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Orientation Guide

For New and First Time Bike Park Riders
Welcome to Whistler Mountain Bike Park, the number one lift-accessed downhill bike park in the world. With 70 expertly-crafted trails spread throughout four distinct mountain zones, we are proud to offer the most terrain of any bike park in North America. Riders will find plenty of fun throughout the Bike Park and exciting trails designed for every level.

Where to Start


BEGIN ROLLING ON TWO WHEELS THE RIGHT WAY.

If you’ve never mountain biked before, downhill biking can look pretty intimidating. But it’s not all about big air and high speed like you see in a lot of videos. As long as you’re comfortable riding a bike, you too can give downhill mountain biking a try. But it’s important to get started right so here are some helpful tips to get you rolling down on two wheels safely.

KNOW BEFORE YOU GO

Get the right downhill techniques and tips from the beginning with a lesson from a bike park guide. Whether you need the fundamentals of bike riding or want to simply refine your skills, our expert coaches teach the right techniques required for riding downhill and navigating around the park. You’ll gain confidence and know which trails to ride suited for your ability.

Bike Park 101
The perfect program for beginner riders who would like an introduction to the Whistler Mountain Bike Park. Learn More
DOWNHILL RIDING SKILLS TIPS
Bike park riding, especially at the Whistler Mountain Bike Park, requires a new set of skills riders need to have in order to ride safe and to progress your skills properly throughout the range of our trail network. Learn More

ORIENTATION CENTRE - FREE FOR EVERYONE

If you’re new to bike park riding or just unsure where to begin, start at the Orientation Centre located at the top of the Fitzsimmons Express. Here, our standby guides will help you get comfortable on your bike and learn what trails are best suited for your ability level. Need a tip or two? No problem. Our guides will give you helpful instructions you can use to practice at the Fitzsimmons Skills Centre first before you start to ride.


Orientation Centre

WHAT TO WEAR


COVER UP FROM HEAD TO TOE

Don’t let weather, obstacles, or crashes put an early end to your day. Protect your body from a range of elements and injuries with these recommended protective gear designed exclusively for downhill mountain biking.

  • Helmet (Mandatory) – A helmet is required for all riders in the bike park. We strongly recommend a full-face helmet to provide the greatest range of protection.
  • Goggles – Wrap-around goggles are the best choice for eye protection against dirt, branches, and other obstacles you’ll encounter on the trails or in a crash.
  • Elbow and Knee Pads – Provide protection from cuts, scrapes, and any impact to these parts of your body that are most common to be injured in a crash.
  • Closed-Toe Shoes – Shoes with a durable toe box and high ankle support are important to manage the rough terrain and impact.
  • Long Sleeved Shirt and Shorts – Cover up with the proper clothing to limit the amount of bare skin showing.
  • Full Finger Gloves – Use these to keep your hands on your bars with secure grip on your brakes. Your hands are typically are first to support you in a crash so you want them covered up.
  • Body Armour – Optional for anyone who wants extra protection for your back and chest.
  • Neck Brace – Optional for anyone who wants extra neck support which typically is needed when hitting large jumps and drops.
What To Wear Exsample
GBB Bike Shop
Located at the base of Whistler Blackcomb's world class mountain bike park, Garbanzo Bike & Bean offers everything a downhill enthusiast could need. Learn More
Garbanzo Rentals
Located at the bottom of the bike park, Garbanzo Rentals is the place to get suited up with the right protective equipment with your bike rental. Learn More

WHAT BIKE TO RIDE


NOT ANY OLD MOUNTAIN BIKE WILL DO.

Riding the Whistler Mountain Bike Park requires a different type of mountain bike than you might be used to. Mountain bikes with full suspension with the right geometry and components for downhill riding will make your day in the park safe and fun.

DIFFERENT TYPES OF BIKES YOU SHOULD RIDE IN THE PARK

Downhill Bike
DOWNHILL
All Mountain Bike
ALL-MOUNTAIN
Cross Country Bike
CROSS-COUNTRY
(not recommended)
  • Downhill – Downhill-specific bikes are intended for all levels of riders who want to enjoy the most out of the Bike Park.  A full suspension, downhill-specific bike like the GIANT Glory handles the Bike Park’s technical and free-ride terrain the best and is specifically designed for descending, not ascending.  We recommend this type of bike for any level of rider in the bike park.

  • All-Mountain – All-mountain bikes combine full suspension in the front and rear with a more upright design allowing riders to descent yet ascend when needed.  At the minimum, bike park riders should have an all-mountain, full-suspension bike, similar to the GIANT Reign, which is best suited for beginner and intermediate terrain only.  Please note, uphill riding is not permitted in the bike park.

