There's only one event that truly celebrates the transition from winter to summer in Whistler, and that's the annual Crud 2 Mud Downhill this Sunday, May 27.
The race has two sections, an extended giant slalom course from the Roundhouse Elevation to Olympic Station, and a downhill mountain bike race from Olympic Station to the top of the Boneyard. You can race it solo, switching from skis/snowboard to your bike in the transition — keeping or discarding whatever gear you choose — or as part of a team of two.
The on-snow portion gets underway outside the Peak 2 Peak terminal, descending Upper Whiskey Jack, Orange Peel and Lemon Peel to Upper Dave Murray, down Dave Murray to Tokum and down Expressway to the Garbanzo Express and the transition. After switching from boots to shoes — or not — racers head down B-Line to Ho Chi Min and the finish line at the top of the Boneyard.
To participate you must register before Saturday, May 26 at 2 p.m. Online registration is available at www.whistlerbike.com, and you can register in person at Whistler Blackcomb Guest Relations or by phone at 1-800-766-0449.
Because of the changing snow conditions and bike park availability, there is a mandatory racer meeting at 6 p.m. on May 26 at the Garibaldi Lift Company.
The cost for solo racers in $50, and teams are $75. That doesn't include passes for the Whistler Mountain Bike Park, which are available for $29 for registered riders.
There are a wide range of categories: Ski Solo Junior, Snowboard Solo Junior, Ski Solo Male and Female, Snowboard Solo Male and Female, and team categories for Open Male, Open Female, Open Mixed, and Open Junior (both members between 13 and 18).
The racing gets underway at 11:30 a.m., followed by an apres celebration and awards and the GLC.
Mountain bike community continues Mackenzie's trail
Before his death this winter, Duncan Mackenzie's friends knew he was up to something in the woods near his home in Spring Creek. A ski patroller during the winter and a trail builder during the summer months, Mackenzie was building a new mountain bike descent that was aimed at everyone — a flowing, intermediate descent in an area known for black and double black trails.
The trail was nearly complete after last summer, with only a few bridges and small sections of trail remaining to be built.
Mackenzie, 30, was killed while ski touring in the Caspar Creek area to the north of Pemberton in December. He was assessing the avalanche conditions by ski cutting across a slope, but the slope gave way and he was carried into a treed area by a slide.
In Mackenzie's honour, friends are planning to complete the trail this weekend, May 26 and 27.
The trail is located on the Microwave Tower Road and is accessible from the Interpretive Forest parking area. The group will meet about a kilometre up the road at 9:30 a.m., near the intersection for the Highline trail. It's about a 20-minute walk.
Bring food, water, gloves, tools and wear the appropriate clothing.