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FATMAP difficulty grade
Pura Vida has become a popular descent on the Whistler Westside due to the extensiveness and continuity of the downhill.
While some of the downhills on the Westside can feel fractured and awkward due to unexpected climbs in the middle, Pura Vida is quite long and sustained. Located on the far southwestern end of the Westside trail system, this trail is considered to be less technical than other trails in the network.
However, the perceived difficulty or lack thereof depends largely on what features *you* find challenging.
For instance, you won't find many major slabs on Pura Vida.
There's one or two moderate-sized rock slabs, but more than anything, you'll be confronted with a lot of loose, steep chutes laced with root webs. Pura Vida also hides a couple of alternate double black diamond lines, including one shortcut across the main switchback that is very, very spicy, and could be considered a pro line by some.
This very challenging route is the second optional line, and it features a mandatory drop to a root web landing followed by a steep run out, all with seemingly no way to slow yourself down.
So if you're opting for the double black diamond lines on Pura Vida, be sure to exercise caution and scout them on your first run. If you choose to skip the double black diamond lines, the ride becomes quite a bit easier.
You'll rip through some loose chutes, rail through a few entertaining corners, and ride past one exposed section with a couple of cool corners and overlooks.
While some sections are definitely black diamond, others trend more toward upper intermediate.
As you finish Pura Vida, you'll run smoothly into Danimal South. Danimal South is a fairly straightforward single black diamond trail that is a logical conclusion to many of the descents in this section of the Whistler Westside.
Whether you're coming off of Pura, Vida, High Society -> Baby Snakes, or Working Class -> Baby Snakes, it's a fairly logical finish. This section of the descent doesn't have any huge features aside from one alternate double black line.
Rather, this trail includes a lot of embedded rocks in the trail tread that are often laced with—and held in place by—extensive root webs.
This creates a fairly rough, consistent rumble-filled rip. However, be sure to watch out for a couple of hairpin corners.
There are a few hairpins that are a bit washed out and exposed on the downhill side, which can prove tricky.
The bottom of the singletrack also pops right out onto the pavement, so be sure to watch for cars as you exit. One of the other factors that sets Pura Vida apart from the rest of the Westside is that it has its own fairly good singletrack climbing trail to reach the top.
While it's possible to reach Pura Vida using some of the classic climbing trails like Sirloin and Flank, the chance to change up the ascent is a welcome opportunity that many local riders opt for.
The entire loop route is mapped here, but the climb to the top follows Piece of Cake to Industrial Waste to (you guessed it) the Flank Trail.