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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
ok, so I'm thinking about going tho whistler this coming summer and want to start planning it now but I need a little input. We are thinking of going for the crankworx comp and a few days early to ride too. My questions are...would you stay at the mountain itself or somewhere else (i've never been so is there like a town too or a mtn in the middle of nowhere?). Would you ride the resorts trails or go to the other know freeride spots? would you 100% avoid crankworx week? Basically I'm goin into this planning blind and need all the input and helpful hint I can get. Thanks.
 

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The actual weekend of crankworx is kind of a zoo... lift lines get pretty long, trails are crowded, plus many trails & features are closed because they cross into the "event areas". It's still totally worth going though! I would just plan on either spectating or riding the non-park trails, during the actual weekend. The weekdays prior to crankworx are usually perfect- not crowded, and good chance you'll end up riding the lifts with a few pros.

The non-park trails are absolutely worth hitting, I actually prefer them. Mostly not quite as challenging as the harder runs in the park, but also no crowds and the trails are always in primo condition (unlike the park, which gets worked over). You gotta earn your vert though, which scares most away.

Don't forget the shore, squamish and pemberton are all close too....
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
cool, thansk for the info. I think we are leaning towards going a diferent week than crankworx but if the week leading up to it isn't too bad it seems like a cool event. Where would you suggest staying? and we were toying with the idea of renting a truck and riding the shore, not sure though.
 

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I live in Vancouver so I can't say for sure, but if I were to do this as an out-of-towner, I'd rent a pickup from Vancouver, find a B&B to stay at somewhere near Squamish, Whistler, or Pemberton (whichever's cheapest), and have the option to ride any of the aforementioned locations, plus the Shore, which is North Vancouver and the other side of Indian Arm, Port Moody. FM's correct in stating that the trails are well maintained outside of the park.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I haven't checked into flights yet but i'm guessing Vancouver is where we would fly into and then rent a truck from there? and I know in new jersey you gotta be 25 to rent a car and i'll only be 23...does canada have dumb rules like this too? the only reason I wouldn't want to ride out of the resort is we are lazy and we earn a lot of our dh around here so on "vacation" I would like to spend as much time as possible going downhill. My buddy also mentioned looking into riding camps or a guide. I've heard you can get a company to show you around the trail of the resort and shuttle you and stuff, is this worth is or could out of towners figure it out?
 

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njhcx4xlife said:
I haven't checked into flights yet but i'm guessing Vancouver is where we would fly into and then rent a truck from there? and I know in new jersey you gotta be 25 to rent a car and i'll only be 23...does canada have dumb rules like this too? the only reason I wouldn't want to ride out of the resort is we are lazy and we earn a lot of our dh around here so on "vacation" I would like to spend as much time as possible going downhill. My buddy also mentioned looking into riding camps or a guide. I've heard you can get a company to show you around the trail of the resort and shuttle you and stuff, is this worth is or could out of towners figure it out?
Just something to consider. I'd look into flying into Seattle as a cheaper alternative. Depending on the deal, you may end up saving enough to make it worth your while. However, that would mean that you'd NEED to rent a car vs. taking a shuttle or bus to Whistler from Vancouver airport so the costs might get offset anyway.

For lodging, it depends on how many people you have. If it's a big crew, it almost always ends up being cheaper if you rent a house or a big condo. try alluradirect.com

Also, totally understood about wanting to get as many days in the park as possible since you already earn your descents where you live. If you do dovetail your trip around Crankworx, riding outside the park on the busy weekend of the festival makes the most sense......the park's a total zoo and you can get some incredible rides in around the Valley which wouldn't require a car (only the motivation to do some climbing/pushing). Of course, if you have a car, a trip to Squamish, the Shore or Pemberton would be super worthwhile too. I think the vibe of festival is incredible and you'll come away even more stoked on our sport, but riding the park during those days sux balls, imo.

I'm always surprised when it's so hectic in the village and the trails outside of the park are totally wide open. We almost never see other folks on those trails. Of course, most people travel to Whistler to see and ride the park, but I have as much fun on the days where we hit the westside trails or do a khyber excursion.

