Five cool things to do in Whistler, BC over spring break
Photo courtesy of Ziptrek Ecotours
"It's not bungee jumping," says the Ziptrek Ecotours rep, as I'm momentarily consumed by fear-of-heights-paralysis while contemplating a Whistler zip lining adventure.
Flash forward one hour: I'm standing on a platform 200 feet above Fitzsimmons Creek between Blackcomb and Whistler mountains wearing a harness. I stare down the first of the Ziptrek Bear Tour five inclined cables while freshly fallen snow is drifting through the lichen laden Douglas-firs and occasional snow chunks cascade through the branches onto my helmet. In the creek bed and surrounding terrain below, we're told nine-foot long cougars roam year round and 60 to 80 black bears are hibernating.
Ziptrek Ecotours allows you to soar over the Fitzsimmons Valley between Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains (hibernating bears and all), and take in the spectacular panoramic views. Maybe with one eye open. Maybe upside down. Beginner? Ziptrek Ecotours original Bear Tour is the perfect way to go. Feeling adventurous? Ziptrek Eagle Tour will take your adrenaline sky high. Literally. Launch from Olympic Station on Whistler mountain at an elevation of 1,000 meters. This tour features five different zip lines, including their newest 2400-foot zip line with a 30-storey descent.
And if that doesn't get your adrenaline pumping hard enough, there really is bungee jumping.
Photo courtesy of Scandinave Spa Whistler
What better way to rejuvenate after a long hike or day on Whistler & Blackcomb's slopes than at the Spa Scandinave Whistler?
Locals swear by it as the perfect antidote to a long work day and many purchase the special passes that allow you to spend up to eight hours in its blissful serenity.
The spa comprises several outdoor pools, a sauna, steam room and solarium. Spa goers pad along the snow carpeted paths in flip flops and bathrobes- some even in shorts and bikinis. Chilling in an outdoor hot tub, before taking a quick dunk in an ice cold pool then settling in to watch the snow fall onto the surrounding spruce and cedar trees from the solarium, or sauna. Ommmmm...
The Scandinavian baths, also known as hydrotherapy, carry many benefits: cleansing the body, they stimulate blood circulation and the release of endorphins. Quiet is mandatory and no phones are allowed. The helpful staff are there to walk you through the experience in the 20,000 square foot outdoor spa, which is only two minutes away from Whistler Village.
3. Skiing/ Snowboarding
Photo courtesy of Go Whistler Flickr page
Want to shred some pow at Whistler but never been on skis or snowboard before? No problem! Whistler Blackcomb Snow School has you covered. You can rent all your equipment including ski pants and jackets at Whistler Blackcomb rentals which operates out of the Salomon store at the base of the mountain.
Once you're geared up, head over to meet a friendly Whistler Blackcomb ski instructor for a day on the slopes. The ski school offers something for literally everyone. Lessons for kids, adults, private or in groups (but no more than 4 at once) and adaptive skiing for different abilities. Guides will even take you back country skiing or you can ski with an Olympian. Check out Discover Whistler Days for 30% off lessons over spring break.
Also, Fresh Tracks offers early birds a "mountain-sized" breakfast buffet and early loading privileges--fresh pow for you.
4. Ice Skating
Photo courtesy of Tourism Whistler
Come to the place where it all happened four years ago, at the Whistler Olympic Plaza rink in the Village, where the world’s top athletes stepped up to the podium at Victory Ceremonies during the 2010 Winter Games and where the Paralympic Closing Ceremony concluded Whistler’s role as Host Mountain Resort. The Olympic rings and surrounding mountains make for a great photo op. Skate indoors year-round at Meadow Park Sports Centre.
5. Olympic Experience
Photo courtesy of Go Whistler Flickr page
Inspired by Sochi? Celebrate the 2014 Olympic Games in Whistler. The Whistler Olympic Plaza has the big screen, showing all the events, like Canadian women's golden hockey match today.
Also, the Whistler Sliding Centre is open to the public for anyone interested in the bobsleigh, skeleton and luge experience, with events on until March 31, 2014. Keep an eye out for all the upcoming events here, like Sigge's P’ayakentsut Cross Country Ski event at Whistler Olympic Park.