Photo: Big White Ski Resort
In a few days Big White Ski Resort will be hosting its biggest event of the summer and one of the biggest mountain biking events in British Columbia.
The Freeride Days mountain bike festival runs from August 4-6 after a hiatus in 2020 and a spectator break in 2021.
Here’s what you need to know to prepare for the three-day mountain bike extravaganza.
Getting to Big White
Enjoy a scenic 45 minute drive from Kelowna to Big White following Highway 33 to Big White Road. Once there, there is free parking in Happy Valley as well as in the main village. It’s expected to be very crowded, so it’s recommended to park at Happy Valley and ride the Lara Gondola.
What to bring and wear
It’s usually about 6-10 degrees cooler in Big White than in Kelowna. Be sure to bring plenty of water, sunscreen and insect repellent, and to make your viewing more comfortable, a folding chair.
Professional riders will spend their mornings training for the big afternoon events. The first event of the weekend, the Slopestyle Bronze Men, will take place on Thursday August 4th.
Friday morning, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., you can attend the finals of a new event: the Dual Slalom. That afternoon, cheer on the Groms, Bronze Women’s Slopestyle and in the evening, watch the Whip Off and Best Trick competitions at the Slopestyle Centre.
The big event takes place on Saturday: the Gold Invitational Slopestyle organized by Tom van Steenbergen. Find more information about timetables here.
The Slopestyle Center is located in Happy Valley, where Adventure Park activities take place in the winter. A merchandise and market display, live DJs, and a food and drink area are also on-site.
Photo: Big White Ski Resort
Where to stay
Big White has a special offer for Freeride Days participants. You can save 10% on accommodation at the Inn at Big White between August 3-7 with rooms starting at just $103.50 per night. Plus, there’s a pool!
If you plan to park your RV for the weekend, you can reserve an RV spot at Happy Valley by calling 250.765.8888 or emailing. [email protected]
Where to eat
There are plenty of places to rehydrate and restock at the resort, including the beer and food gardens (with live music) for the event at Happy Valley. Or head to the village and enjoy an ice cold pint and burger on The Woods outdoor terrace, cool off with an ice cream at the Globe Cafe, grab a quick and healthy bite at the Tea Bar Cafe and unwind after an action-packed adventure. adventure day at everyone’s favorite pub, Snowshoe Sam’s. Sushi is available at Sasquatch Sushi in StoneBridge.
For those packing their own lunch, there are plenty of picnic tables and designated eating areas throughout the resort. Be sure to store everything you bring and use the trash cans and recycling bins available in busy areas.
Since you are driving all the way, you should check out what else the station has to offer. The lift-accessible bike park will be open all weekend with the Bullet Chair operating at 10 a.m. each morning Thursday through Sunday. Access the hiking trails on foot or by purchasing a scenic chairlift ticket to Lake Rhonda and back to the village. Along the way, you’ll spot wildlife, wildflowers, and fairy doors.
Big White’s nine-take disc golf course will also be open, located below the main village. Disc golf rentals are available at the Village Center Mall.
Want to get closer to the action? Big White is currently looking for willing and enthusiastic volunteers to join the team – you can sign up here. Volunteers will receive a free lunch, a free scenic lift ticket and a commemorative t-shirt.