Flying down the mountain!
We saved the best for last! On the last afternoon of our family travels to the Squamish area of British Columbia, Canada, we all voted to go zip-lining. Admittedly, I do not like heights or flying, but I couldn’t let the family down, so I found the courage to go. There are two zip-line companies at Whistler. Not knowing the difference, we tossed a coin and went with Superfly Ziplines. It proved to be an amazing adventure!
We booked through their office in the Whistler Village the day before. With the American to Canadian exchange rate at $1.00 USD to $1.31 CD, the price was reasonable. Plus, we wanted to splurge on our vacation anyway. The nice young lady at the booking counter didn’t even comment on my weight when she made us weigh in (they measure your weight to see if you are under the maximum allowed, I was by the way).
I was pleasantly surprised that the equipment was much safer looking than the zip-lines we did when we lived in Costa Rica. They were an amazing experience, but I think the safety standards were more lax. We fondly remember the incredible jungle views from the line we did around Arenal Volcano.
We met at the office the next day with three other adventurers. The company took us all by bus to the base camp where we received our crash course on zip-lining (pun intended). The instructors were all very nice and helpful. They showed us how to wear our harnesses, get on the zip-line, and have fun. After the 10 minute course, we donned helmets, boarded ATVs and headed up the mountain!
The first zip line was the longest. It traversed a large gorge between two mountains. I admit, I was a little nervous stepping up onto the launch platform. The river was a long way down. The guides were very professional and assured us that the zip-line was very safe and reminded us to enjoy the ride. I tried to focus on the spectacular view and remember that this was fun (in a scared to death sort of way).
My wife, Mishele, and our oldest son, Aaron, went first, thankfully. They went speeding across the gorge like eagles (sort of). Since they successfully made it, I figured that I would be fine. Our youngest son, Elijah, and I took off. The ride was thrilling! I did not look down, but I am sure that the view was terrific. I probably looked more like a wounded duck than an eagle, however.
With one line down, we had three more to go. The second line was pretty cool. It skirted the side of a rock cliff so you really got the feel of the speed you were going. The third line was the fastest. It was short, but steep. I came into the landing zone so fast that I thought I was not going to stop. I had a brief moment of panic as I hit the shock absorbers at the end of the line and compressed them to their maximum. I know that they over-engineer these things, but I still get a little nervous. I am not sure if that is supposed to be part of the thrill.
The fourth and final line was the mellowest. My wife and I went down it side by side holding hands. It was not my idea of a romantic moment with her yelling enthusiastically and me holding tightly on to her hand trying to look excited. However, we made it to the bottom hand-in-hand safely. We had a great time! The boys thought it was the highlight of our trip.
Sadly, we had to head south to the border and home. We all agreed that we want to come back again. The Squamish area has so much to see and do that you cannot do it all in one visit. Plus, there are many things we want to do over.