Cheers,
EBX
 

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njhcx4xlife said:
My questions are...would you stay at the mountain itself or somewhere else (i've never been so is there like a town too or a mtn in the middle of nowhere?).
My son and I spent 5 days in Whistler (part of a 2 week MTBing road trip) in early July 06. A few thoughts/suggestions:

- We departed Whistler the Monday before the opening weekend of Crankworx (most of the big events occur on the last few days). We picked the time to avoid the crowds, to get in some good riding before the trails were totally worked (happens during Crankworx and takes the crews a week or 2 after to re-buff them), and to attend a 2-day Schley camp.

- When we were there, the boneyard was under construction. There were people and heavy equipment working, so access was pretty limited.

- There were quite a few pros (Shandro, Schley, Dyer, Cowan, Hunter, etc) in the village and riding the mountain and park. Also, they held the Airprentice competition while we were there. The pros and Airprentice riders added to the buzz and it is definitely fun watching them.

- My son enjoyed the Schley teen camp. $200 for 2 days, which included a 2-day lift pass, free apres after each day, and another free lift pass at the end. My son races DH and definitely got a lot faster. He rode with Schley but his main instructor was Adam Billinghurst (used to race DH professionally; Cove-sponsored; was in the Whistler segment in Roam, right after Rennie). Very fast rider and cool guy. He apparently gives private and group lessons that can be arranged through guest services.

- The main Whistler villages (upper and lower) surround the base of Whistler and Blackcomb mountains. Basically, if you stay in the main village you park your vehicle when you get there and walk/bike the rest of the time. Pretty much everything you need is closeby. The closer you get to the lifts, the more expensive the accomodations. We stayed at the Panpacific which is about 100 feet from the Fitzsimmons lift. The cost was $175 (Cdn) per night, which is a bit expensive but the digs were nice and very convenient. For example, our room overlooked Whistler mountain so we could come in from riding for a rest, check our bikes with the bike valet (secure storage . . . very important), have a bite to eat, enjoy a cold one, watch the action from our balcony, and wait for a break in the line before going back out to ride some more. The room had a kitchen and could easily sleep 4 or more, so if there are several of you it might not cost you too much each if you share. As already mentioned, you might be able to save some money by booking a condo through alluradirect. However, I don't think any of these are in/near the main village so you'll need to ride you bikes a bit and you'll also miss out on a bit of the vibe you get by staying in the main village.

- Whistler is hard on bikes so you'll likely break some stuff. There are a lot of good bike shops in the village but parts are expensive. Make sure your bike is well tuned before you arrive, especially the brakes which get a real workout. You might consider a tuneup on your fork. Also, if you have them bring some spares like tubes, brake pads, cable housing, shifter cable, derailleur hanger, chain, chain lube, small assortment of tools, etc.

- Be forewarned . . . Whistler ain't cheap. Bring lots of cash and/or plastic, and be prepared to use it. I'd estimate $200 each person per day for accomodation (shared by 4), food, and lift pass, but not including bike parts/repairs, booze, other entertainment, etc.

- Before your trip, do some workouts and pay particular attention to working your hands, wrists, forearms and arms. Arm pump is a big problem and can put you out of commission quickly and ruin your fun. Also, I installed big, soft grips (Oury lockons) on my bike which seemed to help quite a bit.

- Bring armour (full face helmet, googles, shinpads, upper body or at a minimum elbow pads, and proper footwear) and wear it, even if it is hot. Speeds can get very high, the terrain is rough and rocky and the trees are closeby. When (not if) you fall, you will get hurt worse if you're not wearing the right gear. No fun watching your buddies ride while you're injured . . .

- Unless you want to do laundry every day or two, bring a few riding jerseys and shorts. If it rains, you'll still want to ride but will be a total mess by the end of the day.

- Definitely hit some of the non-park village trails. There are lots to choose from . . . check out the free maps so you'll know where to find them. They are pretty flat though, so a lot of pedalling is required. Try to pick a cooler day to ride these trails. We didn't and suffered.

- In my opinion, no trip is complete without riding the "shore" mountains (Fromme, Seymour, Cypress) in Vancouver. You'll need a $10 trail map but riding them is otherwise free and you can easily spend several days on them. We spent 3 days doing this and then visited bike shops when we were too tired to ride anymore. Check out NSMB.com for advice on which trails might be best suited for your skill level. I hear the riding in Squamish and Pemberton are great too, but we didn't have enough time to try it.

