Top of the World Trail – Whistler

Whistler’s Top of the World Trail opened the last weekend in July, and a few excited people paid the extra $15 to take the peak chair to the top of Whistler.  Only 100 riders are allowed on the trail per day, making it fantastic for a “secluded” feel.

Whistler’s Peak Chair

I was fairly nervous, since we were told that the Top of the World trail was Expert Level, but determined to check it out, the nervousness turned to giddy excitement when on the Peak Chair, with the most amazing views!

Fantastic Views from the Peak Chair

When we reached the trail head, again there were large warning signs:

Trail Head – Top of the World

The views from this trail are absolutely amazing.

View of Black Tusk from the Top of the World trail head

The beginning of the trail was amazing!  It was loose shale rock that reminded me a lot of riding in the high altitude of Zermatt, Switzerland.

Beginning of Top of the World trail

Top of the World trail – Whistler

Top of the World trail

After about 5 minutes of fantastic riding, the trail crosses a road, but there is a “trail closed” sign…. We were fairly confused because it seems like the road went a long way to the right… but, upon closer inspection, we could see just below the road, a pile of tools where the trail ends.

trail not finished….

A few other riders came by and shared the same confusion as us, and we all finally continued down the long road.

Even though we were riding the road – the views were still amazing!

There was another small section of single track though a bit of trees, and then the trail ends near the top of Freight Train.  Muddbunnie member, Mic Dignon, and her friend also rode the trail at the end of July and ended up getting their money back.  Mic had to say the following:
I think the trail has great potential and i am very much looking forward to riding it when its completed (I think it may even become my favorite trial in the future!). But I think we were both disappointed that we didn’t know it wasn’t finished and went up with such high expectations of epic single track! Whistler doesn’t usually do things at 50%, so when we heard it was open, I just assumed that it was finished. If I had read that it was only 2/5th complete before we went, then I think our attitudes would have been different (and my friend wouldn’t have paid to go up. At least I was using my free ticket that came with my early bird season pass!).
The reason we got our money back, was not actually due to the trail, it was due to the fact that we got stuffed around so much getting to the trail! We got told the trail opened at 11 when we bought our ticket. So we headed up in the gondola around 10.35. At mid station we were pulled out as they couldn’t let us go into the Garbo zone until Garbo was open (11am). So we waited till after 11 and got the green light to go up to the roundhouse. We then biked down to the peak chair, only to be stopped there for another 30 min, until they got clearance for us to go up. Once we got to the peak, we biked to the start of the trail, only to find it closed!!!! (this was past 12pm by now!). So we had to hike back to the peak chair and someone had to go down and open the trail. We were so annoyed that we had waited so long and as we had to leave early that day, we were only going to get one run in. So we went into guest services and, to Whistlers credit, they apologized and said they are still getting the process streamlined and staff educated, and gave us our money back.
I would encourage people to use their free ticket with the early bird seasons pass, if they have one. Its definitely an experience to bike from the very peak, to the village. However, would I pay $15 for it? probably not. I am, however, looking forward to it being stage 4 of the Canadian Enduro during Crankworx and i’m not sure if I will be able to go from the very top, to the very bottom, non stop, after biking 3 stages before it!!!! It will be challenging, but fun!
My opinion is, next year, when more is completed, it will be an epic, well worth it, trail. If you are going to go ride it this year, go for the view, not the trail. However, put it on your to-do list for 2013!
According to this Whistler Bike Park facebook news feed, a lot more trail work was completed throughout the week.  Did any of you ride it this past weekend?  We’d love to know how it was!

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