Outdoor Adventures

Outdoors Insider: Via Ferrata, Pipe Mountain Coaster, Paragliding and more

// Ricardo Rosado
// Ricardo Rosado

A new way to climb

Take hiking to a new level—700 meters above the town of Banff—with Mount Norquay’s Via Ferrata (Italian for “iron road”). The attraction, the first and only one of its kind in a Canadian national park, uses an anchoring system of cables, ladders and a suspension bridge to get you to the top of the mountain. The climb isn’t as bad as it sounds—the Banff website says no experience is needed and compares it to climbing a series of ladder steps—and various routes are available with different time lengths. Prices start at $199 a person. All routes are led by a ACMG Certified Guide. Visit summer.banffnorquay.com/climbing-routes/ to learn more.

Revelstoke unveils pipe mountain coaster

Revelstoke Mountain Resort is taking advantage of the early summer season with the grand opening of the Pipe Mountain Coaster on May 21. The new attraction will take you on a scenic, single-track roller-coaster ride of the Columbia Valley with 1.4 kilometres of twists and turns and a 279-metre vertical drop. You can control the speed, meaning it can be either a leisurely cruise or a fast rip through the mountains. The ride will be open on the weekends only from May 21 until June 25, when it switches to a daily operating schedule until September 5. Individual or tandem rides with small children are available. A single ride will cost you $19, or you can do an unlimited single-day ride pass for $50. Visit revelstokemountainresort.com for more information.

Paragliding, Hang-Gliding and more

Want to fly like an eagle? Well, you can experience flying like a bird with the help of the instructors at Muller Windsports. Muller Windsports, located in Cochrane, AB, offers lessons in paragliding, hang gliding and kite handling. All the equipment you need is provided during the lessons. Introductory classes have already begun for the season, so visit mullerwindsports.com to get gliding.

Head to the caves

If you’re feeling adventurous, try caving. Canmore Caverns offers two introductory cave tours near Canmore: the Adventure Cave Tour ($155) is the longest trek the company offers  (six hours) by having cavers rappel 18 metres inside the cave. The Explorer Tour ($125) is shorter in comparison (four-and-a-half hours) and without the 18-metre drop. Visit canmorecavetours.com for more information.

Adventure in the city

Want to start an outdoor adventure, but don’t know where to start? Try joining the Edmonton Outdoor Club. The group organizes monthly outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, biking, caving and canoeing at beginner, intermediate and advanced levels. Oh, and it’s free to join. Learn more at edmontonoutdoorclub.com

Early tennis season

Due to the warm weather conditions and lack of snow, the City of Edmonton has opened four tennis courts available for use with a reservation. Tennis courts at Coronation Park, Forest Heights Park, Rundle Park and Strathcona (Southside Athletic Grounds) are all functional, with remaining courts opening throughout the month as they get cleaned. Tennis court rates are $8.45 for adults per hour. Visit edmonton.ca for more information and to book your court online. V

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