Whistler Ziptrek— It Is Easy Being “Green”

Whistler Ziptrek— It Is Easy Being “Green”


“If you want to protect wild places you have to do so with the measured responsibility of getting people to understand why they are so important to protect in the first place.”
– Jayson Faulkner, Whistler town councilor.

Most residents of Whistler are environmentally minded folks by sheer virtue of where we live and what we do. Our main reason for being here is intrinsically tied to our love of playing and working in incredibly amazing mountains and enjoying the outdoor lifestyle they provide us.

While there are many Whistler groups and organizations working to protect the environment (and I’ll list some of them below) it is always important that leaders in the business community step up and show the way.

Ziptrek Ecotours is not only one of Whistler’s most popular adventure tours but is also one of the greenest (in every sense of the word since tour guests spend most of their time hundreds of feet off the ground in the old-growth canopy.)

The Whistler Insider caught up with Ziptrek co-founder and CEO David Udow to learn a bit more about their off-the-grid operation in the Coast Mountain Rainforest.

Whistler Exclusive Video

Here are some other interesting links to various local groups working hard to ensure we will continue to have an awesome, wild, pure and beautiful outdoor experience to live amongst and to share with others.

Whistler Blackcomb Renewable Energy Project
Fitzsimmons creek constantly runs through the valley between Whistler and Blackcomb mountains so the forward thinkers at WB, led by environmentally resource manager Arthur DeJong, established a run-of-river power project on the creek that produces 33 gigawatt hours of hydro electricity per year. That’s about as much energy as the entire operation (including 38 lifts, 17 restaurants and 270 snowguns) consumes in a year.


The Associations of Whistler Area Residents for the Environment is a volunteer-driven, non-profit organization that strives to improve the quality of life in Whistler and the surrounding areas through community involvement, education and advocacy. My friend Sara Jennings was the president of AWARE for almost a decade and currently sits as vice president. She was also the first baby born in the newly formed Resort Municipality of Whistler back in 1975 (before that “Whistler” was called “Alta Lake”) so essentially Sara is the original “Whistler Local.” That Sara tirelessly devotes her time and effort fighting to protect and improve this incredible valley speaks volumes about what it means to be a true Whistler local.

Sherpas Cinema – All.I.Can

Local film company Sherpa’s Cinema http://sherpascinema.com/news/now-playing-allican produced this incredible film that mixes big mountain skiing, unparalleled cinematography and thought-provoking sequences about the mindset behind changing our lifestyles and doing more to ensure our kids get to rip the same snowy mountains we enjoy right now. The Sherpas worked tirelessly for two years and shot in six countries for this one, check out the teaser or get the movie on iTunes.

Whistler Centre for Sustainability

Another non-profit, these folks take the sustainable/environmental lessons we’ve learned here in Whistler and combine them with ideas from around the world to help other Canadian communities become more environmentally and economically sustainable.
It certainly isn’t light reading but their website outlines a few of the current projects.

Green Drinks

Ensuring that environmental stuff doesn’t have to always be stuffy and high concept, Green Drinks takes things back to the old school—it’s a bunch of like-minded people in a bar hanging out and bouncing ideas off each other. And there’s free beer.

This list is just the tip of the iceberg but the idea Jayson Faulkner presents at the top of this page still holds true—if we want people to give a hoot about what happens to our natural spaces, we need to let them see how awesome those spaces are in the first place.

So please, enjoy Whistler as much as you can. Drink the water, breathe the cold mountain air and talk to the locals about things like compost, eating locally, fish habitat, or anything else you’re interested in because we’re probably interested in it too. We’re all here for the same thing—to play in the snow with the people we care about, in one of the most beautiful places on the planet.

Feet Banks

Feet Banks

Feet Banks moved to Whistler at age 12 so his parents could live the dream and ski as much as possible. He ended up living it too. After leaving home Feet did a few good stints in warmer climates and 4 years of writing school before returning to the mountains to make ski movies, hammer out a journalism career and avoid the 9-5 lifestyle as long as possible. He’s been a hay farmer, a hole digger, a magazine editor and has a jump named after him on Blackcomb Mountain, Feet’s Air. It’s tiny.