Recently myself and Spring had the opportunity to go on a day of adventures with “Canadian Wilderness Adventures” out of Whistler, BC. It was scheduled to be a jam packed day with ATV’ing on rugged trails in the Callaghan Valley in the morning followed by Canoeing the River of Golden Dreams in the afternoon.
When asked if I had previous ATV experience I replied “yes”, but that experience was gained about 8 years ago in a field somewhere in Alberta. I was pretty overweight back then, not athletic in anyway and I basically just drove around in circles for an hour.
Learning to properly handle a Quad has been on the To Do list for a while. In the future if we travel to more remote locations ATV’s might be the only way to get around. Plus, it’s serious fun!
We have a secret!
It’s also been a secret shame of ours that we don’t really know how to Canoe well. Canoeing is quintessentially Canadian and having now lived in Canada for 5 years myself and Spring should really know how to do it already. Spring grew up in Canada, in Alberta, so her shame runs deep, haha!
We arrived in Whistler bright and early to begin our day. I was curiously nervous. I knew I’d be with a guide but I guess I always feel nervous right before I do something I’ve never done before. It’s always a guessing game to see how I will react when challenged with something new.
We checked in at the Canadian Wilderness Adventures desk at the Carleton Lodge, signed our waivers and quickly headed out with Lewy, our ATV guide for the day to do the “Wild Wild West ATV Tour“.
It was a quick drive to the Callaghan Valley and Lewy did an excellent job of getting us geared up and instructed to control our Quads.
Let the Adventure Begin!
Before we knew it our goggles were down and we were ripping along a rough gravel road. Our ATV adventure had begun!
On the gravel road we had some time to get used to how the ATV’s handled. They rolled over potholes with ease and accelerated quickly, cornering well.
Lewy told us to remember our past experience with Mountain Biking which really helped. The key was to always keep looking ahead and into the turns where I wanted to go, not where I wanted to avoid.
Things started to get steep and technical.
Eventually we started getting on to more technical trail, which got rougher and steeper. Making the conscious effort to keep my eyes up scanning ahead helped me to not lose momentum. I was amazed at how well these machines climbed.
Lewy told us to keep an eye out for the changes in the forest as we climbed ever higher up into the mountains. He wanted us to spot the transition from logged and replanted forest to Old Growth original forest.
As we came around a corner in a section of Old Growth Lewy hopped off his ATV to take a look at some prints in some muddy ground. He let us know these were recent Cougar tracks.
Stewardship of these Old Growth Forests.
It was evident he had a love of these natural places. He explained to us how this area used to be mined for Gold in the 70’s and has been heavily logged in the past. Through “Canadian Wilderness Adventures” use of the land for recreation they hope to be able to preserve what remains of the Old Growth that is still here.
We continued climbing upwards on steep, rugged trails, challenging us to maintain momentum. I’m pretty sure I was grinning ear to ear as I could taste dust in my teeth afterwards. Fun!
Mountain Cabin for Lunch!
At the top we reached “Canadian Wilderness Adventures” cabin on Sproatt Mountain. The views out over Whistler were amazing! We settled in and had a quick lunch and Lewy kept us entertained with stories of past adventures in these hills.
Before too long though we realized we needed to be back in Whistler to meet up with our guide to go Canoeing.
We headed out. Thankfully we didn’t have to negotiate the steep trails we had come up to get back off the mountain. We quickly joined up with a gravel road which we burned down quickly to get back to the our ATV drop off spot.
It was a fun and fast end to this tour. In no time at all I was turning the ignition of my ATV off, handing over my helmet and goggles and laughing about the layer of dust caked on my face. But mostly I was wishing for more! An amazing experience that challenged us and thought us a lot about navigating on steep, technical trails.
If you’re interested in learning to ATV, want to take your ATV skills to the next level or just want to head out on Whistlers longest single-track ATV trail then check out the Tours offered by Canadian Wilderness Adventures.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of this post, about our Canoe Tour, which will be published tomorrow.
Have you ever driven an ATV? How was your experience?