The last day of summer was showing up on the weather forecast – on a Thursday. This is what Personal Leave days are for. The drive through Vancouver during rush-hour traffic delayed coffee and cake at the Purebread bakery in Whistler. Finally pedaled at noon on a blue-bird day, heading off to the new westside alpine trails built by the WORCA.
Only 20 miles and 5k ft. of climbing, but quality mountain bike trails. The Flank trail is a repurposed logging road, but offers a (mostly) decent grade, shade and occasional views. Whistler Mountain on the right:
The new trail, Into the Mystique, is machine-built and in a few places needs to be landscaped better, but it is very well laid out: grade, drainage and soil compaction are all first class.
The entire climb was rideable for me, even with occasional steeps and a rock slab. Fun stuff.
After an 2k ft. of climbing, the trail reaches the alpine. Amazing.
Lots of riders out.
Someone spent a lot of time thinking about how to lay out the trail.
The trail layout looks simple and obvious – and is entirely rideable. It goes up the yellow hill on switchbacks:
Alpine magic in big gulps.
Keep riding like this will go on forever.
A side trail gets a bit narrower and technical as it wraps around Mt. Sproatt. Just what I needed now.
Eventually, there would be a few hike-a-bike sections. Can’t live on Koolaid alone. The summit of Mt. Sproatt is a short scramble, but I stay on the trail east of the summit.
The trail builders got a free ride down with a helicopter, just before I arrive at the final lookout.
Complete with picnic benches, there are views of the entire range: Black Tusk, Whistler Mt., Blackcomb Mt. Wedge Mt., Armchair … were just a few that other intrepid bikers listed for me.
Could this connect to the Rainbow trail some day? How about winter fatbiking up here?
Chatted with a guy from Redmond, WA, on the way down who was wearing a full-face helmet.
The Lord of the Squirrels trail is rated “blue” in the downhill direction.
Which is mostly true, but had me walking one roll-over/drop-off. If that’s a blue trail, I don’t think I’ll attempt the black trails at Whistler ! Super sweet, though.
British Columbia, you’ve got the best alpine mountain bike trails close to Seattle.
Well done, WORCA!