Adrenaline activities in Alberta
By Laura Gelder – Selling Travel
Alberta’s mountains, lakes and rivers offer plenty of chances to get the blood pumping, with challenging activities in both summer and winter. Laura Gelder picks out six
Jet boat through the city
Your clients can experience an unforgettable journey on the North Saskatchewan River, starting from Edmonton’s Sir Wilfrid Laurier Park or from the town of Devon. The exhilarating boat ride zips past islands and carves through narrow channels, with the option to see the city sights or head out to wilder locations for a swim, or to alight on an island or secluded river bank to learn gold panning techniques.
Delve into dark caves
Adventure-seekers will love Canmore Cave Tours. Guests learn the incredible history of the Bow Valley and how caves are formed before rappelling 18 metres down underground. Once there, guests climb, crawl, wiggle and slide their way through water-worn passages to see highlights like a crystal-clear pool, millennia-old stalactites and stalagmites, ancient animal bones, pictographs and fossils.
Take the Crypt Lake Trail
The first steps of this 10.8-mile trail in Waterton Lakes National Park are up the side of a giant headwall cliff. Next, hikers get to climb a fixed ladder and make their way through a natural 80-foot-long tunnel, which finally ends with heady views of a glacial-blue, trout-filled lake. Chains are bolted along a narrow ledge and the hike takes trekkers from Canada, over the U.S. border and back, with a 2,300-foot elevation gain.
Take the iron road in Norquay
Via Ferrata is an assisted climbing experience along four breathtaking routes on the cliffs above Mount Norquay. Adventurers get to climb ladders and cross suspension bridges while marvelling at the surrounding mountain vistas. Led by a highly experienced guide, they wear a harness that is always attached to the mountain’s steel cable pathway. So they are on top of the world but safely attached to the rock!
Using ice axes and crampons to climb frozen waterfalls sounds daunting but people of all ages and capabilities can try it – and beginner pitches are similar to just climbing a chilly ladder! The ice climbing season in the Rockies runs from November to the end of April (early April for lower elevation climbs). Waterfall Ice Climbing Grades range from the easy Grade Two to the expert level Grade Eight. Rockaboo Mountain Adventures in Jasper offers a thrilling six-hour experience.
Bobsled like a bolt of lightening
Ever watched the Winter Olympics and wished you could have a go at the bobsled, luge or skeleton? At the former 1988 Olympics location, now WinSport Calgary, your clients can. For the bobsled experience an expert pilot slides passengers through 10 turns, hitting speeds of more than 100km an hour with a force of up to 4 Gs. If your clients dare to go solo, the skeleton reaches around 80km an hour! The centre is home to lots of top-notch winter sports facilities so schedule half a day so they can try ice skating, skiing, ski jumping or hockey too.