The Need for Speed: Whistler’s Adrenaline Adventures
Speed and freedom have always been intrinsically linked. There’s just something about going really fast that brings us outside our everyday lives and grounds us in the moment and leaves all our mundane worries in the dust. No one is thinking about their phone bill while barreling through the bike park or going over what colour to paint the garage door midway through a bungee jump free fall.
Originally a fishing resort where guests would come to slow down and relax, Whistler has evolved over the years to include many high-octane, top speed pursuits as well. The chill, mellow vibe still exists but in today’s fast-paced culture there seems to be plenty of desire to outrun our own hectic lives and tap into the freedom of haulin’ ass.
This summer features three new and very different ways to get up to speed in Whistler and The Insider has the scoop on all of them.
The Sasquatch™ Zipline
The newest line from Ziptrek Ecotours is aptly named because it is a veritable beast. Over 2 km (7000 feet) long and 600 feet off the valley floor. The Sasquatch™ zips riders from high on Blackcomb Mountain all the way over to Whistler Mountain at speeds of over 100 km/hour (60 mph). That’s fast enough to forget about pretty much everything else in your life and just enjoy the wind, the views and the exhilaration of flight. Try the Sasquatch™ alone or pair it with Ziptrek Whistler’s other lines for a true eco-adventure. More info.
RZR/4×4 Buggy Tours
Put the pedal to the metal with Whistler’s newest motorized summer fun. These things are like mountain dune buggies that can power up steep 4×4 trails, bomb through ponds and mud bogs and really get your motor humming on the flats. The vehicles are incredibly intuitive to drive with a gas-brake-steering system that’s nearly identical to a regular car with options to take a passenger or rip it up solo style.
The Adventure Group offers RZR tours up Cougar Mountain north of the Village with premier views of Wedge Mountain, Armchair Glacier and the beautiful Soo Valley. You also get to speed along underneath their epic Superfly Zipline and watch the zippers flying above.
Canadian Wilderness Adventures operates south of the Village in the Callaghan Valley with views of Black Tusk, a historic gold mine, an alpine lake and a buggy-specific obstacle course called “The Vortex.”
It get’s dusty, but that’s part of the fun. More info.
Rolling Thunder: Bobsleigh on Wheels
This one actually started last summer but it’s one of those only-in-Whistler experiences that deserves to be mentioned again. The bobsleigh track at the Whistler Sliding Centre is one of the fastest ice tracks in the world and the public bobsleigh and skeleton programs offer the chance for anyone to slide down the same ice Olympians hurled down at the 2010 Winter Games. There’s no ice in the summer of course, so someone invented bobsleighs on wheels and the rest is high-speed history.
PHOTO:WHISTLER SPORT LEGACIES/COAST MOUNTAIN PHOTO.
Rolling Thunder sleds are driven by professionals so all you have to do is sit down, hold on and enjoy ten corners of gravity fed velocity and speeds up to 80 km/hour. One awesome thing is the wheeled sleighs are piloted from the rear seat so one lucky rider gets to sit right up front and meet the speed face first. This one shuts down for the summer on September 6, 2015 so get it while you can. More info.
Of course, these are only the new kids on the Whistler speed front. For a full itinerary of classic adrenaline activities check out Whistler.com. In the meantime check out this Sasquatch™ Zipline video teaser.