By Andrew Mitchell
The Whistler Mountain Bike Park will officially close on
Monday, Oct. 9, after more than five months in operation, but not before riders
get one final chance to show off their skills.
For the fifth year running the bike park will wrap up the
season with the Harvest Huckfest, a weekend of competitions targeted as much to
the casual weekend rider as to the top local cross-country, downhill and
freeride talents. Both sexes and all ages, starting at 13 years old, are also
There are four Huckfest events this year, twice as many as last
year, and the closing date has been moved back to coincide with the annual
Turkey Sale and Thanksgiving weekend and celebrate the turn of the seasons.
“It’s always been a real grassroots event, so we’re
experimenting with new events and new concepts that we hope will appeal to
people this late in the year,” said Rob McSkimming, vice president of business
development for Whistler-Blackcomb. “At this time of year it’s always a
challenge, people are pretty event-ed out, so we tried to come up with stuff
that was a little different, more on the fun side than the competitive side of
things. We also wanted to be as inclusive as we could be with the whole
mountain bike community, rather than just one side of it.”
With the recent rain McSkimming says the park is in better
shape than it has been all season.
“We got off to a late start, just because it was such a great
finish to the ski season. It was a little slow getting going, getting the snow
off the trails, and we opened a little later, and it took us longer to get the
trails in shape,” he said. “Lately it has been just awesome, there’s a little
more moisture. Late in the summer the trails were not in great shape just
because it was so dry, but now the park is in the best shape of the year, and
we’re doing really well on the weekends.
“Huckfest will end the season with a big, massive bang, with a
few fun competitions and a party. It’s a chance to really celebrate the season
and… with the Turkey Sale, to celebrate that whole transition from summer into
Air Dome Jump Jam — Friday, Oct. 6
Open for the first time this season, the Air Dome at Base II
features a series of wood ramps and stunts, as well as one of the biggest foam
pits in North America, where riders can safely practice new tricks.