If you’re looking for the ultimate adrenaline junkie destination then Calgary in Alberta, CA should be top of your list.
When you want to get your heart racing and feel your blood pumping through your veins, then a simple beach holiday isn’t going to be enough for you. You need a country that delivers it all from surfing, to climbing, skiing and mountain biking. Calgary sets the bar when it comes to pushing your limits and making incredible memories that will last a lifetime.
Even if you are new to adrenaline sports, then there is something for you. Calgary is a great place to introduce children to extreme sports in a safe and relaxed way.
The Rocky Mountains are a playground for thrill-seekers and are in very close proximity to Calgary itself. One of the best ways to get up close and personal with this incredible feat of nature is to try your hand at outdoor rock climbing. You don’t need lots of experience to head out for a week of this fantastic activity; there are multiple training schools across Calgary that can teach people of all levels to be confident in handling ropes, harnesses, carabiners and knots. It can help to do some weight training before you head out. Climbing involves using your body strength to move you up the face of the mountain. You might also benefit from deltoid exercises to increase your shoulder and upper arm strength. This will give you a head start and help you get the most out of your climbing experience.
Mountain biking is another extreme sport that the whole family can enjoy. When the ski season is over, and the snow has melted, the rocky mountains open up so many hidden trails. You can check out XC riding if you want something a little more relaxed, or for a full-blown adrenalin rush, take a look at the downhill sections through the Alberta region. There are plenty of tricky combos that will have you whooping for joy as you speed back down to earth. You can hire equipment out there, so you haven’t got to worry about paying extra luggage if you are flying into Calgary airport. There are guided days where you can find all the singletrack trails and give them a test run with a group of other people. You can also let your children taste the experience with some tuition classes. Here they will learn how to handle a pump track and take on berms! It helps to have a moderate level of fitness, and you might find the altitude affects you slightly, so spending a little time on cardio before heading out, will help you make the most of your trip.
If you want to experience some white water rushes, then you will be spoilt for choice in Calgary and the surrounding areas. White water kayaking is enjoyable, and the Canadians are well kitted out for it. You will find so many different ways to experience it. If you are with the children, then you can head out on a gentle trip where you will be passengers in a boat with a team of experienced guides. They will take you to the more gentle rapids, so you can get a taste of the sport and enjoy it with your whole family. It’s essential that you are all confident in the water, while you will be wearing life jackets and all the appropriate safety equipment, you should regard yourself as a strong swimmer. If you panic when you are in the water, it can be harder for guides to help keep you safe. So invest in some swimming lessons before you head out. If you are looking for something more extreme, then the famous ‘Maximum Horsepower’ will get your blood pumping. Here you will experience continuous rapids and be amazed by the thundering, thrilling experience. You will have a full day with a taster on the Whitewater Exciter before heading out to try Maximum Horsepower. You can also extend your trip over 2 or 3 days and camp out between sessions.
For those who love winter action, then Calgary is incredible for skiing. If you stay in the central city, then you will be just an hour from three of the best ski centres Alberta has to offer. Giving you multiple options and more places to adventure. You have a lot of choices when it comes to your level of experience. From novice, training runs all the way up to extreme black runs. Most of the ski centres have instructors, but you will need to book these in advance, especially if anyone in your group has no experience on skis. However, you don’t all have to get out and enjoy the powder; there are plenty of other things to be done. Apres Ski is perfect for those who like to relax, enjoy food and a drink. Or you could head out on a dog sledge and see the rocky mountains while the rest of your group hits the slopes. Dog sledding is huge in Calgary, and if you are a dog lover, then this is a must-do!
During the summer months, the Calgary Stampede takes place. While you may not be able to jump on a bucking bronco yourself, watching the cowboys ride is one of the most thrilling events of the year. The Stampede is a not for profit event which celebrates the western heritage of the country. It’s not just horses and bulls; horsepower is also in full swing at the Stampede. The Monster Energy compound gives you access to some of the most exciting freestyle motocross displays, and if you head to the evening show you can witness the flips and tricks under a sky of fireworks! Another incredible spectacle is held after dark, bull riding cross with the ultimate extreme sport of bull freestyle. Witness these cowboys pull off the most outrageous stunts in a high energy display demonstrating nerves of steel! You’ll also find a host of other entertainment from music and dancing to crafting. This is the biggest show that Alberta puts on and spending two weeks in the city to be a part of it, will get your blood pumping and the hairs on your neck stand on end!
If you are looking to go really extreme, then why not book yourself a Heli-ski holiday. Two days, heading out with your skis searching out the least accessible but most exciting ski runs. You will take to the skis to seek out the ultimate runs then get dropped off right at the top. This opens you up to ski runs that very few people have got to see and will give you the ultimate thrill of a lifetime. From the second you lift off you will have the best views of Canada, a bird’s eye view of the Rocky Mountains. When you find your spot, you will feel like the kind of the world, before pushing off and tackling some of the ultimate extreme ski runs on earth. You will need to be a highly experienced skier to partake in this. However, it has to be one of the most desired bucket list activities amongst fans of adrenalin sports.
In 1988 Calgary was host to the Olympic games, and they are proud of their heritage. Now you can experience some of the thrills that the athletes experience. The Monster Zipline starts at the Olympic ski jump tower. This is the highest point in Calgary. You will fly down a 500-meter zipline, the largest in the whole of North America. The views are incredible if you keep your eyes open, however, you will hit 120 Kilometers per hour on this high octane ride! Once you make it safely to the bottom, you can then follow in the footsteps of Olympic bobsleigh teams. The Summer Bobsleigh hits speeds of over 80 kilometres per hour. Piloted by an Olympic quality guide, you will hit a force of over 2Gs, which will give you the same taste of the glory that the top athletes had back in 1988!
Of course, you don’t have to be 100 percent extreme on your adventure holiday! Calgary is a beautiful city with lots of incredible restaurants, shopping malls and calm and relaxing lakes. So if you want to mix your trip up and give your heart a rest from all the excitement, you will find plenty to do and enjoy. Calgary has a fabulous heritage and incredible culture, with Canadians being some of the most welcoming and friendly people in the world. So don’t avoid taking a day or two to be an authentic tourist and experiencing everything this stunning city has to offer. You can also explore a little further afield, the town of Banff is truly remarkable!
Make next year, the year you do something that excites you. Create your own adventures and build memories that you will share for years to come.