Whistler questions

PINT of Stella. mate!

One Scotch & Joke
Well, I'm finally getting to pop my Whistler cherry! I'll be packing up my trusty Rallon and heading there at the end of May.

I've just a few questions regarding transport and accommodation.

1. Has anyone used any of the shuttle bus services from Vancouver? Are they good value for money? Is it easy to take a bike on them?

2. Accommodation: I've got a few trips on the go this year so I'm trying to go as budget as possible and have been looking at getting a single room at a hostel somewhere. The first place I looked at was Alpine Lodge Hostel which is down near the shore of Green Lake. It looks like it's pretty far from all the action though. Is there much in the way of nightlife around that area? Are there cheap digs closer to the centre of town?

3. I'll be in Whistler for around 7 days. Going by the bike park website, they've got 5 day and 10 day passes available along with a host of others. Does the 5 day pass run consecutively or can you break it up with a day-off here or there?

4. Are there local trails accessible without the lift pass?

5. What's the Top Of The World pass and is it worth getting?

6. Where's the best pub?
 

herbman

Likes Dirt
From my time there depending on price I would look at 2-3 day options as riding the park 3 days in a row will beat you up. I was lucky to be able to hold on to the bars after 3 days
 

Yet1

Likes Dirt
Subscribed! I'll be heading there for a week this year too, although was there with a few locals last year. I did 3 days back to back then and I was rooted by the end, but for this year will hope to do 5 days over 7 on mountain days there. There are definitely lots of xc style trails around Whistler which I believe you can ride from the village to access. I only did chairlift runs last year.

I did the top of the world (I was there in August) and it was very blown out and rocky. But some spectacular views. And if you link it into a run into the creek side part of the mountain, its the longest possible top to bottom run on the mountain. For what its worth, the lifty didn't even scan my pass to go up the lift to the top of the world, so maybe worth trying a free trip before paying. I wont bother doing it again. But I think worth it once.

And you wont have any problems finding a pub - GLC and Longhorn always favourites.
 

treble

Likes Dirt
Well, I'm finally getting to pop my Whistler cherry! I'll be packing up my trusty Rallon and heading there at the end of May.

I've just a few questions regarding transport and accommodation.

1. Has anyone used any of the shuttle bus services from Vancouver? Are they good value for money? Is it easy to take a bike on them?

2. Accommodation: I've got a few trips on the go this year so I'm trying to go as budget as possible and have been looking at getting a single room at a hostel somewhere. The first place I looked at was Alpine Lodge Hostel which is down near the shore of Green Lake. It looks like it's pretty far from all the action though. Is there much in the way of nightlife around that area? Are there cheap digs closer to the centre of town?

3. I'll be in Whistler for around 7 days. Going by the bike park website, they've got 5 day and 10 day passes available along with a host of others. Does the 5 day pass run consecutively or can you break it up with a day-off here or there?

4. Are there local trails accessible without the lift pass?

5. What's the Top Of The World pass and is it worth getting?

6. Where's the best pub?
Been there a couple of times, lived there for a season a few years ago too.

If you are going in May, that is early season. Depending on the weather, they my only have the Fitzsimmons zone open. This isn't a huge bummer as most of the popular trails (A-line, Dirt Merchant, ect) are in this zone. Some of the Garbo zone might be open higher up depending on the weather but its probably unlikely you would be able to ride the peak (Top of the world).

1. I took the Whistler shuttle once ( https://www.whistlerblackcomb.com/explore-the-resort/get-to-whistler/shuttles-and-transfers/bus-and-shuttle-airport-transfer/whistler-shuttles.aspx ) was fine with a bike bag, didn't cost too much, easy pick up and drop off. can recommend

2. If you are there for a short time and wont have a car, try and stay in the village as close to the bottom of the Fitz chair as you can. Anywhere from the bottom of the lifts to the sea-to-sky highway is "the Village" and is a short ride or walk from the lifts and is where all the bars/nightlife is. If you have to cross the sea-to-sky its all houses beyond that. Avoid the upper village (at the bottom of the wizard express lift) as it's pretty much a winter area and can be a bit of a ghost town during summer. Green Lake is probably a bit far, but you could ride to the lifts/bars in 10 - 15 mins.

3. Passes have all changed since I was there. But from my experience there is little need to pre purchase them, when you get there go and see the guest services people at the bottom of the gondola, they should be able to sort you out with the right pass. They are pretty helpful and the passes are pretty flexible from memory. Just get there early! before the sightseeing tourists arrive because the ticket lines get massive at that point.

4. There some great trails over on Blackcomb, but they are a pretty decent climb to get to. Hey Bud, Microclimate and Crazy Train are worth checking out. Be warned, they aren't cross country trails, they are steep and gnarly in spots and have all been stages on the EWS. There are loads more about but they can be a bit hard to find without local knowledge. Try doing some park laps with some locals and they might show you some trails. Otherwise, Trailforks is your friend.

