Chair lifts start spinning again Saturday, June 27 for opening day of Mt. Washington’s summer operations, which include Vancouver Island’s longest zip line experience. The ZipTour spans a length of 2,313 metres with a breathtaking drop of 415 metres, including a first step off the top platform that puts riders more than 100 feet above the ground doing 100 km/h almost instantly.
The Eagle’s Flight ZipTour is a $4 million, four-stage course that starts with a ride up the Eagle chairlift to the top of Mt. Washington and finishes at the Alpine Lodge, providing a bird’s eye perspective of the surrounding terrain. The braking technology of the ZipTour allows cable spans that are longer, steeper, and more dramatic than a typical zip line canopy tour. Guests can control their speed of descent dynamically – meaning the option is there to open the throttle for thrills, or to ease back to take in the spectacular 360-degree alpine-to-ocean views.
“The ZipTour makes it possible for everyone to experience the beauty and thrill of Mt. Washington, whether you are a skier or not,” said Dean Prentice, general manager at Mt. Washington Alpine Resort. “We’re excited that the addition of the ZipTour and the further expansion of our lift-accessed mountain bike trails allows us to offer experiences of a true year-round destination. After reopening our Bike Park in 2016, we have witnessed huge visitation growth including Bike Park season pass sales increases of more than 50 per cent each year.”
The tour runs two parallel zip lines, which allows friends and family to interact while soaring through the air together. The tour starts with training sessions at the practice zip line, followed by a chairlift ride to the top of the mountain and short scenic walks between each of the four-stages. The final side-by-side aerial flight leads back to the base for a dramatic entrance onto the roof of the lodge. The tour is a social activity that can be enjoyed while practising safe distancing in an outdoor environment.
“The experience of the Eagle’s Flight ZipTour really is incredible,” says Beth Nowak, manager of summer programs. “We cover a wide range of the mountains landscape over the four zip lines and the views are unbeatable. I’ve been running lots of practice lines, training our guides to get ready for opening day, and the weightless feeling you get soaring over the treetops never gets old.”
For lift-accessed downhill mountain biking, the Bike Park’s Trail Crew has been hard at work on new features perfect for beginner and advanced riders. Upgrades include a brand-new Green flow trail, Panda Gardens, offering up epic alpine views in the lush old-growth forests. The 2020 bike season also brings updates to the Skills Centre, completion of the Black flow trail, Upper Helter Skelter geared to advanced riders, and a new intermediate Blue flow trail to be completed soon. Guests who are new to downhill biking can give it a try with a Learn to Ride lesson and rental package, Ladies Nights and Camps, and other programs and guided rides for all ages and abilities.
Saturday’s opening includes chair lift rides and hiking.
“Our main goal is to bring guests enjoyable experiences in a safer environment this summer and into next winter,” said Prentice.