Mount Washington opens Island’s longest zip-line

First flights of Mount Washington’s newest attraction take off this weekend as the alpine resort opens for the summer and unveils its Eagle’s Flight Zip Tour, the longest zip-line on the Island.

The resort opens for summer operations Saturday and the new $4-million zip line will be the centrepiece.

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The four-stage Eagle’s Flight Zip Tour is 2,313 metres long with a drop of 415 metres, including an initial step that has riders immediately 33-metres above the ground and gets them moving as quickly as 100 km/h right off the hop.

The Hawk, a half zip line, was opened in summer 2019.

The new attraction was still under construction when the province locked down as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak and it did not escape the effect of the pandemic.

Mount Washington marketing manager Kayla Stockton said the Zip Tour infrastructure is the proprietary technology of an American company, and required inspection by that company before opening.

“This work was deemed an essential service by Canadian customs, and there was one staff member from the organization approved to visit at the beginning of June,” she said.

“This person remained in isolation at the mountain for a 14-day period while completing final work on the Zip Tour, maintaining best practices as outlined by the provincial health officer including the use of [personal protective equipment], sanitation, and remaining away from all Mount Washington staff.”

Stockton confirmed Canada Border Services officials checked to ensure the person was complying with the guidelines of the quarantine plan. She said the work done did not involve training resort staff.

“The Zip Tour makes it possible for everyone to experience the beauty and thrill of Mount Washington, whether you are a skier or not,” said general manager Dean Prentice. “We’re excited that the addition of the Zip Tour and the further expansion of our lift-accessed mountain bike trails allows us to offer experiences of a true year-round destination.”

The tour offers parallel zip lines to let friends take in the experience together and riders can control the speed of their descent — they can open the throttle for thrills, or ease back to take in the view.

Stockton said the resort will be taking precautions as recommended by the provincial health officer.

“Guests participating in the Zip Tour will remain within their household group, practise six-feet physical distancing from others, and are required to wear a facial covering or mask as a precaution,” she said.

Also opening this weekend will be chair lift rides, hiking, retail, restaurant and hotel operations.

“Our main goal is to bring guests enjoyable experiences in a safer environment this summer and into next winter,” said Prentice.

“Maintaining the health and safety of our team and our guests remains a top priority, and there has been a lot of time spent preparing each aspect of the resort for summer operations.”

aduffy@timescolonist.com

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