Valhalla is a hall in Norse mythology where the chosen ones go upon death, a heaven of sorts. It's also a newly built downhill flow trail at Snowmass resort, a trail so good that anyone who rides it must surely feel they are indeed the chosen ones and have been transported to heaven.
Designed by Gravity Logic of Whistler it is a 2.75 mile descent full of bermed, banked, flowing trail with plenty of jumps, walls, s-turns and other features, all designed for the maximum amount of fun possible on a bike. Even better the Elk Camp Gondola transports you and bike to the summit without a single uphill pedal stroke. Of course most who venture onto this trail are on downhill specific bikes which are heavy and soft with more suspension than a Cadillac, and kitted out with full face helmets and body armour. We on the other hand were riding very light, titanium, hard tail cross-country bikes, and Chad's was even a singlespeed. Not that one needed gears on this trail, but it was pretty entertaining to see us standing in line with the hardcore downhill freeride crowd.
It didn't stop us from going out and tearing it up.
Although I didn't have the cojones for it Chad even rode up the wall several times.
His expression on the exit says it all:
After we lapped Valhalla a few times we decided to explore the rest of the lift accessed trails on Snowmass. The Vapor trail goes from the summit of the Elk Camp chair with great views towards the Maroon Bells and Willow. Having been up here countless times in winter it was strange to see it in summer, so beautiful and no one there.
The view from the cockpit heading out on Vapor, another worthy trail:
We also took the cross mountain trail and rode some super sweet, very narrow singletrack over on Sam's Knob, came back, rode the Valhalla trail again, then finished the day with Government, Sequel, Tom Blake and Owl Creek back to the base. All in all we rode for 7 hours and descended 10,000 feet, which for the first time on the bike for several months wasn't too shabby.
At only $18 for a lift ticket (half price due to winter pass) we will surely be back, especially as we saw several other trails being worked on, reportedly due to open next month.
A rare photo of me on the Vapor trail: