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It seems a long time since the bike-park closed up, and the snow season is soon to take hold in Whistler. Whilst this is obviously exciting for lovers of the white stuff, those of the dirt persuasion may not be so pleased. However, the valleys surrounding Whistler are home to a first class trail network, with more maintained and signposted trails to shake a stick at. There is still time to get out on two wheels before the snow really takes a hold (even if it is a little cold), so here is a roundup of our favourite trails of 2014.

5. AC/DC

Found at the Southern end of the flank trail, this lives up to its name of being a rock lovers delight. Plenty of steep rocky chutes to keep you on your toes, which flow nicely between, before ending on some rock rolls. Expect to say 'Is it roll-able?' a fair bit down this trail. Another thing to have a look out for is a very sketchy ladder bridge gap that crosses the trail to ladder bridge landing...

Chute on AC/DC

Is it rollable?

End of AC/DC opens out into Creekside

4. Cheap Thrills

At the more southern end of the flank trail, 'Cheap Thrills' is a double black with some of the wildest features on any trail in the Whistler valley. The first section throws your straight down some long rock rolls with no clear line, definitely worth stopping and looking before sending these! Then it goes on to heavily feature some north shore ladders, the first steep one dropping you out straight into another skinny across a bridge and into an uphill corner. Again probably worth checking this out beforehand! Then it traverses, with a few more steep chutes and rock rolls, but these are much shorter and have lots more dirt than the ones at the start. Not a trail for the faint hearted!

Skinnys galore

3. Pura Vida

One of the more mellow and flowy trails about mid way along the flank trail, 'Pura Vida' is a seriously un-appreciated. One of the fastest runs down, it starts out with mixing twisty singletrack and tight switchbacks before a gnarly off cambered root section (although there is a ride around). It then follows a creek down to where it merges with the flank trail further down, getting steeper with rock gardens around corners, before finishing on a skinny across a river.

Danny dropping into a rooty chute on Pura Vida

2. Green Monster

Found up in the Alpine Meadows area, you undoubtedly have to 'earn' your descent with this trail given the pretty brutal fireroad climb up to the trail head. Another trail high up on the difficulty list, it makes it that much more rewarding and exciting to ride. After a short traverse and some loamy sections of switchbacks, the rest of the trail is made up of steep rock slabs, usually into steeper loam section after!

Trail builders appreciate the difficulty of the climb!

We really do mean big rock rolls..

Lukas dropping into some loam

1. Howler

The climb up to 'Howler' is definitely one of the longest climbs for any trail in the Valley trail network, only second to 'Comfortably Numb'. However, it matches the difficulty of the climb with great fun factor all the way down to the bottom. It has a really nice gradient that allows you to carry speed easily, without feeling you have to hang off the back. It also has a really nice variety of features, some small rock sections and rock rolls to start, before turning into a few flat corner switchbacks (making sure you concentrate) before the final section of flat out and steep loose rocky and dirt corners!

View of Whistler from halfway down Howler

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