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Vital MTB’s Guide to Must-Hit Whistler Trails - Part 1, Whistler Bike Park 3

You're going to the greatest mountain biking destination on the planet, Whistler, B.C., so make sure you ride the greatest trails this MTB mecca has to offer!

Vital MTB’s Guide to Must-Hit Whistler Trails - Part 1, Whistler Bike Park

Temperatures are rising, the snow is fading fast, and the days are getting longer. If you think a trip to Whistler is in your future, now is the time to act. Whistler, British Columbia, is the world's premier mountain bike destination, full of trails for all ages, riding abilities and styles, but there are so many incredible trails, that first-timers to the area (and even regulars) may miss out on some gems. That's where we come in. Vital has compiled our years of Whistler-shredding experience to create this handy guide, full of our favorite runs, so you won't miss any of the radness in the greatest bike park on earth. Part 1 of our two-part trail guide focuses on the incredibly diverse and exciting terrain of the Whistler Bike Park.

1. Crank It Up

Intermediate

The most fun warm-up in mountain biking? Start your trip off right by getting your blood flowing on this intermediate classic. Get in-tune with your bike while finding your flow and dialing in your jumping skills. For experts, manualing half the trail and mid-air tire buzzes with your friends are optional entertainment. High fives at the bottom are guaranteed. We’ve been told this trail sees tens of thousands of riders every year, and for good reason - it’s a hoot! The recent addition of Crank It Up More allows you to progress even more before stepping it up a few levels on A-Line or Dirt Merchant.


2. Dirt Merchant >> Del Bocca Vista >> EZ Does It >> A-Line

Most Difficult / Expert-only

If your jumping skills are on-par, Dirt Merchant can be one of the most fun trails on the hill. Drops, step-ups, step-downs, and sizable tabletops galore, not to mention some of the best turns in the park await. This trail is an absolute blast and when you commit to the speed, nothing is smoother. You’ll be grinning ear-to-ear after flowing and flying effortlessly down the first several features.

Pro tip: Don’t jump right onto A-Line after Dirt Merchant, but give Del Bocca Vista a try - it’s deceptively fun for a green trail and offers some of the best natural flow on the mountain.

3. A-Line >> After Atlantis >> Crabapple Hits >> A-Line >> Family Cross

Most Difficult / Expert-only / PRO LINE

Maximize your hang time at Whistler Bike Park with this big, blasty, booter run! It’s a favorite among the freeride crowd and your adrenaline will be flowing after flying over the last hit on Crabapple. The Crapapple Hits are Pro Line-rated, especially after the 2016 rebuild, so it’s best to follow a rider who has them dialed. The final hit has a lip so big it feels like you’re coming into a wall at full speed. Finish things out by manualing and doubling your way through an incredible sequence of turns and rollers below the chairlift in the Bone Yard, occasionally picking your jaw up off the floor as you whiz by the massive features on the Red Bull Joyride course.

Can you boost like this on Crabapple Hits? If you just want to watch, Crankworx Whip Off World Champs is a blast.

4. B-Line >> Funshine Rolly Drops >> Smoke and Mirrors >> Blueseum >> Wednesday Night Delight >> Ho Chi Min >> Heart of Darkness

Intermediate

Fun and flow meets roots and rocks in this rad combination of blue trails in the lower mountain Fitzsimmons zone. Keep your eyes peeled for optional natural doubles as you pump through the singletrack, dial in your turning game on Ho Chi Min, and crack it wide open as you conclude on Heart of Darkness.

5. Schleyer >> Lower Whistler DH >> Detroit Rock City >> Lower Canadian Open

Most Difficult / Expert-only

This combo has it all for those looking to go fast in Whistler. Kick things off by flying through the trees on Schleyer, sending it off step-downs, drops, and rock slabs before hitting Mach 10 on the wide-open fade away of Lower Whistler DH. As you dive back into the trees it feels like a scene from Star Wars as the world flies by, then the pitch gets steep on a massive rock roll that will have you singing the praises of the catch berm below. Finish things off by holding every ounce of speed you can muster on Lower Canadian Open, launching off some incredible step-downs as you near the bottom.

6. Original Sin >> Island in the Sky >> Goat's Gully >> Blue Velvet >> Captain Safety >> In Deep >> Duffman >> Freight Train

Most Difficult / Expert-only

Photo

Think your tech skills are dialed? Even the best riders will be challenged on this Garbanzo Zone lap. You’ll be taking some deep breaths as you eye up several incredibly steep, rocky and rooty pitches that only British Columbia seems to deliver. Your jaw will drop when you see the line the pros take on Goat’s Gully. This one is NOT for the faint of heart!

7. Fade to Black

Expert-only

This short trail is a great way to mix things up and quite literally step up your game. Fade to Black starts just off of A-Line with a quick jaunt down upper Ninja Cougar (which is a blast) before taking a hard left. You’ll be hooting and hollering as you go through the video-game-like berm, step-down, and jump sequence, complete with a mini road gap and a wooden on-off feature.

Weeeeeeeeeeee #whistler #crankworx #fadetoblack #dwaynejohnson #downhill #mtb #bicycles #huckin

A post shared by fredlikestrikes (@fredlikestrikes) on

8. Dwayne Johnson

PRO LINE

This face-melting step-up and blind drop requires full commitment. Blast the fade-away sender on Lower Whistler Downhill then harness your inner Brendog as you deathgrip the bars to conserve every bit of speed coming into the monstrous step-up. The second you land it’s time to refocus on the big drop ahead. Maximum style points to those that can no-hander the drop like Stevie Smith in this ripping One Lap video (1:44) from a few years ago!

9. Afternoon Delight >> Tech Noir

Most Difficult / Expert-only

If rooty steeps sound like your jam, you’ll dig this sequence stemming off of one of the lower trail hubs just below Dwayne Johnson. Stomping the two steep crux moves on Tech Noir will make you love just how incredibly capable bikes have become in recent years.

10. Top of The World

Most Difficult

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Dropping almost 5,000 vertical feet, Top of the World is a must-do after the snow melts – even the lift ride up the Peak Chair is incredible. Embrace your inner Enduro World Series racer as you dissect your way down jagged rocks and truly epic scenery well above tree line. The most epic lap of the park requires a special lift ticket, so inquire at the ticket office when you arrive.

Fun Fact: Consider that the fastest enduro riders on the planet completed their brutal top-to-bottom run off of Top of the World, down Garbanzo and through Fitzsimmons in under 22-minutes!

Bonus Lap! Help Sweep the Trails

Can’t get enough? Same here! As daylight winds down and Whistler’s night scene begins to come to life, keep an eye out for a big wooden board covered in cards near the entrance to the lift line. Each card contains a sequence of trails that you’ll be responsible for sweeping, ensuring all riders have made it down for the day, safe and sound. High five the patroller and head back up for your bonus lap, maximizing your Whistler adventure, likely seeing some new trails, and earning some karma points in the process. Once your day of shredding is complete, access the Whistler Trail database to see what you have left to discover!

Stay tuned for Part 2 of our guide to Must-Hit Trails in Whistler, where we take you on an adventure outside of the bike park.



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Photo

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