So I alluded to a stressful experience in my last post about Whistler. Today I will expand on that.
On our first annual girls trip to Whistler my bestie wanted to do the Peak to Peak gondola ride. A simple request to most people perhaps but to someone like me who is terrified of heights, she may as well have asked me to jump out of a plane without a parachute. I used every excuse I could think of but she wasn’t having it so finally I agreed to go. Unfortunately for her, I had stalled long enough that the gondola was closed. DARN! And we had to go home the next day.. so sad..
Fast forward to our second annual Whistler trip. She was out for revenge, and decided we were going to go ziplining. In a moment of weakness, I said I would go. You see, I have a deal with myself that every year I will do something that scares the living poop out of me. And in the year 2017, I had not done anything that I could put into this category yet. So I figured I could make her happy, plus cross this off my list all in one terrifying shot.
We planned to go on the second day of our trip. This was probably a bad idea, it gave me extra time to try to get out of it as well as contemplate my fate. My friend was not having any of it. I think she still was harbouring quite a bit of resentment from the year before. We looked at the website and I picked out one that I felt like I was most likely to survive. (if like me, you are afraid of the idea, I don’t recommend watching the videos!) She called it a boring one, for beginners. So she said she was going to pick. She decided we were going to do the Eagle tour. I agreed reluctantly firmly believing our friendship was on the line. The facts were alarming, a 2400 foot zipline with a 30-storey descent!
I would recommend pre-booking your tour as they book up quickly. We went on a weekday, end of season and the weather was not the best so we got spots no problem.
We walked through the village to the starting point, I tried to make a run for it several times. We have been friends for too long so she knew to watch for this and so I did not escape. While we were standing in line to pay for this wonderful experience, I am bombarded with videos of people on ziplines. This did not help my terror, but I knew it was too late to back out now. I had enough dignity that I had to pretend I was cool with this activity now that there were others around.
After paying, our guides take us to the back room to get strapped into our equipment and start explaining zipline safety (seemed like an oxymoron to me at this point.) I realize very quickly that both our guides have extremely thick accents and I have a very hard time understanding them with the background of excited chatter of the other participants. None of whom seem to care about the safety instructions like I do, so once again to maintain my “coolness” I attempt to be nonchalant.
Next we make our way through the village again to the pick up point.. looking absolutely ridiculous in our harnesses and helmets. I can’t help but think to myself that this is what I am going to die wearing, but I try to push that thought out of my head. Actually lets just fast forward through my thoughts during the bus ride up the mountain and the hike to the first line, it will be less embarrassing for me.
The first one is a tandem line, so theres no chance of me backing out after I send my friend across. Besides at this point I have realized that it will be a long hike down the mountain alone, and it’s going to be dark soon. Our guide attaches my harness first and I slowly creep to the edge of the platform, I wonder how the life choices I have made up until now have gotten me to this point. He is done with my friend’s harness way too quickly and I realize the moment has come. It’s too late to back out. So I look at my friend and tell her it was nice knowing her and to count down from three.
Three. Two. One. I close my eyes and stepped off the platform. I slowly open them and look around. Wow, this isn’t so bad. I am actually enjoying myself! I can’t help but wonder at my stupidity for being so scared! I turned slightly and the wind caught the strap around my chest and it flew up and hit me in the face which of course scared me, so I shrieked and my gum flew out of my mouth. She saw all of that and we both laughed the rest of the way down. I was still a bit nervous about my landing, but the second guide had some contraption of ropes that slowed us down so it was quite comfortable.
Maybe our third or fourth run after landing the guide tells us that they have just recently renamed this cougar landing. A few days before when he got to the platform he saw a sleeping cougar! So he had to crawl hand over hand back across the line. Umm WHAT NOW?? Just when I was starting to feel safe.. Suddenly on high alert again, we walk through the forest to the next platform. Though, to be perfectly honest I’m much more comfortable with the idea of a cougar then facing anything relating to heights. I am a country raised Canadian girl, we had cougars come visit the acreage we lived on while I was growing up. I was able to enjoy the fact that the others in our group were for once more worried then me!
It has now started to snow, which made the forest extra beautiful. However it also made it impossible to keep my eyes open on the runs. I’d recommend bringing a pair of goggles if you end up going on a day with rain or snow.
I was so happy that I did end up going and I can’t wait to go again. Next time we want to do the Sasquatch (over 2kms of exhilaration!) which is the longest zipline in Canada and the USA at the moment.
Morals of this story: 1. I think it’s a good idea to push your comfort zone and do things that scare you. It keeps you feeling alive and enjoying life! 2. You can convince me to do things easier if you feed me a good belini first and promise me a spa day. Within reason… always worth a shot though…
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