Marble Zip Tours in Humber Valley

16 Jun, 2010

Wild.

If I could use one word to describe Marble Zip Tours that would be it.

Their tours are wild, in ever sense of the word.

Zip Lining

Riss and I booked a zip-lining tour while we were staying in Humber Valley. We came to Humber Valley mostly for the scenary, but decided to do something fun while in the area.

While doing a search online I came across Marble Zip Tours.

Boy was I glad I did.

We were both very excited about going, we really didn’t know what to expect. Personally I thought it was just going to be a straight zip line shooting down Marble Mountain next to the ski lifts.

We were pleasantly surprised to find that the zip lines actually shoot back and forth over Steady Brook Falls, a gorgeous waterway that falls many hundreds of feet down Marble Mountain. Gorgeous.

Hanging over the canyon is completely exhilarating. Not only are you zipping at speeds of 45 km/hr (up to 80km/hr according to their website) but you are suspended over one of the many splendors of Humber Valley. You have a view of so much.

It’s more than a ride.

One of the lines at Marble is the highest in Canada and two of them are the longest zip lines in Canada. To top it off they are adding two even longer zip lines in July.

If you were considering zip lining anywhere in Canada, book with Marble Zip Tours.

Our guides were Greg and Richard and not only did they make us feel safe but they were quite a fun duo with their routine. You can tell that these guys not only know their job but they love it and it really adds to the experience.

They were a blast.

Caving

Before we started zipping we asked about cool things to do in Humber Valley. They recommended caving, which they offer as a tour.

First thing we thought was we weren’t looking for a sales pitch. They were persistent that it was a tour well-suited to us.

We really didn’t want to spend any more money on tours, but we also didn’t want to pass up any unique opportunities while we were on the west coast.

We opted to go if Richard or Greg guided us (cause they were awesome), but were warned we could get wet and dirty and that there were associated risks with the tour.

Having no context for what caving is like, I assumed the adventure would be us walking through a giant cave with flashlights like they do in movies and walking back out.

That’s not the kind of cave experience they have in Humber Valley.

Well allow me to preface my caving adventure story by saying this tour was easily one of the most extreme and dangerous and exhilarating things I have ever done in my life.

The caves intersect in a number of different places forming a figure eight. There were a number of times when the tour guides, Richard and Yvan, would point to a small hole and say “That’s where we will come out.”

Each time the hole was smaller and more rugged and each time I said “You’re tripping.” The photo above is the exit to the caves where were first told we would come out. It’s hard to tell from the photo, but the hole is about thigh-height. This was one of the easiest of the exits.

I figured once we got to a spot like the cave exit in above photo we would just turn around and go back.

Remember, even up until this point I was expecting to walk through a giant cave.

Look at us with our clothes all clean and still in one piece. This was about as roomy as the cave got for the most part. This was the entrance. Still no idea what to expect.

There were some parts of the cave that were like venturing through snow tunnels you would dig in your yard as a kid. Here is an example. In this photo are our tour guides, Richards and Yvan.

The scenery in these caves was absolutely stunning. The rocks were beautiful and the top of the cave was covered in drops of dew that shimmered in our light.

We also experience “true darkness” once we got far enough in and switched off our lights.

Throughout the tour there was a lot of head-bumping on the stalactites above and crawling hands-and-knees along the jagged rocks below. At one point I said “I don’t know what I treasure more, my helmet or my kneepads.”

There were rivers running in a few of the tunnels. In some cases we had to tightly boulder along smooth walls like this to get through without walking through the water (which you can’t see well in this photo but is that blackness Riss and Richard are avoiding).

Other times we had to find innovative ways to cross without getting wet.

This is more of the cave we had to traverse. I wish we had more photos from within the cave. It was hard to get a lot of shots because we spent most of our time hanging on for dear life or crawling around.

There were points when we had to slide 15 feet down smooth rockbeds with little more than a foot or two of space between the rock we were sliding on and the rock above us.

There were points when we have to stretch across the river supporting our body weights on our hands with the stalactites above.

There were points where we have to climb steep 15 foot smooth walls with nothing more than a rope to pull ourselves up.

It was hard work.

The tour was a real adventure and I will absolutely do this again when I get the chance.

As you can see from our filthy sweaters and our ripped splash pants we didn’t make it out without sacrificing some clothes, but we did make it through pretty much every cavern without injury.

We were very proud to have completed the full tour.

It is not very often that I will say that an event has really made me feel alive, but this journey has definitely done just that for me.

If you go, be prepared to get dirty, ruin your clothes, and get wet (despite them saying they will try to keep you from getting wet). It sounds bad but trust me, when you’re in those caves and the adrenaline is kicking in you don’t even notice what you are doing to yourself until you get out.

So much fun.

If you go to Marble Zip Tours tell them you were referred by GregPike.ca. You won’t get a discount, but it will be funny since their lead guide is Greg Pike.

About the author

Gregory

I am an ex-pat Newfoundlander who has uprooted and moved to the big city of Toronto. I develop web applications for work and for fun. I play ultimate and ice hockey year-round and camp every chance my girlfriend will let me.

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3 Comments

  1. Webber
    June 16, 2010

    This is so wicked man. You know, I’m totally gonna do this shit.

  2. June 17, 2010

    For someone with a name like Greg Pike…you guys were pretty awesome! We had a blast with the both of you! I really wish I could have gotten in the caves with you guys…next time for sure!

    Anyway, appreciate the visit, appreciate the flattering blog and we look very forward to seeing you later this summer when the two new lines get constructed!

    All the best,

    Piker

  3. June 17, 2010

    Greg & Nissa,

    Thanks for the kind words in your blog! Glad you guys enjoyed your time with us – – come back anytime, your next adventure with us will be bigger and better thats a promise! All the best this summer and safety first!

    Richard

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