Whistler Zipline adventure is one of the most recommended activities in this lovely Whistler village of British Columbia. I was asked if I am comfortable doing ziplining. My answer was if it does not require any special skills – I will go for it. I expected it to be a small experience lasting a few minutes with a minute or less than of it for actual ziplining. I was wrong. It turned out to be adrenaline generating a 3-hour experience that took us up and down the hills and across streams. Add to this the fact that it snowed all morning while we are out there ziplining in Whistler.
I landed in Whistler late night around 11:30 PM. Next day morning I met the Whistler Tourism officials and at 9 AM I was at the office of Ziptrek Ecotours in the Whistler market. After a quick signing off a waiver form saying that in case of any mishap, the company would not be held responsible, we were ready to Zipline.
I took Ziptrek’s Bear Tour that includes 5 Ziplines, 4 Treetop bridges, and some walking and climbing.
A minibus took us to the middle of the hill. The path went through snow-covered roads lined with big and small trees spotlessly white with fresh snow. As someone who had just landed from the beaches of Goa, this was a sudden change in every which way. It was surreal to drive with everything white around including the falling snow.
Ziptrek Bear Tour – My Whistler Zipline Experience
At the base, there was a small triangular hut like a cabin, where we parked all our bags including cameras and stepped into our harnesses. Helmets were fitted on our heads. It felt like we are going on some expedition. We walked a bit in the snow and then climbed a few wooden steps with a cushion of snow to reach the landing platform.
The instructor Shaun in his heavy accent said some instructions. I had to ask him to repeat it a couple of time before I got them well. I watched the two people zip across through the tall trees. As they stepped away from the platform, their faces went white with fear. Yes, even the white faces lost their color. This was enough to make me lose my confidence.
First Moments of Ziplining
However, I decided to go next, so that I am done with it. It was all fine until my harness was attached to the zip line. As soon as I was asked to step forward and step into the air, I went blank. All the ‘What Ifs’ flashed before me. What if I fall from the height? What if I hot a tree? And what if they are not able to break my speed? Rest of the group tried to encourage me and told me – they do it every day – it is safe.
In some moments, I closed my eyes and took the plunge. In less than half a second, I was enjoying the scenery around me. Fear had given way to excitement. Within seconds, I reached the other end – and my first words were – Oh, it’s over! A mix of relief and disappointment at the same time.
We waited for others to arrive while trying to capture a few pictures with the mobile hidden in the zipped jacket pocket. I thought this was over. No, this was just the warm-up zipline. We walked in the snow to another point through a snow-covered path to reach other platform perched on top of a tree. Officially they are called tree-top observation decks. There are small suspension bridges to go to these platforms. From here we could see a quite river which is rather a creek flowing below. With everything covered in snow, it looked another world.
Ziplining at Whistler Zipline Across River
From here we zipped across the river which was good 150-200 feet below us. This zip line was way longer than our warm up one. However, once you have been on the first one, you are confident of the next one. You are more focused on what you would see around you than worrying about your position on the zip line. To be suspended in the air above a creek covered with snow is something that I cannot describe in words. I can only say, I felt like a bird, albeit the one tied and controlled. Still, the view is what the low flying birds get.
After this we crossed the river two more times, now it was fun. We all looked forward to the next round of this fun.
At the last one, our instructor got adventurous. She showed us some moves on the zip line. She zipped upside down, she moved her legs rhythmically while ziplining. It was like watching an acrobat show. She, of course, challenged us to try and do the same. Some of us tried in small measures, but none of us could touch her.
In the end, we walked back to our bags, from where the minibus again drove us back to the town.
This was one trip that combines adventure, thrill, and wonderful natural sites. Snow added its own effect to the ziplining adventure.
Travel Tips for Whistler Zipline
- Zipline tours are available around the year in Whistler. Yes, they operate in all weathers.
- The Ziptrek Bear Tour takes about 3 hours of time. I suggest you budget half a day for it including a bit of time you spend at their office or chatting with people post tour.
- You need to wear closed shoes.
- Your weight must be between 29 – 125 Kg to Zipline.
- Unless you are in a group or can strap up your cameras, it is advisable to leave the cameras behind. The company offers GoPro Cameras to participants but you have to buy your footage.
- If you have vertigo, please inform the company.
At the time of writing, this Whistler Ziplining tour costs CAD 119.
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