5. 'Top of the world pass' gives you access to the Peak Chair which gets you to the Top of the World Trail. As I mentioned, it most likely wont be open in May. Its fun and pretty scenic. Worth doing once if its open, but not a deal breaker if its not.

6. Longhorn and GLC are the popular apres bars at the bottom of the bike park, I always liked The GLC because you can sit on the deck, get a meal and a beverage while watching the bottom of the bike park and keeping one eye on your bike so it doesn't get pinched. Longhorn is often full of American tourists, depends what you are after. The Irish pub in village square was decent too, forgot its name.
 
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allan.taylor64

Likes Dirt
1. I used a bus service from Vancouver INT airport. Cant remember the name. Dropped me right at my accommodation. Super convenient. Not the cheapest thing but definitely worth it.

2. I've stayed at south side lodge creek side twice. Easy enough trip into the village, 3km on cycle path around the lake, bus or take the creek side gondola up and ride down fitzs zone to the village. Nice thing about creek side is it is a bit quieter than the village. Only a few food options in creek side though.

3. If i was only going for a short trip I'd opt for the 5 day pass and trail ride the other two days.

4. No shortage of local trails if you're ready for a pedal! Check out Backcomb. I tend to dislike climbing as a rule but the best riding of a month long trip was trail riding in the area.

5. Possibly I am confused with another trail but I think top of the world it opened mid - late June last year. Very weather dependant.

6. Hard to go wrong, no shortage of pubs. I enjoyed El Furniture warehouse. Frequented most days for lunch for a beer and $5 lunch.
 

PINT of Stella. mate!

One Scotch & Joke
Cheers folks! Looks like a 5 day pass and the cheapest central digs I can find then. Fingers crossed the trails will be thawed out. First days riding will probably be the 31st May so I'm hopeful!
 

Joel_32

Likes Dirt
Depending on amount of luggage you're carrying you can catch the sky train from airport to downtown Vancouver, then grey hound bus from Central Station to either Whistler Creekside or Whistler Village. Cheaper than one of the Whistler shuttles but you do then have to get from bus stop to accommodation carrying all your stuff. I've done it several times with backpack and bike box on wheels, but I usually stop off in Vancouver for a day or 5 first otherwise direct airport shuttle is more convenient .
 

gippyz

Likes Bikes
Rather than opening new thread, I thought I might just hijack this one.

I'll be in Vancouver for a conference end of June, then planning to spend 5 days or so riding after. My current plan is about 2-3 days whistler then maybe off to squamish. What sort of trails are there in squamish that are a must? - I know there are heaps around. Also is car the only way to get there? or is there a bus or shuttles?

Also I plan to rent a bike. Enduro like Cannondale Jekyll or DH? Also recommended to bring own helmets, armour, pads, pedals, shoes, etc?
 

PINT of Stella. mate!

One Scotch & Joke
Just got back. Whistler was tops although I got delayed by a festival in nearby Pemberton so only got 4 full days of riding in the bike park. Fitzimmons was the only area open but it was more than enough. Garbanzo and Creekside open June 18th IIRC.

I left my bike at home and hired a Santa Cruz V10 for the duration - The bike park is definitely more fun with a dedicated DH bike but everything I rode was doable on a trail or enduro bike. Note - trail bikes are cheaper to hire but a lot of the shops won't let you take them in the bike park.

Hire prices varied depending on the shop and the bike. I went for the bling option but could easily have had just as good a time for 2/3rds of the price (or less) riding a GT Fury from one of the larger hire shops. The per day price tends to drop the longer your hire.

I took my own helmet, pads etc. - no sense in paying extra for someone else's sweaty and ill-fitting gear. It got pretty warm as well so the body-armour got ditched fairly quickly. Elbow and knee-pads did me fine although I did shy away from a lot of the black diamond trails,

Food and drink wasn't too pricey at first glance but it's American rules so tips have to be added on after. Same goes for anything in the shops - the price advertised is minus the sales tax so anything that looks like a bargain won't be by the time you hit the checkout.

That didn't deter me from spending a small fortune mind you. There are way too many shiny, precious things for sale! New goggles, sunglasses, funky riding socks and a full set of Adidas Troy-Lee riding kit all got chucked on the credit card.

Re: Transport. I got a lift up from a mate and then one of the private shuttle buses back. The shuttle was the pricier option (about $60 CAD) but I was after the convenience of getting straight from the hotel to the airport. I didn't need transport in Whistler as the Village is all pedestrianized and my hotel was just across the road from the entrance to the village. Can't really speak for Squamish as we only really passed through it. It's looks a bit more spread out.

Anyway, I had an absolute blast and I'm half tempted to make another trip back before the end of the season!
 
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