The radio ad said that the Sasquatch zipline is the “hairiest” tour that Ziptrek have to date and they weren’t kidding. Myself and my colleague, Lucy, were lucky enough to snag a tour and we were so happy to simply get out of the office that the actual undertaking of it didn’t sink in until we were half way up the mountain.
Claim to Fame: The longest zipline in Canada and U.S.
Length: 2 km or 7,000 feet
Drop height at launch: 1,600 feet – 160 storeys
Speeds: Can hit 130 km+
You check in at the Ziptrek booth at the base of Blackcomb Mountain, then it’s onto the Wizard Chair that whisks you into the alpine. At the bottom of the Solar Coaster Chair you enjoy the view while you get your harness and hard hat on – always sexy. Then it’s a short van ride to the launch pad.
The whiff of fresh cut cedar was enough to remind us of how new this line is, even though three years of development has actually gone into it. Like a couple of gullible guinea pigs we were both honoured and slightly scared at being some of the first “civilians” heading down the line. This leads to lots of awkward conversations about the view…
And faces like this…
“I get to give wedgies to people every day,” said our veteran zip guide Nat, as she tightened the many straps on our harnesses. The lines run side by side so you get to give weak smiles to whomever you managed to persuade to come with you – poor Lucy. Nat coaxed us out onto the four metal steps that go out into, well, nothing. The safety gate slides shut with a finalistic clang behind you and then it’s 3, 2, 1, scream time…
It was so much faster than I expected – it literally took my breath away. Trees, sky, trees, sky, trees, sky went whizzing by as I span my way down the line. You pop out into a more open part of the valley and the line starts to slow. I could see the PEAK 2 PEAK gondola off to my left, a winding river below and the village laid out infront of me. Just as I got up the courage to release my death grip on the harness and spread my arms it was all over. The brakes kick in smoothy and it’s a short, wobbly legged walk to the Whistler Gondola and back down to reality.
I believe in the Sasquatch – it’s hairy, and bloody fast!
Check out more info on the Ziptrek site here.