Two-day epic ride weighs in at 108 km 

Samurai of Singletrack course a doozy

By Andrew Mitchell

From the very first year, Samurai of Singletrack organizers Tony Horn and Ru Mehta have vowed to make the ride harder and harder every September, incorporating some of the toughest singletrack rides in all of Whistler. Each year they have succeeded, according to riders, which is why there’s always a lot of speculation as to what the exact route will be.

Usually the Samurai course isn’t announced until the Loonie Race two days before, but given that this year’s race is two days long — Sept. 16-17 — and involves camping, gondola rides and numerous other logistics, Horn and Mehta are releasing the trail details one week earlier.

It’s going to be a tough weekend.

“We tried to make it the best, or worst depending how you look at it, of all the other years,” said Horn.

“Most of the trails have been in the race before, but only once or twice. We considered Ride Don’t Slide and Mac Daddy Pass this year, but with the logistics and camping it was just too much to put in there. The other big dilemma for us was Comfortably Numb or no Comfortably Numb, and in the end we didn’t put it in because that left out the West Side trails.”

The total distance is 108 km, with 56 km on day one and 52 km on day two. Originally Horn was hoping to divide the course 60-40 with a shorter second day, but the fact that the gondola doesn’t upload until 9:15 a.m. meant a later start on the first day.

Day One — 56 km

Day one starts with a gondola ride to the Roundhouse, at which point riders will bike up and around Harmony Bowl and over the peak of Whistler Mountain to the Highway 86 descent. From there riders will hook up with Khyber Pass and Babylon By Bike, two routes that haven’t been on the Samurai since the second year.

Riders will then descend Tunnel Vision to Kadenwood Road, and head back up to Love Canal and B.C.’s Trail or Boyd’s Trail for another technical descent to Creekside. From there riders will cross the highway and head to Function Junction via the Millar Creek Trail.

After that it’s another long climb up the Mid-Flank trail to Cheap Thrills, 99er, and the south section of Danimal before climbing back up the Lower Sproatt trail. The route crosses itself in the Stonebridge subdivision before following the north section of Danimal to Whip Me Snip Me and Bob’s Rebob.

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