- The 25 and over vehicle rental limitation exists in Canada although some companies will apparently rent to anyone 21 and over. Best to check directly with vehicle rental companies.

- There are shuttles that will get you to and from Whistler from Vancouver.
see www.huckwagon.com/whistlerexpress.htm

- Don't forget medical insurance, if you don't already have it. Apparently, about half a dozen riders per day are taken off the mountain by ambulance (locals call it the meat wagon), and quite a few more suffer lesser injuries that still require treatment. The medical staff and facilities are pretty good but you have to pay for them and they can be expensive.

Hope this helps . . . and have fun!!
 

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MadMike said:
My

- - Be forewarned . . . Whistler ain't cheap. Bring lots of cash and/or plastic, and be prepared to use it. I'd estimate $200 each person per day for accomodation (shared by 4), food, and lift pass, but not including bike parts/repairs, booze, other entertainment, etc.

-
- fun!!
find cougars that will drink you up and buy you dinner.......no need to drop that much
 

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Insurance

MadMike said:
- Don't forget medical insurance, if you don't already have it. Apparently, about half a dozen riders per day are taken off the mountain by ambulance (locals call it the meat wagon), and quite a few more suffer lesser injuries that still require treatment. The medical staff and facilities are pretty good but you have to pay for them and they can be expensive.

Hope this helps . . . and have fun!!
MadMike's got most of it right! Just a couple of comments

Even if you have U.S. insurance still bring your cash/plastic. Generally the Whistler Village Clinic doesn't deal with "out-of-country" insurance. Beleive me I know. Maybe there is a Canadian company that offers "Tourist/Travel" insurance you can purchase for a limited time covering your trip.

While the clinic facilities are modern it was a bit understaffed with things feeling a bit rushed...but then again its an emergency clinic and I was still able to dance at my friends wedding the next day. No worm though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks to everyone who gave some input. I certainly found what I was looking for. Thanks to Mike for long list of tips too. I'm thinking we might go up there a different than crankworx because I'd rather enjoy the trip then be at a crowded mountain. I can go watch red bull comps and the us open at home so comps aren't anything special and neither is riding with the pros. The schley camp seems cool and we were thinking about it because everyone says it makes you a much better rider. Not it is time for round 2 of planning...actually getting off our as*es and booking it and coughing up the coin.
 

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Mike I am bookmarking this and re-reading it before the summer trip.....very very good info....thanks for sharing
MadMike said:
My son and I spent 5 days in Whistler (part of a 2 week MTBing road trip) in early July 06. A few thoughts/suggestions:

- We departed Whistler the Monday before the opening weekend of Crankworx (most of the big events occur on the last few days). We picked the time to avoid the crowds, to get in some good riding before the trails were totally worked (happens during Crankworx and takes the crews a week or 2 after to re-buff them), and to attend a 2-day Schley camp.

- When we were there, the boneyard was under construction. There were people and heavy equipment working, so access was pretty limited.

- There were quite a few pros (Shandro, Schley, Dyer, Cowan, Hunter, etc) in the village and riding the mountain and park. Also, they held the Airprentice competition while we were there. The pros and Airprentice riders added to the buzz and it is definitely fun watching them.

- My son enjoyed the Schley teen camp. $200 for 2 days, which included a 2-day lift pass, free apres after each day, and another free lift pass at the end. My son races DH and definitely got a lot faster. He rode with Schley but his main instructor was Adam Billinghurst (used to race DH professionally; Cove-sponsored; was in the Whistler segment in Roam, right after Rennie). Very fast rider and cool guy. He apparently gives private and group lessons that can be arranged through guest services.

- The main Whistler villages (upper and lower) surround the base of Whistler and Blackcomb mountains. Basically, if you stay in the main village you park your vehicle when you get there and walk/bike the rest of the time. Pretty much everything you need is closeby. The closer you get to the lifts, the more expensive the accomodations. We stayed at the Panpacific which is about 100 feet from the Fitzsimmons lift. The cost was $175 (Cdn) per night, which is a bit expensive but the digs were nice and very convenient. For example, our room overlooked Whistler mountain so we could come in from riding for a rest, check our bikes with the bike valet (secure storage . . . very important), have a bite to eat, enjoy a cold one, watch the action from our balcony, and wait for a break in the line before going back out to ride some more. The room had a kitchen and could easily sleep 4 or more, so if there are several of you it might not cost you too much each if you share. As already mentioned, you might be able to save some money by booking a condo through alluradirect. However, I don't think any of these are in/near the main village so you'll need to ride you bikes a bit and you'll also miss out on a bit of the vibe you get by staying in the main village.

