Mount Washington is about to open again for mountain bikers – and we’ve already ridden it

Mount Washington is about to open again for mountain bikers – and we’ve already ridden it

Well, by we I mean one of our staff (Bailey) got to ride it yesterday as part of a preview event, and here are his thoughts on the experience (warning: mountain biking lingo ahead!).


Mount Washington’s industry preview event may have wrapped up last night but the evening’s theme still pumps through my veins–or is that the residual adrenaline?–this Phoenix is reborn, “Fast, Flowy & Fun”.

While, I never had the opportunity to ride the old Mt. Washington, from what I heard from those veteran riders was that it was known for being choppy and technical. They regaled me with stories over the course of the half a dozen chairlift rides to the top (chomping at the bit to get back on their bikes). Comments like “Man, I’m glad that DH riding has moved past that stuff,” said while pointing down at a gnarly tangle of rocks and roots, were common among the riders.

While it is still possible to hammer your way down a couple of old-school DH trails, the focus has shifted to a more fluid, berm-fed flow full of the weightless, almost anti-grav rolls or the foot-freeing airs of free-rider ramps and the dizzying drops of well-built bridges-to-nowhere. The best part of all this is that it is up to the rider, not the trail. Most routes have roll-arounds, making these trails accessible to those of us still working up the courage to get “Back in Black” after a roll down “Hi-way 19“.

The mountain buzzed with the free-wheeling pawls of about 40 or so full-suspension rigs; ranging from 140-200mm of travel with the average bike being an all-mountain Devinci Spartan, a Kona Process 153, or equivalent. This is a mountain that is dominated by the All-Mountain bikes and riders.

Dominated by, though not exclusive to. New to riding? A trail called “Green Line” isn’t a bunny hill, but is a solid beginner trail–we’ll call it the Marmot hill: terrain that a Marmot could (and might) traverse and catch a little air on and, yet, you won’t catch the critter before the chairlift. Bottom line here is that I wouldn’t hesitate in making Mount Washington a family destination this summer.

Whether you are heading to the chairlift for the first time, or returning after a hiatus, Mount Washington is the destination, and one well worth its designation, “Fast, Flowy & Fun!”

– Bailey –