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So, you say you want to get your heart racing? Well, you’re in luck: Vancouver just happens to have plenty of ways to satisfy thrill seekers, from ziplining through lush rainforests to bungee jumping head-first into a canyon. Check out some of these ideas to experience the best of Vancouver’s great outdoors, all while getting an adrenaline fix.
You don’t need to be part of the circus to fly through the air with the greatest of ease. All you need is a trip to Whistler, where Ziptrek Ecotours offers the chance to see British Columbia’s enchanting old-growth rainforest while whizzing along suspended steel cables. There are a number of tours and ziplines from which to choose, and tours last between two and 4.5 hours. Grouse Mountain also offers a two-hour ziplining adventures year-round — and at speeds of up to 80km/hr across the peaks of Grouse Mountain and Dam Mountain, you’ll be grinning ear to ear.
Vancouver can hold its own when it comes to great ski terrain, but winter sports junkies know that the best runs are on the mountains no one can get to — at least not without a helicopter. Claim your own stretch of pristine powder with a daylong session of heli-skiing (or boarding), offered by several local companies. A helicopter will transport you to the top of Whistler’s snow covered mountains, where you can unleash your best moves down the powdery slopes, without the hassle of ski-lift lines or running into other skiers.
Picture this: you’re standing on the ledge of a narrow steel bridge, enjoying stunning views of the Cheakamus River Canyon from 160-feet above the ground. An ice-cold river rushes below, with boulders and jagged rocks churning the water into rapids. And then you dive — head first, if you’re brave enough — toward the shallow river with only a bungee cord and a harness to save you from your demise. Sound like a good time? Then schedule a jump with Whistler Bungee, a year-round bungee jumping company with a pristine safety record and nearly 20 years of experience.
If jumping off a cliff for a James Bond-like escape sounds appealing, paragliding just might be for you. This aerial adventure is just one of the many activities to choose from on Grouse Mountain, but this one might just be the most exciting. Strap into your harness and soar above the treetops to get an unparalleled view of Vancouver’s surrounding mountains, harbour and downtown skyline.
If some of these adventures sound a little too extreme, there’s always a good old-fashioned roller coaster to get your blood flowing. Head to Playland at the PNE, where you can ride nearly 20 death-defying rides, including a historic wooden roller coaster built in 1958. Or go with the park’s newest addition: the AtmosFear, an insane ride that hoists passengers 218 feet in the air, while swinging them 360 degrees at 70 kilometres per hour. There’s a reason “fear” is in its name.