Posted by: Nikkey Ward
Guest Author: Brian Hockenstein
There’s no shortage of activities in Whistler for visitors and locals alike, that’s for sure, but for something a little outside the box look no further than the Bromley Baseboard Experience located at Whistler Olympic Park in the incredibly picturesque Callaghan Valley just 15 km south of Whistler Village.
What is baseboarding you ask? That’s a very good question! Think of it as the love child of skeleton and tobogganing. Intrigued? Well here’s a bit more info for ya! According to the kind folks at Bromley, “Bromley Baseboards were conceived and developed by former World Champion and 4x Olympic Skeleton racer Kristan Bromley to fill a gap in the snow sport leisure market for an action sport inspired head first, sled ride and race concept.”
Make the change from tobogganing to baseboarding and you won’t be disappointed. Left: The dedicated tobogganing hill at Whistler Olympic Park. MIKE CRANE PHOTO Right: BROMLEY BASEBOARDS PHOTO
It means thrills aplenty that for those not quite ready to slide down the ice on a skeleton or bobsleigh (like you can do at the Whistler Sliding Centre). Baseboarding requires no experience whatsoever and can be enjoyed by kids 8 years and over, making it a real family-friendly activity.
The set-up at Whistler Olympic Park is impressive and custom-built for maximum sliding fun. A short chairlift ride brings you to the top of the 600-meter downhill slope and the 1.5 km return course where you then get to race down the hill, a sure-fire way to get the adrenaline pumping for anyone. Once you’re there you’ll be given a quick run-through on how everything works and there’s even a smaller beginners slope where you can get a feel for the ride before you head up the lift.
When you graduate to the big slope, you’ll be greeted by tons of options on your way down, enough to get you running back to the lift the second you hit the bottom. Banked turns and rollers, trees flying by, twist and turns, it’s all there. And there’s a variety of ticket options available, from single runs to full-day passes, so you can sample or slide as long as you want.
Rolling your eyes because you think you’re “way too extreme bro” for a sled ride? Well think again! This is seriously a guaranteed way to get the heart pumping and burst your seams laughing at the same time because let’s face it, any sort of tobogganing brings out the child in all of us and this is the next step up from magic carpets and coloured plastic sleds (which you can also use at Whistler Olympic Park). Speaking of which, this is a great activity to tire out the kids during the day so mom and dad can enjoy a night out. This is the real deal and a seriously perfect option for families, dates, bachelor and bachelorette parties and those just looking to get out of Whistler Village for something a bit different. The feeling of flying down a hill that close to the ground really has to be experienced to believe how invigorating it can be. It’s really something else!
Bromley Sports has been making professional skeleton equipment for over twenty years. Their sleds are ridden by the top athletes from over twenty countries on the world cup circuit as well as at the Olympics – including a silver medal at a recent World Cup in Germany – so you can trust these guys know what they’re doing! (Insider Tip: Check out Intersection presented by Bromley Baseboards at the upcoming World Ski Snowboard Festival for a night of creative action sport films.
Available on weekends only, the Bromley Baseboarding Experience is open to everyone ages 8 and up. It’s weather dependent, so it’s recommended you call Guest Services ahead of time (604-964-0060 x 2460) to see if it will be open. Helmets are required, they’re available for rent but you’re also welcome to bring your own and you’ll need to dress in winter clothes and boots to stay warm.
Got the sliding bug? You can try tobogganing or baseboarding at Whistler Olympic Park or step it up and go for bobsleigh or skeleton on ice at the world class track of the Whistler Sliding Centre – but only until April 3, 2016. The folks over at Whistler.com can sort you out.
Watch and Learn: Spring Sliding Events
If you’ve never seen luge, bobsleigh or skeleton up close it’s well worth a look, the speeds reached by professional athletes are simply phenomenal. Most of the events at the Whistler Sliding Centre are open to spectators – here’s a quick peek at upcoming sliding events over spring break:
March 19 – 20, 2016
BC Championships – Bobsleigh Skeleton
March 24, 2016
BCS Canadian Championships – Bobsleigh and Skeleton