My first ziptrekking experience was above Robson Square during the Olympics, and I received a 10% off coupon that I was going to try to use before summer was over.
I started my Labour Day long weekend by driving up to Whistler and doing the Ziptrek Ecotours Bear tour, which is the ‘original’ ecotour that is recommended for beginners and families.
Our 10-person group had two guides, who first had us do a test run on a short 100m. zipline beside the Whistler-Blackcomb gondola. Then after a 10-minute drive, we were in the middle of the rainforest (I didn’t know Whistler was considered rainforest territory) and ready for our first real zip across to Whistler mountain, over Fitzsimmons Creek.
What I didn’t realize about the tour was that you really learn a lot about the ecology of the forest, including the wildlife in the area. Our guide said there are about 80 black bears (the mild kind), 2,500 cougars, and then a number of grizzly bears (the aggressive kind) that you don’t want to mess with. Ziptrek also adheres to the 5 ‘Natural Steps‘ about how people can be sustainable, which are explained at different stops of the tour.
It’s a good thing I didn’t make a habit of looking down at how high we were. Otherwise it would have been much harder to leave the platform like it was up top of Robson Street.
We were 120 m. above creek level, I believe. Our 3rd zipline was longer – about 1,000 m. where we got to pose for the camera. I went hands free then. The 4th line was the longest and I took some crazy video footage of the height. I was slow to reach the end so I had to get towed in by Carrie. whew.
This tour has some amazing photo opps of the view and of nature. We didn’t spot any bears but it was a sunny, cloud-free day so I can’t complain.
Our 5th and last zipline was the ‘freestyle’ line where they taught us how to go upside down. I channeled my inner acrobatic child and crossed my ankles over the harness while dropping my hands down for “the full 10 points.”
It was the most thrilling 2 hours of my life, and totally worth it for the $100 I paid.
Ziptrekking is great thing to do on a sunny weekend to get away from the city and explore the nature of Whistler. I still have one discount coupon left to use for the more challenging Eagle tour, maybe in Winter before or after a day of snowboarding. We were told that people actually do that. And I thought I was the thrill-seeker!
The only thing I would have liked was to avoid the wedgies you get every time you leave and arrive on the platform between zipping. But you can’t really fight gravity, can you.
*Tips: Wear as comfortable clothing as possible – no skin-tight leggings on this one! Also, book well in advance and make sure you cancel or change reservations at least 24 hours before your tour time or you’ll be charged the full rate.
Bravo to Ziptrek Ecotours for giving us an exciting and educational experience!
Phone: 1.604.935.0001 (Whistler local)
Toll Free: 1.866.935.0001
*They also have a tour in New Zealand!