One of BC’s best ropes course facilities is just a 2-hour drive from Vancouver. Complete with ziplines, Whistler’s Aerial Obstacle Course is a ton of fun!
The Aerial Obstacle Course is operated by The Adventure Group (TAG). At the same location the company also offers Ziplining Tours, All-Terrain Vehicle Tours, Snowmobiling Tours and Whitewater Rafting. In addition to these activities there are Snowmobiling opportunities in winter. The venue is also home to Vallea Lumina which is an amazing year-round illuminated walking experience through the forest.
Ropes Courses in Whistler
There are a number of outdoor adventure parks with ropes course facilities within a couple of hours’ drive of Vancouver. One of the best is the Aerial Obstacle Course at Whistler. It’s fun and challenging, but not overly difficult. It also has different levels which makes it ideal for people with a wide range of abilities.
Where Are Whistler’s Ropes Courses?
The Aerial Obstacle Course is located on Cougar Mountain which is less than a 15-minute drive north of Whistler Village. Basecamp for The Adventure Group – the company that operates the attraction – doesn’t have a physical address. To get there, search for “Superfly Ziplines” in Google Maps.
Basecamp is on Cougar Mountain Road. From Whistler Village, head north along the Sea to Sky Highway. As you reach the northern tip of Green Lake, take a left onto Cougar Mountain Road and follow the signs.
How Much Does it Cost?
As of the early 2022, prices for the Aerial Obstacle Course were the following:
- Kids’ Course – $54.99
- Beginner Course – $59.99
- Advanced Course – $59.99
- Full Course – $84.99
To book your adventure and for the most up-to-date information about prices, see the Aerial Obstacle Course website.
What to Expect
When you arrive you’ll find a parking lot and then a short trail to the check-in station. At Basecamp for The Adventure Group you’ll see a number of buildings including a large starting platform for Superfly Ziplines.
While COVID-19 is still an issue, upon arrival an attendant greets guests, asks a series of health-related questions and takes everyone’s temperatures (in a non-intrusive way). Assuming nobody has obvious COVID-related symptoms, guests then make their way to the start.
When it’s time to begin your adventure you meet your guide at a designated spot. The guide helps you get into your harness, explains how things work and then leads you along a forest trail to a place where you can practice how to use the ropes course elements, ziplines and safety gear.
After everyone has had a practice turn, the group heads further along the trail through the forest to the start of their selected adventure course. The guide remains with the group the entire time, but stays on the ground. If you ever have questions or need assistance, the guide is there to help.
The Ropes Course Experience
When we did the Aerial Obstacle Course we went on the Advanced Course. The Beginner Course would have been similar, but easier and not quite so high up. The Kids’ Course, meanwhile, would have been an even easier version of the Beginner Course.
The Advanced Course
With the Advanced Course, the first element is a fisherman’s net-like ladder. You have to climb up quite a ways to get to the first platform in the trees. (Below is a video where you can see what this looks like.)
Before beginning your climb you attach your harness clip to a safety cable. You have two clips actually and with one of them you are always attached to a cable. As you move along the course you continuously attach, disconnect and reconnect the clips. You remain attached by one or other or both of the clips until you come back down. You are never unconnected.
For the next 90 minutes or so you walk along cables, wobbly suspension bridges and suspended wooden steps. Interspersed between the ropes course elements, from time to time, there are ziplines. There are also a couple of elements where you get to swing on a rope from a tree to a fishermen’s net that you then climb up to get to the next platform.
About two-thirds of the way through the Advanced Course there is an extra-challenging section. It includes an especially-wobbly rope course element you have to get yourself across. You have the option of skipping the small number of extra-difficult elements in this section of the course if you want. If you are brave and decide to do them all, your sense of balance and upper body strength will be challenged!
If you’re a Ninja Warrior or ropes course expert, and there’s nobody in front of you, it’s possible to do the full Advanced Course in less than 20 minutes. Your guide can probably do it that fast. Most people though take somewhere between one and two hours.
Ropes Course Videos
Below are a couple of videos of the Advanced Course to show you what it looks like.
The above video shows you how easy the Advanced Course is (at least for young, fit teenagers). There are much harder sections too, but you can skip some of them.
The video below shows that even middle-aged old guys (like me) can do the course, although not quite as gracefully (as you can see from my wobbly legs).
The two videos give a good overview of the types of ropes course obstacles and elements you’ll find on the Advanced Course at Whistler. As you’ll see in the videos, you have to climb up trees, sit on a swing, walk over cables and fly down ziplines. It is all so much fun!
The second video begins at the start of the Advanced Course. After learning how to do things on a couple of sample obstacle elements you walk down a trail to the start. That’s where you have to climb up a fishing net-style ladder to reach the first cables up high in the trees. The second video also finishes with the final zipline not far from the end of the course.
Tips and Advice
Below are some suggestions and extra bits of information.
TIP #1: If you are older, afraid of heights, especially timid or have zero upper body strength, considering doing the Beginner Course (at least at first to try things out). The Advanced Course isn’t overly challenging by any means, especially if you skip the most difficult elements. Most people under 60 years of age can do it and have fun. If you’re really out of shape, or not too sure about things, however, the Beginner Course might be best.
TIP #2: Wear closed-toed shoes and tie your hair back if it’s long. Bug spray is also recommended at certain times of the year because of the mosquitos. When we went there weren’t any bugs, but we’re told that sometimes there can be.
TIP #3: The Aerial Obstacle Course is a blast! We highly recommended it. Do it if you get the opportunity! It’s a fun activity to do with friends or multi-generational families. The Advanced Course especially is also good exercise.
TIP #4: Don’t forget your camera and to take lots of photos. Be sure to have a good pocket to keep it in though. One with a zipper or button that closes is best.
TIP #5: We have also done Vallea Lumina, Superfly Ziplines, Whitewater Rafting and the RZR all-terrain vehicle tours. They all take place at the same venue and we can’t recommend them enough! With the Aerial Obstacle Course you get the most exercise, and Vallea Lumina comes in second (because of the walking). All of them are thrilling and/or magical, however, in their own different ways.
360-Degree View of Basecamp
To see what The Adventure Group’s Basecamp looks like, check out the following 360-degree photo. It was taken on the last platform on the Aerial Obstacle Course (which finishes right at Basecamp).
Because it’s a 360-degree photo, you should be able to swipe the photo from side to side (and up and down) to see all around the area. If using a desktop computer or tablet, you can probably also zoom in and out.
If you swipe the photo to the side and all around, you’ll be able to see the various buildings at Basecamp including the starting platform for Superfly Ziplines. You’ll also see the platform you get to jump off at the end of the Aerial Obstacle Course (while attached to a rope that lets you glide down to the ground).
What Else is There to Do?
Other activities you can do at the same venue are the following:
To learn more about the Aerial Obstacle Course and other activities at the same venue, see The Adventure Group website.
To learn more about the area check out the following:
- Whistler Village
- Whistler Blackcomb
- The Whistler Area
- The Sea to Sky Region
- Vancouver Ski Hills