Despite weather challenges this month, the zip line at Mount Washington Alpine Resort is getting closer to opening.
On Thursday, installation crews were testing out part of the line – the fourth span – as the resort prepares for its latest addition to their activities.
“With a project like this we’re in the mountains so we’ve had some interesting weather for July – lots of rain when we’re trying to pour our concrete so it’s really a project that has been anticipated to take us a while,” explained the resort’s marketing manager Sheila Rivers.
The line, which is being constructed by ZipRider based in Park City, Utah, is set to be 2.3km long with speeds approaching 100 km/hr. The full tour will include four spans, each with two cables side by side, which allows users to ride the line with a friend, explained Rivers.
Currently, the two lines are up for the fourth span, and the line ends on top of the resort’s snow school building.
“The first span is our signature span and it’s called The Abyss and it runs from the very top of Mount Washington at the top of the Eagle Chair and brings you down to little Mount Washington,” said Rivers.
“Working your way down the mountain, the next three spans go through the treetops and end up on top of the snow school building.”
The 2.3 km line will feature a total drop of 415 metres (1,364 vertical feet), and once opened, will be not only the longest but the steepest zip line on Vancouver Island.
Rivers noted the experience riding the line will be completely different than riding the scenic chairlift.
“You have your own self-braking system. This allows this particular zip line to have longer lengths of span versus starting and getting off and starting again.”
She said once the line is up and running, they hope to keep it operational throughout the fall and are looking into how the weather will affect its operation, but added the resort hopes to have it open for Christmas or spring break.
Levi Painter, project manager for ZipRider said the installation is going well despite the wet weather.
“We’ve got a couple of similar (lines) in the United States that are pretty comparable. This is right in line in with what we call a flagship line. It’s where you get on to the mountain and it’s going to be exciting; it’s also pretty steep.”
Painter explained he’s worked on zip line projects in South Korea, Mexico, Brazil and all over the U.S., and added “this one is going to be pretty special in our minds.
“From what I understand, you can see the ocean and the mountain range behind us which is pretty spectacular.”
The bottom two lines will be open first, said Rivers, which is being called the Hawk Excursion, and will cost $89 for adults, $79 for youth or seniors and $59 for children under 12.
The full tour, named the Eagle’s Flight, is $129 for adults, $119 for youth or seniors and $99 for children under 12.
For opening days and times as the project nears completion, visit www.mountwashington.ca.