplusMember
I ride for the Ticket2RideBC MTB team and part of my deal is to try and persuade fellow mountain bikers that you really should go and holiday in Whistler with Ticket2RideBC. Furthermore, to try and persuade you even more I am able to offer a 5% discount on the price of your holiday when you book.
I won’t go into the normal sales speel as you already know what’s on offer MTB wise, but there’s also lots of other things to do for your non-mountain biking partners – walking & hiking, horse riding, white water, worlds longest span peak to peak gondola, bungee, zip lines, 4×4 trails, paint balling, golf and you can ski and board until the end of July on Blackcomb Mountain! It really is the adventure holiday destination to cater for everyone!
Go to http://www.ticket2ridebc.com and on booking your holiday use the discount code ‘T2R01’ to receive the 5% discount*
Furthermore if you’re quick and book before the end of March there’s a free Giro helmet offer too!Posted 8 years ago
Whistler is ace,11 of us went last August,only one of our number had been before tho,stayed with t2r,highly reccommended.
I second the comment by BearBack ref guiding.Guiding is much more than being shown where to ride,what trails to use,etc.IMHO a good guide shows you the correct techniques for the various styles/levels of riding out there,our 1st day of guided riding consisted of our guide,(Scott,top man!),showing us allsorts of techniques,& I know that my riding & that of the others in our group came on in leaps & bounds in just one day,& it certainly gives you more confidence for the following two weeks.
One of the girls “rock rolling” on day one:
I’ll second the Rainbow Mountain heli drop as a must do,awesome day,the ‘copter trip to the summit was worth the dollars alone,never mind the ride back down!!(The views aren’t up to much tho….. :wink:)
Bike wise,I took my 8″ travel 46lb d/h feller,& whilst it was ok for the bike park,I felt it was overkill for the heli drop,& it also prevented me from doing any of the xc stuff.So this year when I return in August,along with about 15 others,(staying with BearBack this time),i’m taking a bike more suited as an “all rounder”.Posted 8 years ago
Four of us have flights booked for two weeks in June/July.
It’s probably a bit late to change flights now, but this year has been a “good” snow year. I’d be surprised if the upper trails in the bike park or any of the “alpine” riding in the valley will be fully open when you first arrive.
So, if you can arrange it, try to do lower trails in the first week and higher trails later. I would be very surprised in you could do the heli-biking off Rainbow mountain, for instance.
(BTW: I live and work in Vancouver – and am looking out at fresh snow which fell on the North Shore last night. There’s still a lot of local trails under snow and I had to drive over the border to Galbraith in Washington to get a decent ride in.Grrrrrr.)Posted 8 years ago
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