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September 13, 2008

Whistler: Lost Lake and Comfortably Numb

Filed under: BC 2007, MTB Travel — anotherheader @ 11:22 pm

The Crew: Becky, Scott, and Dave

The early morning clouds darkened and the rain showers started around mid-morning scuttling the previous nights loose ride plans. This was the first rain delay of the trip, so we can’t complain too much. Besides, later in the afternoon, the rain slackened and everyone got out for a ride, though in separate groups.

Scott, Becky, and I headed up to the Lost Lake area to explore some of the new trails and to look at the tail end of Comfortably Numb. After crossing the river, we took one of the green trails that spiraled up the hill. Ironically, this is the first time that I had actually spent any time on these trails. The green trails are smooth, evenly graded, and perfect for beginning riders yet still retain a distinct singletrack feel.

We connected over to the end of Comfortably Numb and went in. Comfortably Numb, an IMBA Epic Ride, is about 24 km long. A very fast time for the trail would be 4 hrs and many people take seven or more hours to complete (last year, when we bailed, we were on a 9+ hour pace). The trail tread is rooty, rocky and tough to roll. This makes many of the obstacles particularly challenging. We grunted and pushed to the top of the hill talking to the trashed riders who happened by as they were finishing the trail in proper direction. They all seemed to be happy to take a break as they went by and ready for their rides to end. We continued to the top of the hill and turned around for a fun descent. There was never a dull moment on the way down as the challenges are closely spaced. We’d still like to do this trail in its entirety at some point in the future, but it will take serious planning and preparation. Comfortably Numb is not suitable for tandems, singlespeeds, unicycles, 45 lbs bikes, novice riders, intermediate riders, most advanced riders, riders with a sense of self preservation, dogs, horses, cats, riders with poor fitness, those who have to have “flow”, and those who lack masochistic tendencies.

On the way back, we rode the trail that was being built that serves as an extension of Comfortably Numb. This, like all the trails in the Lost Lake area, was narrow, fun, and exquisitely built though not particularly difficult. If Disneyland had technical singletrack, this would be how it would look.

We continued back to the RV Park while exploring the trails in the area. At the end, a mother bear and her two cubs briefly blocked the path before heading into the woods. Becky volunteered to go first down to Jelly Roll Gum Drop to ward off the bears if they happened to head down that way. No self-respecting bear would stand up to Becky with a nasty attitude!

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