Part 2 - Adventure in the Mountains
In this week’s Summer Inspiration Series we showcase Adventure in the Mountains. Even in the summertime, there are so many adrenaline-fuelled activities you can include in your adventure itinerary. Whether you just want to dabble in adventure or are ready to send it. Let us show you how much fun a weekend in Whistler can be.
Feel at home in the mountains with Harmony Whistler Vacations.
Jump off a Bridge
Hands down one of the most exhilarating activities you can do in Whistler would be Whistler Bungee. Standing 50m high above the glacier-fed Cheakamus river, the last thing I wanted to do was jump off the bridge. I said that I would jump, so when the jumpmaster counted back from three, that’s what I did (well, more so stepped off the platform backward and crying). After the initial drop, bounce, and drop again I started to calm down. Surrounded by basalt column cliffs, old-growth forest, and views of black tusk in the background with the sounds of the river gushing under me I felt totally at peace dangling from my bungee chord.
As I was hoisted back up, I thought it was over but to my surprise, a friend who said she was too scared to jump was all suited up and ready to go with one request – I jump again tandem with her. After a few practice jumps (so we didn’t get tangled or pull the other one off the bridge) I found myself once again on the ledge ready to jump off. I must admit, the second time was nowhere near as scary although the bruises on my arms from my friend holding me tightly tells me she didn’t feel the same way.
If you have never bungee jumped and would like to give it a shot, I can highly recommend Whistler Bungee.
Fly like a Bird
Ziplining is one of the first activities I got to enjoy when I moved here and highly recommended as part of your action-packed itinerary.
The Adventure Group run their course on Cougar mountain and have 4 side by side lines starting with the highest, followed by the longest, then the fastest with the last lines so close you can hold hands and pull each other down the line.
Ziptrek has their lines set up on Whistler mountain with a climbing harness so you can actually flip yourself upside down should you choose. Their longest line can be booked as The Sasquatch Tour where you fly from Blackcomb mountain right across the valley to Whistler mountain and reach speeds of over 100KM – it’s pretty epic!
Rip Around on an ATV or Buggy Tour
Another great way to explore our backyard is on an ATV or Buggy tour. Canadian Wilderness Tours are offered in the beautiful Callaghan Valley and on Blackcomb Mountain. They offer great options for first-timers following single-track trails, as well as more challenging tours. Pass pristine lakes, ride up the challenging staircase, across narrow bridges, and through natural ATV playgrounds. One of my favourite ATV tours includes a salmon bake at Crystal hut on Blackcomb mountain so you can make an evening of it.
You can also opt for an off-road buggy if that’s more your thing. Candian Wilderness offers this in the Callaghan Valley while The Adventure Group runs their buggy tours from their Cougar mountain base. These buggies enable guests to sit side by side to enjoy the adventure together, or if you don’t wish to share the driving you can book a buggy each. This is one activity where a rainy day can make it more fun splashing through puddles. You often spot wildlife on either of these tours.
Local Tip: Wear something you don’t mind getting dusty or muddy and make sure you leave time to shower before heading out after if you have dinner plans. A dust mustache may be included.
Climb a Cliff
Taking place high up on Whistler mountain, the Via Ferrata is a combination of hiking and climbing and is a great introduction to rock climbing in a safe and fun environment. Don a safety harness and follow your guide as you ascend up the cliffside with spectacular views of the valley below and the mountain ranges surrounding Whistler.
The tour will take about 4 hours and no climbing experience is needed. You will begin your adventure with a 40-minute hike across a glacier before heading up a series of fixed ladders and rungs towards Whistler Peak. There is a break halfway up which gives you the chance to take some amazing photos if you dare to lean out from the rock face. Myself, I preferred to keep as close to the rock face as possible and only took in the views once I was safely up the top, however the feeling of accomplishment at the end of the day for me was amazing.
Be a Monkey
This is one activity I did a few years back and I cannot wait to do it again. The Adventure Group has this course set up at their Cougar Mountain. With safety in mind, you will be strapped into your harness and attached to the safety line at all times.
The kid’s course is for ages 7 – 13 years and as long as they can reach 4’7″ with their heels on the ground, then they are good to go. The course will take about an hour and a half and there must be an adult chaperone on the ground at all times. The kids will be challenged with a climbing wall, fisherman’s net, and a suspension bridge.
The next step up is the beginner course which takes about an hour and a half depending on how quickly you fly through the trees. Confident kids need to be able to reach 5’11” and be able to fit in a 43″ climbing harness. A chaperone must be present either on the ground or in the trees. This forest playground will have you maneuvering your way through an assortment of high ropes balancing on wobbly log bridges and presenting physical challenges. You will have a guide on the ground to offer support should you need it.
Reaching heights of up to 60 feet above the forest floor, challenge yourself with the advanced course. With an average tour time of 2 hours, navigate your way across balance beams, rope swings, and cargo nets. Not recommended if you have a fear of heights, but being strapped in with your harness at all times you will feel safe enough to give all the obstacles a go.
If you have the time and love the idea of being a kid for the afternoon, you can do both the beginner and advanced course gaining confidence along the way. It should take around 3 – 4 hours depending on how fast you navigate your way through the treetops.
Local Tip: Combine your Obstacle course with a Superfly zipline for great savings. Or book the Adventure Combo to enjoy 4 activities offering Green river rafting, a RZR buggy tour, or a visit to the Scandinave spa.
Race Down the Olympic Bobsleigh Track
The last Adventure Activity on my list is the summer bobsled. It’s literally a bobsleigh on wheels, known as the “Rolling Thunder”.
Join Whistler Sports Legacies for an orientation of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games venue including an exclusive track walk. A safety talk will follow as your nerves grow before riding the Rolling Thunder with a trained pilot. Reaching speeds of up to 90km/hour you will fly down the track’s twists and turns before coming to a slow stop at the end.
Local Tip: For summer 2021, Youth aged 12 – 18 years ride FREE with a full paying adult so it’s the perfect year to get out on the track.