Imagine you’re holding on to the roof of your friend’s car doing 120km per hour down the highway. Now imagine that car is over half a kilometre above the ground travelling between two mountains and the car has no breaks. That’s as close as we can get to describing the sensation we felt on the new Ziptrek Sasquatch zipline.
Named after the giant, mysterious creature said to inhabit the forests of the Pacific Northwest, their new zipline called “Sasquatch”, is officially the longest in Canada. Stretching over 2km and spanning two mountains at 600m above the valley floor, the gravity-fed line whips you along at a breathtaking (literally, we can tell you) 100 – 120km per hour.
Intrigued? We were, and here’s how it went.
Sasquatch zipline check-in: If you’re in the valley you will check-in at the orange Ziptrek tent at the base of Blackcomb mountain in front of the Blackcomb Day Lodge. If you are already on the mountain sightseeing, you can check-in at the orange Ziptrek desk at the base of Solarcoaster chair (shown in the photos below).
Sasquatch zipline tour length: From check-in time to getting off the gondola back in Whistler Village, the Sasquatch tour takes about 1.5 – 2 hours.
What to bring on the Sasquatch zipline: The only necessity is full toed shoes that are securely fastened. Sandals and flip flops will be lost. You cannot wear a backpack, the wind resistance is fierce and anything you lose cannot be retrieved. You can bring a small compact camera as long as it is securely fastened to you and held in your hand the whole way.
Ziptrek recently started uploading all of their guests on the Whistler Blackcomb chairlifts and gondola. This has helped them to cut the amount they use their vans and mini busses, which has in-turn lowered the level of pollutants produced by the company. Ziptrek now only uses their shuttle bus for a very short part of the journey up the mountain to the start of their zipline courses.
We love businesses who build environmental stewardship into their everyday operations and activities. To be conscious of the impact that tourism has on such a delicate ecosystem really is the only way we can continue to enjoy this beautiful part of the world for generations to come.
When you get to the top of the Wizard chair, turn left and walk alongside the Solarcoaster chair. Straight ahead you will see the bright orange Ziptrek tents and check-in desk.
While the guide is fitting you with a harness and helmet, try not to get distracted by the epic vista of Rainbow and Sproatt mountains behind you. Although, the guide will make sure everything is secure and fitted correctly so go ahead, enjoy the view.
The last short stretch of the journey to the start of Canada’s longest zipline is still by mini bus. But it’s only a short 5 minute drive.
When the minibus driver drops you off, you’ll be half way up Blackcomb mountain. Look across to Whistler mountain and you’ll see that you’re level with the top of Emerald chair.
From the launch platform you can actually see up and over Whistler, you’re that high.
All of their zipline and treetop platforms are built using from raw, untreated cedar that can be mulched down and left to decompose on the forest floor when they’re done. If the cedar was treated with a stain or varnish the wood would have to be disposed of in a landfill, but this way the wood will be reclaimed by the forest and turned back into the nutrients needed to fuel the forest’s growth.
It’s a perfect example of taking something out of the environment, but using it responsibly so that it can be returned.
Jillian van der Geest from Mountain FM couldn’t contain her excitement as she was securely attached to the beginning of the seemingly endless 2km zipline ahead of her.
Then the gate opens and Jillian’s face changed as she’s made her way out on to the steps, almost 100ft above the forest floor on the side of Blackcomb mountain.
If you’ve ever ziplined before you’ll probably agree that Sasquatch has the steepest start of any zipline, ever. A fraction of a second passes before you reach eye-watering speeds, and it’s almost impossible to take photos along the decent. The first few seconds feel like you’re in a free-fall, just being guided along in the right direction by the wire above.
The line is so fast that, for safety reasons, Ziptrek recommends you do not wear sunglasses or have anything hanging from your person, including cameras. Compact cameras must stay in your pocket or tightly in your hand (attached by a leash) at all times because the wind resistance will whip them away if not secured.
After Gillian, it was our turn. We found out the hard way that you should also secure your helmet as tight as possible, after spending the decent with our eyes forcefully covered by our helmet. The wind resistance died down (a bit) when we approached the “belly” of the line and we could push the helmet up over our eyes – the view was spectacular.
We had a bird’s eye view of the entire village. Green Lake, the Upper Village, the GLC, Whistler Golf course, and we could even see a very tiny Summit Lodge down below. In the distance you can see Armchair glacier, Wedge mountain, the Callaghan, and as far south a the Powder mountain ice cap.
It feels like you’re ziplining along the Peak 2 Peak gondola cable!
If you’ve ever wondered what the Whistler Sliding Centre looks like, the Ziptrek Sasquatch zipline is pretty much the best way to find out. You can see every twist and curve of the Olympic track where the bobsled, skeleton, and luge were raced back in the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.
The zipline ends over on the other side of the valley on Whistler mountain. From here you take a short walk to mid-station and catch the gondola back down to the Whistler village.
Book Ziptreck’s Sasquatch Zipline Tour
Tickets for the Ziptrek Sasquatch zipline can be booked by out front desk team, or directly with Ziptrek online or at their ticket desk in the Carlton Lodge.
To book online visit: ziptrek.com/en/whistler-canada/tours/ziptrek-sasquatch