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Alternatives to Diablo and Platty? Launch Bike Park?

Discussion in 'Downhill & Freeride' started by yd35, Sep 1, 2011.

  1. yd35

    yd35 Monkey

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    With Diablo closed and Platty iffy, what lift-assisted parks are reasonably close (around 3hrs away, or less) to central Jersey? Has anyone been to Launch this year? I've heard some chatter and read some older RM threads which haven't been overly enthusiastic.
     
    #1 -   Sep 1, 2011

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  2. downhill mike

    downhill mike Turbo Monkey

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    Whiteface is about 3 3/4 hours from Plattekill and 4 1/2 hours from Diablo. We are a little farther but we offer big mountain riding (without flying out west) and 20+ minute dh runs. Head up to the mountains!
    Owned and operated by 2 downhillers!
     
    #2 -   Sep 1, 2011
  3. downhill mike

    downhill mike Turbo Monkey

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    We are very busy again today. However, hardly anyone is riding the gondola. Most customers are on our shuttle truck riding the lower mountain only. This has been a strange year. Super busy, but mostly beginners that have never ridden downhill before.

    So, if you know how to ride downhill, the Whiteface Gondola, the 5 k DH course and hundreds of new trail enhancements (including brand new single-track) await you!

    I do believe this is due to races every weekend. So, if you have a car and don't mind driving a few hours, please check us out.

    Oh, Saturday is Ladies Day # 3. Free lift for the ladies!
     
    #3 -   Sep 1, 2011
  4. yd35

    yd35 Monkey

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    I would love to go to Whiteface, but I can only ride on Saturday, and the 5 hour drive is a bit daunting for 1 day of riding. Thanks for the info though!
     
    #4 -   Sep 1, 2011
  5. chillindrdude

    chillindrdude Turbo Monkey

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    Launch is weak sauce. Unless you live next door, don't bother.
     
    #5 -   Sep 1, 2011
  6. IH8Rice

    IH8Rice I'm Mr. Negative! I Fail!

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    what he said. i live "next door" and would rather shuttle my local "mtn"
     
    #6 -   Sep 1, 2011
  7. SuspectDevice

    SuspectDevice Turbo Monkey

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    Jiminy.
     
    #7 -   Sep 1, 2011
  8. AzToJrse

    AzToJrse Monkey

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    will you be riding these shuttle trails saturday? myself and another are looking to ride dh somewhere saturday, have truck for shuttles
     
    #8 -   Sep 1, 2011
  9. IH8Rice

    IH8Rice I'm Mr. Negative! I Fail!

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    its looking like sunday now.
    PM me if youre interested
     
    #9 -   Sep 1, 2011
  10. AzToJrse

    AzToJrse Monkey

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    will do, thanks
     
  11. Downhillbiker23

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    I have heard good reviews about jiminy peak, and launch, and seven springs, in pittsburg area and spring mountain
     
  12. EM-EFER

    EM-EFER Monkey

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    jiminy
     
  13. downhill mike

    downhill mike Turbo Monkey

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    5 hours is a bit too much for a day trip. I go to Platty at 3 3/4 hours each way, and anything more is a weekend get-a-way for sure. Platty and back is kind of a long day when you ride all day, but well worth it.

    See ya when you have a weekend!

    Whiteface is 2 1/4 hours from Albany.
     
  14. wfoerk

    wfoerk Chimp

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    Apparently I missed something; what do you mean, Diablo closed?
     
  15. wfoerk

    wfoerk Chimp

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    never mind, just read the news
     
  16. bullit398

    bullit398 Chimp

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    DhMike, how did the trails up there fare the storm. We are thinking of coming up 9/9. Thanks
     
  17. Eastern States Cup

    Eastern States Cup Turbo Monkey

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    Mount Snow, Jiminy, Whiteface, Bromont and Highland are all open.
     
  18. jrnolan

    jrnolan Monkey

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  19. chillindrdude

    chillindrdude Turbo Monkey

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    i'm headed up saturday JR...

    Timberline, if it's within your driving time, is well worth it.
     
  20. downhill mike

    downhill mike Turbo Monkey

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    Our bike trails held up great! This spring we had even more water than from Irene, so we knew how to build stuff for that kind of ultimate hydro test!

    Lower mountain
    :
    All trails have been raked to perfection! Trail 15 aka the North East Shore has 3 different sections to it. The very top section (shortest section) will remain closed this year. The middle section (with the log ride and double teeter) if fine, but the ski trail leading into the woods got trashed, so that is officially closed till Whiteface fixes that ski trail next week. However, if you don't mind walking through the erosion, you can still access this section of 15. So the lower mountain is buffed out except 1 trail. The lower section of trail 15 is open too.

