With a long ride on Comfortably Numb on the agenda for the following day, we were looking for an easier day. We chose Kill Me Thrill Me (KMTM). KMTM starts and ends in the vicinity of the northern trailhead for Comfortably Numb and was built by the same trail builder. We could have easily ridden to the KMTM trailhead on the northern end of the Whistler Valley, but we were trying to conserve energy for the following days ride so we drove over.
The preferred direction for Kill Me Thrill Me is south to north. It is easy to miss the trailhead as the trail starts inconspicuously on a turn in the road near a guardrail. Once off the road and in the forest, the trailhead is well marked and signed.
KMTM follows a rollercoaster like profile with steep, often technical climbs and hair-raising descents separated by winding, relatively level trail segments. Challenges on the trail include steep drops down granite rock slabs and ladders. For me, the most memorable sections on the trail involve rock.
One section of the trail has two lines, one labeled as a double diamond. It starts with a steep rock drop that looks worse than it is and then splits into two descending ladder options. The left line is a relatively mellow, steepish- two-foot wide drop to the bottom. I was thinking about the harder right line on this section ever since KMTM was put on our ride agenda. This line starts with a narrow ladder, about 10 inches wide. This ladder bends left and widens a bit before it reaches the top of a big boulder. You definitely would not want to fall off the ladder at this point, as it is a long way down to the mix of logs on the forest floor. Once on the rock it gets easier but it is still intimidating. The line rolls steeply off the 15-20 foot high bolder and onto a wooden ladder transition that finishes the trail feature. With my personal mental build-up of this section, riding down the rock was almost anticlimactic. It really wasn’t that hard. At least as long as you make that first turn and stay on the ladder!
Past an extended granite slab drop, we came to another tricky section that drops through jagged solid rock underneath a high-tension power line tower. A wooden ramp and banked-turn make this section possible, but the uneven surface works against the rider making this section very difficult to clean. We spent a long session in this area until we had a couple of clean runs. This is one of those sections of trail that, even having made a clean run, would be very difficult to repeat.
We had already spent more time than planned on KMTM so we headed out without long delays. I was looking forward to one last feature, a ladder to a rock drop. First time Brian and I saw this one, it looked like it took trials skills or a big hit bike and the guts of a downhiller to ride. The next time we were there, the ladder was changed and it was a straightforward, rideable drop that still kept your interest. This year, a ladder covered the whole rock drop. Now this section was just a steep, two-foot wide ladder drop that passed quickly under the wheels.
It took us more than 3 hours to complete the ride of Kill Me Thrill Me. KMTM is a relatively short trail and should have taken us less than 1.5 hours to cover, if you just look at the distance and the challenges. We took much longer as we scouted, tried, and retried various sections along the way. But then, that’s why we like the trails here. It wouldn’t have taken as much time if the trail wasn’t as interesting to ride.