Bike Park opens Saturday 

Crews clear snow from popular trails


With the help of some warmer weather, machinery and elbow grease, crews are on track to have a good number of popular trails open Saturday, May 16 when operations begin in the Whistler Mountain Bike Park.

Despite the late season and deep snowpack, crews were able to clear enough snow to open 12 trails for opening day, including Lower A-Line, Crank It Up, B-Line and Ninja Cougar. All are for intermediate riders and up, but more trails will open as conditions allow.

"The weather is looking better through the weekend, and crews are working hard to try to get Upper A-Line open as well as some other trails," said Crankworx director Jeremy Roche. "The next weekend will look much better, but we've been pleasantly surprised by the number of trails and type of trails that we were able to open for opening day."

The Air Dome is also opening to riders on Friday, May 15. The Air Dome is an 8,400 square foot indoor bike training facility with wooden ramps and a gigantic foam pit for practicing tricks.

"At Whistler Blackcomb we're lucky enough to have six months for mountain biking season," said park manager Brian Finestone. "As all trails are covered in snow the anticipation builds when we can finally clear the trails and get the Bike Park open. The mud gates are about to open this Saturday... We've got lots of trails ready to go and are expecting a great start to what will no doubt be another fantastic season."

Construction will continue on several trail sections, especially into the Garbanzo Zone when it opens later this summer. However, the bike park opened three new trails sections and features in the last week of 2008 which will be new to most riders. That includes new sections of Blue Velvet and Freight Train, as well as improvements to No Joke. New features include wall rides that were built into the tunnel under the Olympic downhill course.

Hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. until June 19, when the park will open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Access is by the Whistler Village Gondola, with the Fitzsimmons Chair opening on weekends.

Also new this year, the bike park is redesigning the Boneyard to create more of a permanent series of runs with grass in between, while also redesigning the giant slalom and dual slalom courses.

Early season adult tickets are $40, and season passes are available for $435 until June 19 and $475 after June 20. Winter Edge Card and season passholders are able to purchase passes for $425.

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