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Whistler, British Columbia
August 11, 2004

(click an image for a larger view)

Genny booked a condo in Whistler Village for a week in early August. On Wednesday, August 11, David got to leave Bellingham and join the rest of the family for two days of unparalleled fun. The big event of the day was a "Zip Trek," which consists of flying across the canyon that separates Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains on a quarter-inch wire.

We started by meeting our guide Adrian and the other six members of our group, a family from Australia. After getting into our nylon harnesses and hard hats, we each did one training run across a short zip line suspended between two platforms near the base of Blackcomb. 

We then boarded a van for a short drive up the mountain. A few minutes later we found ourselves in the middle of an old-growth forest above Fitzsimons Creek. Whistler has built a series of platforms in the trees. The first part of our trek consisted of traversing a number of these platforms to get into the upper reaches of the nearly 1,000 year old forest.

Once up on the platform, our guide clipped each of us onto the wire in turn and sent us hurtling across the creek to another platform on the other side. The first zip line started out in the trees. But we quickly flew out across the creek several hundred feet below. What an adrenaline rush.

After zipping across the creek from the north bank to the south, we climbed higher into the platform, clipped in, and hurtled back to the other side. I stayed below taking pictures as the rest of my family came across. Before I realized it, Emma and Clarice had already climbed on ahead of me and were flying back across to the north bank again.

With two crossings under our belts, we were prepared for the third zip line, which extends nearly 1,200 feet in length over the canyon below. This time, we'd reach speeds of 70km/hour.

Instead of photos, I switched my little digital camera into movie mode. Click on the images below to watch as we fly across the zip line (including a first-person experience as I follow my family across).

One of the young Australian boys didn't make it all the way across. He slid back down to the low point of the cable and hung there until our guide Adrian clipped in and went to retrieve him. No big deal though. He just got to hang there and look at the creek for three extra minutes.

But, the final zip line was rigged in such a way that we couldn't get stuck. So Adrian encouraged us to go across upside down. Emma and I both succeeded in doing this while Clarice and Genny came across right-side-up but fashionably free-style.

We then took some time for a group photo.

Back in the village, we did some more sedate activities. Click for more adventures

copyright 2001-2008, David S. Cohn. All Rights Reserved.