Whenever we come to Vancouver, much of our time is spent with my father who celebrated his 96th birthday last week.
At the same time, we try to squeeze in as much time as we can with our son and his family. None of our grandchildren live close to us, but these two are the farthest away. In spite of that, we’ve managed to enjoy many wonderful adventures with them over the years and yesterday was definitely no exception! Here we are geared up and ready to challenge the Mountain Ropes Adventure on Vancouver’s Grouse Mountain, our Christmas present from Matt, Robin, and the boys.
Mountain Ropes Adventure is a series of four aerial ropes courses with varying degrees of difficulty. The Intro level is designed for anyone 8 and over who doesn’t meet the minimum height required to do the higher levels. Sam and Nate zipped around that course numerous times while we completed the Beginner and Intermediate levels. Afterward, since it wasn’t busy, the staff allowed us to join them for a round of the Intro level. It was more challenging than we expected! Those boys are agile little monkeys!
Can you spot me walking on air?
This is part of the Intro course and I’m actually walking inside a giant net slung between two trees.
The complete adventure is made up of 56 elements distributed between four courses which include the Expert level that we decided not to do. We’re in pretty good shape, but we are grandparents, after all! The highest element is part of that course and is 10 metres above the ground. The longest is a 38 metre zipline in the Beginner level, one of several ziplines.
The Intermediate level started with a small climbing wall, something I’d never attempted before. The lady immediately before me, who was at least 20 years my junior, couldn’t do it. She gave it a valiant effort, but she was unable to scale it. While I felt bad for her, I was determined to make it to the top and carry on.
It was an element a little further along that course that almost did me in. It involved grabbing a thick rope and swinging Tarzan style from one wooden platform to another. From the ground, it doesn’t look very far, but I froze and wasn’t sure I could do it. With encouragement from Richard coming behind me and a number of people on the ground below, I went from “I can’t do this!” to “I’m going to do this!” and I did!
Other elements included everything from walking across cables and ropes to navigating all sorts of swinging wooden bridge contraptions. For someone who was terrified of heights for most of my life, I was pretty pleased with my ability to do all but the toughest level. In fact, the height didn’t bother me at all. We were secured to safety lines at all times and knew that if we lost our balance and fell, we might need rescuing, but we wouldn’t crash through the branches to the ground below. Richard and I may not have been as quick and agile as some of the younger participants, but we did it and we had fun!
Mountain Ropes Adventure photos: Robin Thorneycroft