If you’re like me, there’s nothing you enjoy more than losing yourself in nature. What better setting than among Whistler's towering conifers? The forest is serene, rejuvenating and wild.
If finding Zen in tree pose surrounded by the silence of the forest isn't your cup of tea, there's always these three adrenaline-pumping ways to adventure in Whistler’s woods.
1. Scramble a Suspended Obstacle Course
Treetop Adventure, The Adventure Group
Channel your inner child as you monkey through the forest canopy.
This open-air jungle gym is suspended up to 18 metres (60 feet) above the forest floor. 70 or so obstacles confront those who challenge the course, ranging from "mild to wild".
Start with tight wires and horizontal ladders (easy), then move on to ziplines (fun) before graduating to rope swings that deposit you into a cargo net strung between trees (exhilarating).
The real nerve tester for me? Grabbing hold of a flying fox and soaring high above a bellowing creek enveloped in old-growth forest.
If this all sounds a little intense, rest assured, it’s all in good fun.
First, step into your harness and get acquainted with your Clic-its in a test circuit. The built-in locking mechanism ensures you'll be connected to the safety system for the duration of the course. This genius (and comforting!) feature means Treetop Adventure is a safe one, despite the dizzying heights.
While the course is family-friendly, it mainly appeals to the young (and the young-at-heart). Just keep in mind the obstacles demand a certain level of balance and agility.
Kids who can reach as high as the safety line that the Clic-its fasten to (140 cm or 5'11") can participate in Treetop Adventures. Those with some growing to do have a friendlier alternative: the Kids' Treetop Adventure Course.
Treetop Adventure departs from Whistler Village and conveniently shuttles participants 10 minutes north to Cougar Mountain, a service included in the fee. The entire adventure with round-trip transit takes 2.5-3 hours, making it quite good value for the price.
Meet up point: 211-4293 Mountain Square, Whistler Village
Price: $59; Kids' Treetop Adventure Course is $39
Website: Click here
2. Fly at Breakneck Speed
Ziplining in Whistler remains atop my things-to-do list, and there's one line in particular I'm eyeballing.
Fun fact: did you know Whistler is home to the longest zipline in Canada? What if I told you it is longer than any line in the US?
Spanning an epic 2 kilometres The Sasquatch™ is a monster, hitting speeds over 100 km/hour. I could describe it in detail but when this video exists, why bother?
If the prospect of flying over a valley at breakneck speed well above the treeline is a daunting one, there are plenty of lines closer to Earth:
Ziptrek Ecotours offers ten ziplines measuring 121-731 metres (400 - 2400 ft) in length connected by a network of suspension bridges, boardwalks and trails. Plus, for those whose mobility isn't suited to Treetop Adventures, Ziptrek offers TreeTrek Canopy Walk.
Superfly Ziplines boasts a custom built side-by-side zipline which no doubt invites some friendly competition. Another Superfly highlight is a one kilometre zipline, suspending adventurers 182 metres (600 ft) in the air and sending them to speeds of 100 km per hour.
3. Catch some air
Whistler Mountain Bike Park
Tourism Whistler / Mike Crane
Spring in Whistler is synonymous with mountain biking.
All throughout Whistler Village, mud-strewn and dust-covered bikers tip their glasses on sunny patios in celebration of another year of flowy single track.
While Whistler and Blackcomb still have some snow on their summits, the base and mid-span of the mountains are game on for freeriders. Let the lift take the strain of transporting bikes uphill so you can enjoy the freedom of ripping back to the base.
Tourism Whistler / Mike Crane
Whistler Mountain Bike Park is comprised of five zones: Fitzsimmons, Garbanzo, Peak, Creek and Air. Between them there are 68 trails representing 1,507 vertical metres serviced by five lifts. The bulk of the them are advanced/expert but a generous 40% are beginner-intermediate.
Not confident of your skills? Never really been downhill mountain biking? Whistler is a great place to learn. There are five learning centres dedicated to teaching technique and sharpening skills. Get outfitted with bike and gear rentals and then let local experts take the lead.
Related content on Canadian Traveller