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August 9, 2009

Whistler—Tunnel Vision (Ride 12)

Filed under: BC 2009, MTB Travel — anotherheader @ 10:27 pm


After a needed day off and the departure of Becky and Josh we were looking to do some exploration in the valley.  We talked with the bike mechanic at Wild Willie’s (next to Nester’s) and decided to ride Babylon by Bike and Tunnel Vision, both of which are on the southeast side of the Whistler Valley.  Our access point for these trails was through Function Junction and the Riverside Trails.

We drove down and parked at a trailhead.  Our ride started on the blue/intermediate trails, Riverside and Farside.  Along the way, on an easy section, I tweaked my lower back.  Sometimes the body parts and injuries like this loosen up as the ride continues on.  This was not one of those days.

Knobs on the suspension bridge on Riverside Trail

Knobs on the suspension bridge on Riverside Trail

When we reached the road at the end of Farside, we searched for See Colors and Puke, the next trail that we planned to take.  Not only did we like the trail name, but also See Colors and Puke, according to the map and the information that we received at the bike shop, would climb up nearly a thousand feet to Babylon by Bike.  But our search for the See Colors and Puke trailhead only revealed an overgrown minimally traveled road cut.  Either we missed the trail entirely or the concept of riding/pushing a bike up a thousand feet for a trail that can be accessed from the Bike Park, albeit with its own hike-a-bike, does not appeal to the residents of the valley.  For us, it was time for Plan B.

Tunnel Vision?

Tunnel Vision?

We quickly determined that Plan B was a ride up Highline, a converted logging road, and a slog up the service road until we reached the top of Tunnel Vision.  My back was screaming as the unmarked entrance to Tunnel Vision appeared alongside the trail like a vision luring us in.  There was no choice but to go down.

Tunnel Vision descends through a low, brushy forest.  The tight foliage, we were told, is the source of the name for the trail.  On the upper portion of the trail there are several rock and boulder drops.  The soil conditions in this area tended to be more sandy than loamy which makes the traction conditions different from what we’d become accustomed to.  Nevertheless, the boulder drops and ladders were largely rideable, though definitely challenging.  Further on, the trail winds down a drainage, zig-zagging on both side with ladders crossing in the middle and banked-turns on both sides until it finishes on road cut with fun build-ups scattered along the way.  Tunnel Vision is a fun trail that is worth the effort to get to.  If you like a trail when your body is hurting, it has to be good, doesn’t it?  Tunnel Vision goes on our list of favorite trails.

Knobs on the upper portion of Tunnel Vision

Knobs on the upper portion of Tunnel Vision

At the bottom of Tunnel Vision, we connected over to the paved valley bike trail.  Turning south on the trail took us back onto Riverside Trail.  Riverside Trail runs along the highway at this point but still has plenty of challenging sections along the way.  In Whistler, a typical intermediate connector trail like this would qualify as one of the hardest trails in the Bay Area.

Riverside Trail took us to the parking lot where we left the truck.  The ride took us more than 3-hours.  As we drove back to the RV Park, we couldn’t help but discuss the Khyber Pass—Babylon by Bike—Tunnel Vision epic that is accessed from the top of the upper lift of the Bike Park.  We’ll have to ride that one on our next visit.

Knobs on what turned out to be a small teeter-totter on the lower portion of Tunnel Vision.

Knobs on what turned out to be a small teeter-totter on the lower portion of Tunnel Vision.



1 Comment »

  1. sick! i so need to ride whistler before i die!

    Comment by Greg — August 11, 2009 @ 2:05 am

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