Posted on July 7, 2011
The Great Outdoors: Mile-High Chair Rides
Having spent the long weekend in the Comox Valley, it was almost impossible to go anywhere without being treated to a view of Mount Washington. Since J had never been, on our last day in the Valley we made a last-minute decision to make the quick trip up the Strathcona Parkway to take in the views from an opposite perspective.
The vibe on the hill is a bit different during the summer months (though you wouldn’t know it, being that the slopes were open for skiing over the Canada Day long weekend), but there’s still a ton of activities and events to keep you busy. We quickly discovered that shorts and flip flops were a smart idea as the plaza was free of snow and the sun was shining brightly.
After grabbing a quick, deliciously roasted coffee (and an oatmeal raisin cookie for good measure) in the lodge, we made our way to the star of the summer show. Mile-high chair rides draw visitors wanting to take in the expansive views often obscured by clouds during the winter months.
With all the snow still on the ground, you might not believe it to be July. However, the sun was toasty warm and the air fresh, making the 15-minute ride to the top nothing but relaxing.
Instantly we were greeted by the Inukshuk Gallery, compiled of rock formations created by those visiting the top of the mountain. While making one of my own would have been fun, I was instantly distracted by the panoramas.
If these photos are worth 1,000 words, then taking in the view in person would no doubt leave you speechless. To the north we could see Campbell River, surrounding lakes, Quadra Island and Cortes Island.
In the southern direction, the Comox Valley was laid before us – everything from Comox Lake to CFB Comox and all points in between. Denman Island and Hornby Island were in the immediate distance and the faint silhouette of Mt. Baker was on the horizon. Seeing Mt. Baker from Mt. Washington was a bit of trip, as only the weekend before we were standing on that peak, looking in the opposite direction.
Despite the snow at the top and the flip flops on our feet, our toes managed not to freeze.
And as we made our way back down, both J and I were blown away by our sky-high perspective on the Comox Glacier.
Mount Washington Alpine Resort is open daily until September 5th for mile-high chair rides. A family of four can visit the top for $43; those 5 and under are free while all other riders are $16 each. For more information on this and other great summer activities, visit Mount Washington Alpine Resort online.