I have a confession: I am a 40-year-old ziplining virgin. It’s true.
I decided it was time to do something about that, so I made sure my will was up-to-date and headed up to Whistler.
The nice people at Ziptrek (they have locations in Whistler and New Zealand) offered to help me out. My friend and I went on a two and half hour tour that took us over forests and canyons and we even saw a bear (an actual black bear, not the kind I’m more used to seeing on Davie St!).
After arriving in Whistler, we headed to Ziptrek headquarters, just beside the main gondola that takes you up the mountain. After the appropriate safety training and gearing up (harness and helmet), we headed up the hill to the training zipline.
This one is quite short, and only 20 or so feet off the ground. It allows you to get the feeling of what it’s going to be like before you get out there, hundreds of feet above the ground.
Next, we boarded a bus and headed across the creek to the Blackcomb side, ending up just behind the Olympic bobsled track.
We then entered a magical world of tree forts and rope bridges. Ziptrek is a company who is dedicated to leaving as small an environmental footprint as possible. They have this really cool network of platforms that are built around living trees, suspended by cables and pulleys. They are connected by walkways, rope bridges and ziplines.
Our package allowed us to zip across the canyon four times, and each of the lines was of varying lengths, the third one being the longest. The first one was the scariest, not just because it was the first, but because when you take off it looks like you are only going to go through the woods, but then the trees fall away and there is only the canyon hundreds of feet below you with a rushing river. It is a huge rush.
Our guides were outstanding — knowledgeable, put safety first and were lots of fun to be around.
It was a great day.
Fear of heights is not one of my greatest anxieties (it ranks below, say, the dentist, for example), but there were many moments, right before I took off, when I was feeling pretty terrified. But what I learned was this: when you let go and give up trying to control the situation, you can relax and enjoy the ride. Kinda like life, right?
I highly recommend Whistler Ziptrek. Check them out the next time you are on the mountain.
Disclaimer: My Ziplining experience was compliments of Ziptrek.