“What are you doing to get the Park ready for opening and what trails will be ready?”

“Can we come and film some shots on the trails this week to get people hyped?”

“Which trails are clear so we can hike up and get a few pre-laps in?”

I get these questions posed to me without exaggeration ten times per day. Coupled with the calendar ticking away on my phone telling me how much time I don’t have left, the answer is simple. What I am doing is throwing up a little in my mouth each time someone asks. As I choke back the bitter taste of worry and make up some fluff about things being on track, the reality is, I’m relying heavily on my partner Ma Nature to do some work on my behalf.

The unseasonably balmy temps of last week and the warm rain of Easter weekend are the real news. As of today (April 22) we have actually done very little in the way of manual labor to get the Park open. Now that Whistler Mountain is closed for skiing the real work can begin.

Step one is to plow the road up to the top of Fitz so we can get trucks up and see what the trails look like. Step two is a couple of snow cats pushing the snow off of the runs we worked so hard to cover with said snow only the day before. Step three is the arrival of the fleet of mini excavators which show up around May 1st. Step four is the placement of skilled operators in the aforementioned machines and the shove off down A-Line, B-Line and Crank It Up. Step five is the arrival of the rest of the Trail Crew who will follow the machines down the trails and remove whatever is left behind. Step six is the arrival of Bike Patrol who will pound thousands of pounds of rebar into the rocky soil to mark all of your favorite runs, their drops, jumps and merges. Step seven will be another descent down the jump trails with the machines, now that they have drained and hopefully dried a bit, to reshape lips, fix berms and buff out any lingering brake bumps. Step eight, trail crew teams descending the single track trails digging out all the remaining snow in hard to reach areas, fixing bridges and drains as they go. Step nine is getting the snowmaking kingpins to install the bike wash and water fountain at the bottom of the Park. Step ten is prepping the Fitz chair with the wooden load ramps and bike carriers. Step eleven is riding all of the trails to decide which ones are suitable for opening. Step twelve open the Park on May 16 with as many trails as possible, act like it was no big deal and take way more credit for the hard work of others than is due. Step thirteen, sleep.

See you on opening day. BF