June 25, 2008 (Mount Washington, BC) – Getting the bike park ready for summer 2008 has been a difficult task for Mount Washington’s trail crew. No less than 12 metres of snow blanketed the resort this past winter and the pressure was on to get the park open by late June.
After a lot of digging and some intense trail maintenance, the Mount Washington Bike Park will be ready to roll this Saturday, June 28th from 11am to 7:30pm. The resort has concentrated it’s early season efforts on trails over on the west side of the mountain, where the Hawk Chair whisks riders to some of the mountain’s most popular trails.
“We definitely had the odds stacked up against us for getting the park open early,” explains resort spokesperson Brent Curtain. “This is our third year in a row with a heavy snowpack, but our trail crew put in long hours over the last two months to get things ready for this weekend.”
Slopes Supervisor Chuck Perowne shares the same sentiments. “We’ve been working overtime to move snow off the trails since April. Now that most of the snow is gone, we’re dealing with the removal of large tree blowdown from last fall’s wind storms.”
Riders can expect to see up to 80 percent of the Hawk Chair’s trails open on Saturday. These include Hustler, MMT, and Big Brother, which all flow down the western flank of Mount Washington. Trails off the Eagle Chair at Mount Washington’s peak are still covered in pockets of snow. The mountain hopes to open those sometime next week. “This is the wrong season to use this kind of terminology, but we’re looking for a snowball effect to take place with trail openings over the next week or two!” adds Curtain.
So what’s new at the Mount Washington Bike Park this summer? Over $100,000 of project capital has been allocated to bike park development over the last two years. Developments include new and improved skills areas and additional trail development. This year, the mountain unveils it’s intermediate trail, Timewarp. “We’ve been expanding our trail system for a number of years now but a major focus for us this summer is improving and maintaining our existing trails,” says Perowne.
The Mount Washington Bike Park will see it’s fair share of high-calibre bike events this summer. The freeride spectacle called Bearclaw Invitational returns for it’s third installment from August 21-23rd. And the rider list for Saturday’s Slopestyle is a who’s who of freeirde A-listers.
Bearclaw himself has also been busy putting a new event together for the Friday. It’s called Free Slalom and it combines the best of freeriding and racing. Two riders, side by side, racing against the clock on a course filled with berms and hits. Speed is essential, but judges will be weighing in on the style and air competitors throw down on course. Judged airs and racing against the clock, let the evolution of mountain bike racing begin.
After hosting Canada Cup races and the National Mountain Bike Championships over the last couple of years, the mountain returns to its provincial roots by hosting British Columbia’s finest DH and XC racers at this year’s BC Cup Finals and Provincial Championships on August 30-31.
Are you sick and tired of hearing how much fun your friends have riding the mountain? Do you want to join them? Your best bet is signing up for the Norco Learn to Ride Week from July 7th to the 11th. Get your bike park ticket, a two-hour lesson, and rental bike for only $49! Certified bike guides will show you the best, and safest way to get down the mountain. Who knows, one day you might get invited to the Bearclaw Invitational!
Mount Washington Alpine Resort’s bike park opens Saturday, June 28th and is supported by Norco Performance Bikes, Dakine, Maxxis Tires, and Roger’s Wireless. Get your bike park season pass for only $275, or if you were a winter passholder, pick it up for $209. Sweet deal! For more accommodation and package information, call Mount Washington Alpine Resort at 1-888-231-1499 toll free or locally at 338-1386. Surf to mountwashington.ca for additional information including the live mountain cam.