Holding the pedal to the metal, or in this case, the stick full throttle forward, was a challenge, but I did it — no braking. 42 km/h down the entire 1.4 kilometre stretch of The Pipe mountain coaster‘s monorail, from Revelstoke Mountain Resort’s mid-station, through a tunnel, around corners and down, down, down.
While 42 km/h may or may not sound speedy to you, try doing it strapped into an open carriage.
Now I know that sounds unsafe, and that’s very likely the reason it’s such a thrill, but like those times you’re watching a horror movie hiding behind a cushion, you’re in control.
If you don’t like the movie, look away, and if you don’t like speed, ease back on the stick. The beauty of the pipe mountain coaster is that it can be what you want it to be.
As I stood in line before my turn (I waited about 45 minutes to get on the gondola around midday) anticipating my journey, attendants were on hand to ask questions, and I was given a couple briefings before I took my seat in the carriage. I learned to push the stick forward to accelerate and back to brake.
“Is it fast?” I ask, “Are there spots I should slow down?”
Other than to be aware of the signs that indicated a blind corner and whether there was a hazard ahead, I’m told to just “give ‘er.” And so I do.
It’s hard at times, but fully trusting the system allowed me to enjoy the ride. My heart jumped over and over as I went up and down. I also appreciated the more relaxed sections where I could delight in the cool breeze and fresh scent of the forest.
It’s always feels weird to be at RMR (as locals call it) without a snowboard in hand, decked out in warm gear, excited for a big day of riding. Hopping on the gondola in June makes me wish for the snow and I silently counted the months until winter.
But the chance to take in views from Mount Mackenzie in summer shows a different side of the ski resort. It also makes the mountain more accessible to a wider variety of patron, allowing the taste of the outdoors in a milder and more inclusive way.
Families with kids, grandma and grandpa, or a couple on their first date — the chance to enjoy the alpine with ease is special.
The pipe mountain coaster is a welcome addition to the number of activities available at the resort in summer, and with it now open to 8.30 p.m., going for a sunset ride would be a unique experience.
In the morning, guests can add on a buffet breakfast at mid-mountain‘s Revelation Lodge to their experience. Eat pastries while taking in the view across the valley, down into town with the Columbia River rushing below and up to the unmistakable Mount Begbie in the skyline.