Downhill Mountain Bike Trail Opens

By Beacon Staff

The long awaited Runaway Train opens this Saturday, Aug. 16. Whitefish Mountain Resort’s new freestyle downhill mountain bike trail drops from the summit to the village with a pitch that places it up with some of the region’s top resort mountain biking destinations.

“It’s not that extraordinarily technical, but it’s fast and with huge air and technical rock sections,” says local rider Pete Costain in a preview video shot by Off the Grind. “I’m fired up to ride it and my kids are, too. It epitomizes the modern freeride trail.”

The trail, which is about three miles long, rips down through Big Mountain’s Moementum run to finish on Russ’s Street. But it’s more than just a trail, for the route includes 29 berms, six rock drops, one rock wall ride, three natural terrain wall rides, 24 jumps, and one large technical section of single track. Bikers are required to wear helmets on the trail.

The run will open Saturday morning to the public, but closes down for the official christening ceremonies, which include music, food and drink specials at the Summit House, and a ribbon cutting at high noon. “We’ll gather everyone at the Summit, and make a big to-do out of cutting the ribbon,” said Josh Knight, manager of the resort’s mountain biking operations. Mountain bikers, resort officials, and the U.S. Forest Service have collaborated for more than five years to add the new trail. Actual construction took less than a month, and recent rains packed down the dirt.

The trail was constructed by the resort’s mountain biking staff, several local mountain bike volunteers, and May Lawn and Home Care–a local business who provided machinery and dirt-working expertise. “Don’t let the name fool you,” said Knight. “They are serious mountain biking enthusiasts, and they built us an amazing trail.” Those who have test-ridden the black diamond trail likened it to Fernie and Whistler—top regional mountain biking destinations.

Check out the preview video of the trail at www.offthegrind.com.

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