Bike Big White opened last Friday, with hundreds of downhill mountain bikers flocking from across British Columbia to test out North America’s newest bike park.
The park opened on Friday morning with access to 11 trails, including green trails such as Bumblebee, Pry Bar and Hot Tub, and double black trail Rock Hammer. Fifteen-year-old Big White local, Noah East, was in line at the Bullet Chair by 7 a.m. to catch first chair.
“There aren’t many things like mountain biking — it takes a certain element of focus, and there’s the fear factor too,” said Noah. “I’m stoked that Big White has opened the bike park because it’s really gotten me into the sport. So far, my favourite trail is Hot Tub because of the jump lines and flow sections.”
With construction implemented by Alpine Bike Parks, the trails have been built by bikers looking to create a truly unique riding destination that speaks to the soul of mountain biking.
“What makes this project so unique is the absolutely stunning terrain and the decision to develop family-friendly trails that meander thorough the alpine environment,” said Judd de Vall, Principal of Alpine Bike Parks. “There are many lift-serviced bike parks, but very few anywhere in the world that provide a flow trail experience above the tree line.”
Big White Ski Resort Ltd has invested $2million in building the bike park over the last three years, and the on-mountain build is set to continue throughout 2017.
With the Bullet Chair spinning for trail access on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and holiday Mondays for the rest of the summer season, the build crew will continue to shape and finish trails mid-week, opening more trails as they are completed in the coming weeks.
“Once you get below the 300 cm of accumulated snow, Big White presents some unique challenges to build,” said Big White’s President, Peter Plimmer. “When you’re in the alpine, there’s a lot of rock, and so we’ve had to move a lot of dirt around the mountain to make trails. We’ll continue building until the snow flies.”
Full-day biking lift tickets are $25 and are available to purchase from the on-mountain ticket office; kids aged 12 and under can ride for $15. The mountain also offers bike rentals, a bike service centre, a retail store and several restaurants, including The Woods and Clocktower Coffee Co.
With family-friendly events, scenic chairlift rides, hiking and children’s carnival games available every weekend, the resort is truly a multi-seasonal family destination in the heart of the Okanagan.
“Just as Big White is known for its Champagne Powder snow during the winter, we believe that it will become known for offering some amazing trails in the Okanagan Alpine,” said Mr. Plimmer.