Outliers: Whistler and the Alpine Dream = Best Trail Ever?

Outlier (noun, out-li-er) = a statistical observation that is markedly different in value from the others of the sample.

 A quick peruse of mountain biking media over the past month will show you that 90% of the time, 19 of 20 stories written are about Whistler. Joyride, the Aline AIR DH, the EWS series heroics, or the Canadian DH mayhem. It would be fair to say that this mountain town has dominated the world of mountain biking over the past month. Perhaps it is fair extrapolation to say that Whistler, more than any other single location in the world, gets more media coverage, garners more hype and holds the top spot on more peoples ‘mountain biking bucket lists’ than anywhere else.


Arbutus team rider Bryson, grinding up to the alpine.

Arbutus team rider Bryson, grinding up to the alpine.

Hence, in many senses, Whistler is an outlier. If we look at every mountain biking location in the world, and wrap them up as a ‘sample’, Whistler sits apart. It is ‘markedly different’ from all other mountain biking locations on earth. One could not wish for a greater variety of trails to ride a mountain bike on…

Or so I thought…

Rather than congratulating themselves for building mountain biking’s outlier, and sitting back with a well-earned beverage, the trail fairies in Whistler decided to crank the knob well past 11. Hell, they decided to tear the knob off, throw it in the recycling and build their own amplifier – one that didn’t have a ceiling.

They decided to build Whistler’s mountain biking trail outlier, to build their Alpine Dream. Same as before, let’s take all the trails in Whistler and wrap them up as a sample. Sitting outside the sample there is always an outlier – in this case, the Sproatt Alpine Multi-Use Trail, or Lord of the Squirrels, stands as the outlier.


Riders are treated to unique views of Daisy Lake and the Black Tusk

Never before have I felt that the moniker ‘best trail ever’ was more-well deserved…

While I could type a few hundreds words of details about the trail, I think a quick trip to the WORCA website for details would be more appropriate. My only advice is… go ride it. And go soon. Don’t just trust me? check out a couple of the images. Who could resist smiling and hollering to the heavens with joy when riding epic single track in these surroundings?!?!?!?!

The downhill flow is only broken by the epic viewpoints

So what makes the Whistler so special? Ok, sure, the mountains are pretty darn spectacular… But they sure aren’t the Alps, the Tetons or Rockies. Ok, the ski resort is pretty darn awesome… Yes, but so are about 5000 other awesome ski resorts across the globe. Ok, the proximity to Squamish and Pemberton and associated activities… Yes, both epic towns with unreal things to keep your heart pumping.

My theory? I think it is the people (Note: I don’t live in Whistler). Whistler folks live and breathe Whistler. They have all ‘drunk the Kool-Aid’ and are all more than willing to spend countless hours moving heavy rocks, packing dirt, supporting initiatives, and volunteering as needed to make darn sure that Whistler continues to be an outlier in the world of mountain biking. So to all you Whistler folk – keep keeping on. Hats off to WORCA, the Resort Municipality of Whistler and all the trail fairies for making dreams come true…