- Whistler is hard on bikes so you'll likely break some stuff. There are a lot of good bike shops in the village but parts are expensive. Make sure your bike is well tuned before you arrive, especially the brakes which get a real workout. You might consider a tuneup on your fork. Also, if you have them bring some spares like tubes, brake pads, cable housing, shifter cable, derailleur hanger, chain, chain lube, small assortment of tools, etc.

- Be forewarned . . . Whistler ain't cheap. Bring lots of cash and/or plastic, and be prepared to use it. I'd estimate $200 each person per day for accomodation (shared by 4), food, and lift pass, but not including bike parts/repairs, booze, other entertainment, etc.

- Before your trip, do some workouts and pay particular attention to working your hands, wrists, forearms and arms. Arm pump is a big problem and can put you out of commission quickly and ruin your fun. Also, I installed big, soft grips (Oury lockons) on my bike which seemed to help quite a bit.

- Bring armour (full face helmet, googles, shinpads, upper body or at a minimum elbow pads, and proper footwear) and wear it, even if it is hot. Speeds can get very high, the terrain is rough and rocky and the trees are closeby. When (not if) you fall, you will get hurt worse if you're not wearing the right gear. No fun watching your buddies ride while you're injured . . .

- Unless you want to do laundry every day or two, bring a few riding jerseys and shorts. If it rains, you'll still want to ride but will be a total mess by the end of the day.

- Definitely hit some of the non-park village trails. There are lots to choose from . . . check out the free maps so you'll know where to find them. They are pretty flat though, so a lot of pedalling is required. Try to pick a cooler day to ride these trails. We didn't and suffered.

- In my opinion, no trip is complete without riding the "shore" mountains (Fromme, Seymour, Cypress) in Vancouver. You'll need a $10 trail map but riding them is otherwise free and you can easily spend several days on them. We spent 3 days doing this and then visited bike shops when we were too tired to ride anymore. Check out NSMB.com for advice on which trails might be best suited for your skill level. I hear the riding in Squamish and Pemberton are great too, but we didn't have enough time to try it.

- The 25 and over vehicle rental limitation exists in Canada although some companies will apparently rent to anyone 21 and over. Best to check directly with vehicle rental companies.

- There are shuttles that will get you to and from Whistler from Vancouver.
see www.huckwagon.com/whistlerexpress.htm

- Don't forget medical insurance, if you don't already have it. Apparently, about half a dozen riders per day are taken off the mountain by ambulance (locals call it the meat wagon), and quite a few more suffer lesser injuries that still require treatment. The medical staff and facilities are pretty good but you have to pay for them and they can be expensive.

Hope this helps . . . and have fun!!
 

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njhcx4xlife - Just wondering, do you plan on riding your own bikes on the trip?

We went on a trip around Fernie, BC, last year and shipped our bikes back/forth from Philadelphia via UPS. I don't think checking them on our flight was even an option, given the size of the boxes. We sent them to a LBS in Spokane, WA, on the way out, and then back from BC. Sent them out about 2 wks before the trip and up until about a day before the flight, one of the 4 boxes couldn't be located - and each box had a little bit of each bike in it.

Just make sure to plan ahead. 4 bikes and armor boxed up took up every bit of the F150 we rented to get back/forth to WA.

We're also planning a trip to Whistler this summer depending on how a couple surgery rehabs go, If you or anyone has any info on where to ship your bikes to, let me know. I'm guessing Whistler has own place to ship to given the frequency of people who must go that route.
 

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We went in October, a few years back. The weather was great, no crowds, perfect trail conditions, and we got some fantastic deals on accommodations (if you plan early). If you can afford it stay in the village itself, closer to the lifts the better. We go at least once a year for either Snowboarding, or biking.

Keep a close eye on your bike and gear though, lots of thieves lurking about looking for bikes, or any thing not bolted down. From what we learned from the local shops, is their are allot of bikes and equipment stolen each year, including rentals.

