Saturday, 9 September 2017

Maximizing MTB Opportunities at Ski Areas

Maximizing MTB Opportunities at Ski Areas

Posted on December 20, 2013 at 4:45 PM

Cypress Mountain announces new mountain bike park 

Cypress Mountain is the latest winter resort to offer lift-assisted mountain biking in the summer, with plans to open the north side of Black Mountain to riders by July of 2005.

The proposed mountain bike park will open with 10 kilometres of trails, including a number of natural and hand-made obstacles for riders.
Whistler-Blackcomb currently offers the only lift-assisted mountain biking in the corridor, although similar parks have been suggested for Mount Seymour and Grouse Mountain.


Activity: Cypress Mountain Bike Park is the first of its kind in Greater Vancouver.  It opened the summer of 2005, and there’s been no turning back since.  All summer long it just kept getting better and better.  Every time I went up a new section or trail opened up.  Apparently Dangerous Dan and his gang lent a helping hand in building the trails, so get ready.  It has lots of advanced intermediate runs equipped with ladders and jumps, as well as green runs for easy flowing fun.  It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or an experienced rider, you won’t be disappointed.  Cypress even has a deluxe high-speed chairlift, so you don’t have to waste anytime getting to the top.  Did I mention the Skill Centre?  It has a bunch of stunts you can practice on.

My days on Cypress usually look like this:  wake up and get to the mountain as soon as it opens (12:00 pm on weekends and 10:00 am on weekdays); take the chairlift up and start the ripping; usually around 1:00 pm I go for a bite to eat, and let me tell you the food there is awesome.   The chicken burger always hits the spot for me.  Also the fries are great; except you get so many, even I can’t finish them.   I usually end up just ordering the burger and bumming fries off my friends.  After lunch we hit the runs and bike till the calluses on our hands hurt, our bones are on the verge of collapse, and our bike is gasping for air.  As my Mom says, “you must be out of your mind.”  Seriously folks, this mountain is amazing for everyone and it’s only 45 minutes away.  So if you live in Vancouver or you’re just passing through and want get a real adrenalin rush,  it’s time to live and start mountain biking. 

Sadly, prior to, and since the Olympics:
** This Activity is permanently(?) closed **

(Such a great idea that worked! What happened? First, the 2010 Olympics, then....???)

More and more we are finding:

(Source: IMBA Canada)
Opportunities and considerations gleaned from the evolution of snow-sport resorts into summer mountain biking playgrounds.(Private land vs. Public land use)

The US-based NSAA and IMBA formed a partnership in October of 2011, aimed at increasing visitation and improving mountain bike experiences during the summer season at ski areas.

Details of the partnership:

  • 326 member ski areas
  • 162 ski areas have mountain bike trail networks; 87 offer ski lift service
  • Bike parks are growing
  • NSAA and IMBA share aim to increase summer activities and advocacy. Prior to the partnership, policies were inconsistent or didn't exist.
  • Connect with local ski areas (**Grouse, Mt. Seymour, Cypress**) for serious dialogue about implementation of mountain bike parks.
  • More information at

A good bike park is a comprehensive facility that promotes the sport of mountain biking and offers things such as lift access, rentals, food and beverages, etc.

There is a return on investment. Trails = tickets and passes sold.

Things that lead to a successful bike park: Lift access, rentals, lessons, retail and repair shops, varying terrain, easy trail, trails that are attractive to all disciplines of mountain biking, a well-trained bike patrol, a detailed risk management plan.  

Amenities are key to drawing in riders and their families.

Events help to bring new people to bike park, garner media coverage and provide support for other resort amenities.  Beer sales also increase with greater bike traffic!


  • Keeping the trailbuilders and other staff motivated.
  • Training the trailbuilders to construct true green and blue trails, since they are almost always expert riders. Make sure the professional trailbuilders are riders, as they will know how a feature should look and feel.
  • Having a good budget and buy-in from top management to maintain the trails just like maintaining ski hills.
  • NSMBA’s willingness to pursue this opportunity inside one or more of our three ski resorts on the North Shore --abandoning their very consumptive freeride sprawl on public forest land –  effectively legitimizing their sport, just like skiing, snowboarding, etc. inside one or more ski resorts.

So, why did such a legitimate-based venue, Cypress Mountain Bike Park never re-open again?(Perhaps, there was no revenue in it, if our North Shore municipalities continue to foolishly enable the ongoing X-treme Freeride mtb sprawl, with their very consumptive activities on our public forest lands and parks...? WHY?)

The "Freeride mtb mentality" goes against the grain of any chance at common sense solutions...

War of the Woods — Pay to play is on the way  (June 02, 2005)
(Cypress Bike Park) ... a facility that represents the future of the sport on the North Shore.
BUT "...trails are here and they can ride them for free.” (state the NSMBA freeride advocates)
At this point both Grouse and Seymour mountains have not shown public interest in capitalizing on the growing sport within their own resorts, however, a spokesperson for Grouse Mountain, which has hosted the World Mountain Bike Conference for three consecutive years, said the possibility has not been ruled out.
“We’ve proven we have the ability to host mountain biking on Grouse, butright now our focus is on other things,” said Chris Dagenais, public relations manager for Grouse. “As far as the future of the sport, I can only imagine it growing. That’s fairly widely recognized within the community. It’s going to develop. The question of how is still on the table and that’s where no firm plans have been made.”
Like many who pioneered the (mountain biking) sport, B---- believes in keeping free trails free...

Some serious food for thought for our municipal public land managers and politicians to chew on:
Should you keep enabling the mountain bike free ride at such great cost to the health and wellbeing of our public forests?  (Of course, the mountain biking minority want the free ride on the backs of non-mountain biking majority. They already have the multi-jurisdictional LSCR for that, but want so much more...) Should the very consumptive Freeride activities continue, or should mountain bikers start to pay to play inside Cypress, Grouse, Mt. Seymour Resorts?

What is the most ecologically responsible choice for this growing sport?

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