  • Cross-Country (Not Recommended) – Cross-country bikes generally have less suspension than most mountain bikes, making them ideal for pedaling long distances.  The GIANT CTV is a hard-tail bike (no rear suspension) that’s ideal for the cross-country trails in the Whistler Valley.  Cross-country bikes are not recommended in the bike park.
Garbanzo Rentals
Located at the bottom of the bike park, Garbanzo Rentals offers the biggest and best fleet of downhill mountain bikes provided by GIANT. Learn More
Demo Center
Rent and test drive a range of high performance downhill bikes from a variety of brands at our conveniently located Demo Centre right beside GBB. Learn More

HOW TO RIDE SMART


THERE IS MORE TO KNOW THAN YOU THINK.

Whether it’s your first time in the park or it’s your first lap, it’s important to ride smart. Slow down before you speed up because crashes can happen often on your first lap. Ride a trail multiple times to get familiar with the features and equipment first so you can confidently push your limits without pushing your threshold.

FOLLOW THESE 3 STEPS WHEN STARTING TO RIDE


  • PRE-RIDE  – Warm up the brain and body and inspect the trail at low speed.
  • RE-RIDE – Lap a trail a few times and get to know the flow of the features.
  • FREE-RIDE – Start small and work your way up to faster speeds and larger features.


MATCH YOUR SKILL ON THE RIGHT TRAIL

All trails within the Bike Park are designated by colour coded markers at the start of each descent. Work your way up to more advanced trails and features based on your progression, skill, and comfort level. Understand there are also two types of trails as well: Freeride and Technical and both types range from Beginner to Expert.

FREERIDE TRAILS: Jumping Skills Required

Freeride trails are built by machines and contain man-made features including jumps, drops, gaps, wallrides, narrow surfaces, berms, and other natural or constructed features. Freeride trails are distinguished with an orange oval around the difficulty symbol.

BEGINNER Beginner Freeride Trail Logo
  • Smooth, wide surfaces with gentle corners and rolling terrain.
  • Designed for new bike park riders.
INTERMEDIATE Intermediate Freeride Trail Logo
  • Smooth surfaces on steeper terrain, including larger corners, rollers, and small jumps.
  • Raised features like bridges and wallrides require jumping skills and speed.
  • Suited for riders who have mastered all beginner freeride trails.
ADVANCED Advanced Freeride Trail Logo
  • Mix of smooth and rough riding surfaces on steep and fast grades.
  • Larger-man-made features including jumps, raised bridges, and steep wallrides.
  • Advanced jumping skills required.
  • Suited for riders who have mastered all intermediate freeride trails.
EXPERTS ONLY Experts Only Freeride Trail Logo
  • Trails with steep terrain and very fast speeds that require expert jumping skills.
  • Mandatory jump features that require knowledge of gaps and landings.
  • Suited for the most advanced riders only.
PRO LINE Pro Line Freeride Trail Logo
  • Largest gaps and mandatory jump features.
  • Expert jumping skills required.
  • Suited for professional riders only.
TECHNICAL TRAILS:

Technical trails are designed to embrace the rugged shape and terrain of the mountain, utilizing a majority of natural terrain features. Trails are typically hand-built and feature organic obstacles and stunts such as rocks, roots, logs, drops, jumps, and other natural or constructed features that require technical riding skills. Technical trails are identified by just their difficulty symbol.

BEGINNER Beginner Technical Trail Logo
  • Rougher singletrack trails with small rocks and roots.
  • Designed for new bike park riders comfortable with beginner freeride trails.
INTERMEDIATE Intermediate Technical Trail Logo
  • Rougher terrain with tighter corners and steeper grades.
  • Larger natural obstacles, including roots and rocks.
  • Suited for riders who have mastered all beginner trails.
ADVANCED Advanced Technical Trail Logo
  • Steep grades with large technical features, including rocks, roots, and drops.
  • Technical handling through tight trees and rough sections.
  • Suited for riders who have mastered all intermediate technical trails.
EXPERTS ONLY Expert Technical Trail Logo
  • Steepest grades with the most technical features.
  • Warming up on intermediate and advanced trails encouraged.
  • Suited for the most advanced riders only.
PRO LINE Pro Line Technical Trail Logo
  • Most difficult technical terrain on the mountain mixed with freeride features.
  • Proficient handling of all bike skills required.
  • Suited for professional riders only.

SUGGESTED TRAIL ROUTES

Not sure which trail to start on first? Get a point of view look at the first three suggested routes you should ride in the park if it’s your first time.

WHICH TRAIL TO RIDE NEXT

Knowing which trail you should ride next for your ability has now been made clear with the Trail Progression Scale. This handy tool separates technical and freeride trails and list them from Beginner to Pro Line in the correct order of their difficulty.


Trail Progressional Scale
Know what trail to ride next with this helpful tool that lists all of our trails from easiest to hardest while separating them from Technical and Freeride. Learn More
Trail Map
Explore all four riding zones and every trail in the bike park with our trail map. Learn More