We had our car broken into on Vancouver island (of all places). The bikes were locked up top on roof racks, and covered with a tarp. They smashed a window, tried to crack the steering column to hot wire the vehicle. They must have gotten distracted because all they took was our bike bags with helmets gloves, shoes, etc. Didn't ruin the trip but sure put a damper on it.
 

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Tim F. said:
Keep a close eye on your bike and gear though, lots of thieves lurking about looking for bikes, or any thing not bolted down. From what we learned from the local shops, is their are allot of bikes and equipment stolen each year, including rentals.

We had our car broken into on Vancouver island (of all places). The bikes were locked up top on roof racks, and covered with a tarp. They smashed a window, tried to crack the steering column to hot wire the vehicle. They must have gotten distracted because all they took was our bike bags with helmets gloves, shoes, etc. Didn't ruin the trip but sure put a damper on it.
I'll just reiterate this point so it sinks in.

Don't leave your bike unlocked or unattended. If you can spend 3-5k on a bike and a bunch of cheddar to go to Whistler, spend $30 on a lock and hang on to your bike a while longer. If you go into a store or have an apres drink, lock it up. I usually bring a cable lock that I wrap around a bike rack while we're riding. When we sit down for lunch, I lock the bikes up. About the only place you can eat and watch your bike is the GLC because you can set your bike next to the patio.

Also, if you stay in a condo and they have a cage for locking up bikes, either avoid it (putting the bike in the condo) or lock your bikes together inside of the cage with a cable lock. Lots of bikes have been stolen from those cages when someone accidentally left it open. There's actually an overnight bike valet place now I think at either Garbonzo Bike and Bean or the Summit Shop that is $10/night. Might be worth the piece of mind. Also, don't leave your bikes on your car overnight. The theft issue is a big deal with the locals and the bike park officials who are extremely frustrated.....they've even started to do a bike bait program to help bust some of the folks who are doing it. I wouldn't leave anything of value in your car if possible. Just common sense here.

Good advice from Mike on parts. Here's what I always have with me: brake pads, der. cables and housing, extra rear der. and hangers (given) and any special part that you won't be able to get there. The shops can fix most anything, but it'll cost ya. If you ride Manitou, the Summit shop is a service center for them and are very good. Almost all of the rest will service 'zocchi stuff. Not sure about Fox.

EB
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Yeah mega we are riding our bikes and I think the airline we are currently looking at (cathay pacific) allows bike boxes if they are under 70 lbs with prior approval. Shipping the bike is always the second option but always do-able. EB...you mean lock the bike in the room or the condo right and avoid the cages? The bike valet sounds like a good deal too but If I can get the bike into my hotel room that would be ideal and I can spoon with it at night too.
 

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Whistler is a dish best served often :).

Make sure to lock up you're passport somewhere safe, mine was stollen out of my car, along with my shoes:skep: , my last day there this fall. A short history quiz on the way back over the border and i was home sweet home, though now i have to buy a whole new passport.

Bring plenty of you're favorite pain reliever if you plan on riding the bike more than 2-3 days in a row, you will know the true meaning of hand soreness. Oddly so this was much less so my second year riding 20-30 days a year. Desensitization, or maybe the fact that i am no longer riding a spv manitou fork? If you don't happen to have a favorite pill, they sell codiene over the counter in the pharmacy, does a body good. A certain "tobacco alternative" sells for much cheaper up there, just practice your slightly (don't over do it!) canadian accent and tell the "merchant" you're "from the city."

Have fun, talk to everybody on the lifts, you might make some friends, who can show you arround. Canadians are rad. Tell some jokes at the expense of the Aussies and you're in.

-Teague!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Teague said:
Whistler is a dish best served often :).

If you don't happen to have a favorite pill, they sell codiene over the counter in the pharmacy, does a body good. A certain "tobacco alternative" sells for much cheaper up there, just practice your slightly (don't over do it!) canadian accent and tell the "merchant" you're "from the city."

Have fun, talk to everybody on the lifts, you might make some friends, who can show you arround. Canadians are rad. Tell some jokes at the expense of the Aussies and you're in.

-Teague!
Right there is some other vital info not previously mentioned, and I got plenty of time to work on the accent, haha. Thanks man.
 
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