How I wish I was back in Whistler right this minute. Sitting in the heat of Delhi, my mind was racing to the time I was flying in the air (not literally) in the small town of Whistler, just two hours away from British Columbia’s capital Vancouver. The small town, barely 50 years old, has become a hotspot for adventure sports enthusiasts. From mountain biking to zip-lining, rafting to bungee jumping, ATV off-roading to hiking; Whistler has something for every kind of adrenaline-inspired enthusiast. In the winter, the town becomes a ski lover’s dream. I was told that so many people have relocated to Whistler just to lead a ski-friendly life!
I was visiting Canada some months ago and I found myself in Whistler. Going by my previous enthusiasm when it came to adventure sports, how could I not give a go at everything that was right in front of me, right? The only logical thing to do was to get a pass and just go wild!
Here are five adventure sports you need to try at least once if you find yourself in Whistler:
There are various levels and packages if you want to zip line across the river, over forests and streams. Start with the Ziptrek Bear Tour, where you zipline five times, and also learn about nature, wildlife, bears, as the name suggests, and have a load of fun. It takes about three hours from start to finish and the thrill is simply worth the money. Also, if you are a major daredevil, try the Sasquatch. It’s the longest zipline in the US and Canada that covers a distance of over two kilometers! Zipline your way above 7,000 feet enjoying spectacular views and attempting tricks!
If you like bikes and want to enjoy some offroading, try your hand at quad biking (the ATV). The all-terrain vehicle lives up to its name and you can bike up Whistler and Blackcomb mountains, through forest trails and streams, rugged natural terrain and also, the Callaghan Valley. It takes a bit of time to get used to riding an ATV and a driver’s license proof is a must, but once you start, the thrill overtakes you. You almost end up feeling like Rossi but on four wheels! Remember not to wear white because by the end of the ride, you will find mud and dust all over.
Whistler draws mountain bikers of all ages. The Bike Park is always full in the summer. There are four mountain zones, a green trail, jump trails, and much more for a rider to be able to enjoy, test endurance and difficulty levels. Some even take the lifts up to a point in the mountains from where they start biking downwards. I even saw many families enjoying the thrills of mountain biking together. One will need to purchase tickets in advance so do remember that if you plan to mountain bike next summer.
If you are a nature lover, hiking is your calling card. Whistler has beautiful trails. They vary on lengths and difficulty but you can always find one that suits your specifics. The alpine hiking trails on Whistler and Blackcomb can be accessed by the gondola and then head to the lakes and meadows. The other nearby mountains that surround the town are offer spectacular trails with waterfalls and ancient forests. So, what are you waiting for?
Let’s be honest, riding up a gondola isn’t as adventurous as the rest. However, the views will definitely change your mind. And if you see bears on the hillside while going atop the peak, the trip will feel extraordinary (Yes, yes I did see three)! The 360 views from the gondola are gorgeous and will give you a sense of what the area is like. If you wait patiently enough, try the glass-bottom gondola to see the valleys and forests getting smaller below. Once you reach Whistler, take the Peak 2 Peak to Blackcom. It’s chilly up there so take a jacket, and then you must try the hot chocolate at the cafeteria before you go searching for bears or just take a walk around the area.
So, what are you waiting for? Plan your Whistler trip to feel the adrenaline rush!