Want a fun challenge that will take your breath away and make you feel like you're a badass? Head to Kicking Horse Mountain Resort and sign up for the Via Ferrata and Mountain Biking packages! We started off our July long weekend by heading up the gondola to the summit of Kicking Horse Mountain. We met our guide, Richard, and he hooked us up with all the gear we would need to safely ascend the route. After learning the ropes on the practice wall, we all hiked the short trail to the base of the Ascension Route and clipped in. We started off by crossing a single plank suspension bridge, and then headed around and up the cliffs of the mountain. The clip that you use that goes on at the beginning follows you along as you go, a constant safety contact with the wall of the mountain. At each junction, you just slide the clip through the metal plate so that you can continue on through the next section. We took a short break on a large rock shelf before carrying on to some spicier sections of vertical, and then a wire bridge. I got to the single length of cable and had to take a breath; it looked a bit intimidating! But I took another deep breath, slid my safety carabiner onto the section, grabbed onto the wire on top and stepped onto the single cable and started moving across. Whew! (check out my Instagram Channel for a sweet video of the wire crossing).
A few more vertical sections that tested my upper body strength and then I popped out on top of the summit ridge! Whoo hoo! One last walk of the ridge and we were able to unclip and enjoy the summit. The weather improved for our time up top and we actually got some welcome sunshine. After we enjoyed the spoils, we headed down the trail and back to the Climbing Centre to drop our equipment off. The climbing took about 2h and we we're pooped from the excitement, so we headed down and checked into our suite on the hill with Kicking Horse Lodging. We headed down to the hot tub and finished off our evening with a lovely soak, and then headed up to our room to relax with some wine in front of the fire place.
The next day, after a yummy breakfast and coffees at Double Black (across from the main gondola), we checked into the Performance Rental Centre for our downhill mountain biking lessons and rentals. Sander was an awesome teacher and he hooked us up with all the safety gear we needed to negotiate the mountain safely. We both got shiny red bikes and headed to the mid-mountain gondola to load the bikes and ride it up. Even through the clouds were low and it was trying to rain/hail on us, we were so stoked. I was also very nervous, but Sander took us on a green trail to help me get a feel of the mountain.
He taught us things to remember (FLOW - fingers (only use one on the brake), level pedals, outside of the turns, weight balanced according to gravity) and gave us pointers for improvement. Our second run down we headed onto a blue run, which I was nervous about, but ended up being my favourite due to all the fun roly-polies (probably not the technical term). Since our lunch reservation was approaching, we paused our biking fun and headed up the main gondola to Eagle's Eye Restaurant, "Canada's Most Elevated Dining Experience".
Our wonderful waitress at Eagle's Eye Restaurant
The lovely host seated us, and our cheerful waitress took our orders. Lunch was delicious, and the cheesecake that we splurged on was divine. After a nice hot coffee, we headed back down for another run, this time on our own! It was super fun to rip down the trails and I couldn't believe how much of a work out it was! Elated but exhausted, we headed back to our sweet suite at Palliser Lodge for another hot tub and relaxing around the fireplace. Looking out the balcony windows watching the rain, was super peaceful after a busy but awesome two days.
Lodging: Kicking Horse Lodging