    Upper Mountain:
    The upper mountain saw lots of blow down on our trails. I finally took a run from the summit yesterday at the end of the day. A few signs are down that will be fixed today. The trail crew cleared all of the blow down, but didn't rake the trails as nicely as the lower mountain, due to how much worse it got hit. No worries, as I flew over the twigs and small debris on my bike like it wasn't even there!. No worries again as we plan on buffing out the upper trails today and Saturday morning. Also, on the 1st turn on the Cliff's of Insanity, we need to fix 1 tree that interferes with the flow. So all is riding good now and will be even better as the day goes on. The service road where you surf the woodchips on our race course saw some big damage. This section always sees damage after heavy rains. I rode it yesterday and it was a bit sketchy, but doable. Good news for this section is that Whiteface will fix this with their heavy machinery before the 5 K DH. It will ride super fast after the big machines buff it out!

    So yes most mountains in the north east saw damage. Some more than others. We do feel bad for those that are closed and got hit harder than us.

    The phones, forums and other things indicate that we will have a nice crowd of dowhillers for the next 2 weekends.

    I am getting tired of scaring newbies off the gondola and onto our shuttle vehicles. We love all of the beginners we have seen this year, feel it will help the sport grow, but this will be a refreshing change for us!

    See ya at The Face
     
  21. Eastern States Cup

    Eastern States Cup Turbo Monkey

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    Mike is the 5k course marked?
     
  22. downhill mike

    downhill mike Turbo Monkey

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    No the 5 K course is not marked yet. Taping a course this long takes at least 50 + hours. The storm damage and getting re-opened took priority. Not 100% sure if we are going to use Inconceivable (trail # 25) for the race course. We still have at least 1 good day to make new single-track on Inconceivable eliminating the short uphill section. The trail crew is pretty content on making this new section to be raced on. This course will really highlight much of our work that has been done in the last 2 years.

    The course should have stickers on the signs to help for now, but a few of our signs our no where to be found. By Saturday or Sunday these stickers and signs will be in place. By Friday September 9th we expect to have the entire 5 K DH course taped top to bottom to be ready for open practice.

    Gotta go now and make some new signs! Over and out.

    Here is what the Trail signs along the way will look like.


     
    #22 -   Sep 2, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2011
  23. Jim Mac

    Jim Mac MAKE ENDURO GREAT AGAIN

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    Hey Mike, the one time we were up this summer (my son loved the shuttle ride up and the pump track!), I overheard a lot of beginners talk about how they felt the lower and upper trails rode like different mountains. After riding mostly the lower mountain, this group expected the upper trails to be lie an extended version and weren't prepped for the steepness +rox. Just anecdotal evidence, but I found it interesting. Maybe you just need to find a way to 'bridge' people to the gondola? Congrats on the explosion of the lower mountain use! - Jim
     
  24. olddogbmxer

    olddogbmxer Monkey

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    Launch has done quite a bit of work since last year adding and improving trails. I think people will be pleasantly surprised at what is there. The riders I have encountered there this year said they enjoyed it.While short on vertical alot of rocks and wooden bridges/drops. Its close to Philly and only $25 lift ticket plus there is a good cross country loop and 19 mile Perkiomen Trail that runs past the mountain for non DH-ers that is free access. Plus its in a nice area with Tiki Bar at the mountain open until midnight and a few nice bars and restauants nearby. There are also other activities at the mountain - Zip line canopy tour and a rock climbing tower.They plan to build a jump line and DS course for a series next year so the more support they get the more they will invest and the family that owns the mountain has to date been very supportive of the bike park as an important part of their summer activities.
    Also GES race there Sept. 17-18 on a course incorporating some existing trails plus some new sections.
     
  25. cbarth

    cbarth Chimp

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    Launch bike park is only 45 min outside of Philadelphia in Spring Mnt, PA.

    The guys up there have been doing some good work this year and the park is coming along nicely. The atmosphere is casual and there are quite a few decent restaurants and bars in the area for after riding refreshment & entertainment.

    Although the vertical drop is lacking, the lifts are fast so getting plenty of riding in is easy. There is a decent mix of technical, steep rocky lines and some intro slope style trails along with some fun wooden jumps. There are plans for more trails including more advanced jumps and DH race oriented trails for next year. Launch is also the 2nd to last stop on the Gravity East Tour and a new DH race course has been built specifically for the GES race. The GES DH course is open now for trial rides.
     
  26. Eastern States Cup

    Eastern States Cup Turbo Monkey

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    hey Mike, for us "southerners" what is the best way to get to Whiteface from 87, considering the current road closures?
     
  27. Jim Mac

    Jim Mac MAKE ENDURO GREAT AGAIN

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    check this, might help: http://www.co.essex.ny.us/advisories/
     
  28. Eastern States Cup

    Eastern States Cup Turbo Monkey

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    Friday 10 am
    Plattekill Mountain
    As of 10am still no power @ mtn. Crews are working. If fixed by Sat, Sun or Mon, we will post opening status on FB. Most roads passable. Most terrain open on mtn. If you have bike reservations this wknd, whether open or not, we will not charge for no-show. To transfer reservations to another weekend, email or call next week once power fully restored.
    THANKS again for thoughts and well wishes for our area...