There aren’t a ton of rainy day activities to do in Whistler. There are even fewer in Squamish. So I was a little bummed when the forecast called for rain, rain, and more rain during a visit from some of my friends back home.
Truthfully, my bum ankle (which is getting WAY better – running, I’m coming for you any day now) caused more of a setback than the weather. Despite the two obstacles, we managed to have tons of fun – I was even able to squeeze a couple of pow laps in on the mountain before my ankle called it quits.
There was one major highlight – one that wasn’t affected by crummy weather or weak joints.
It’s SO FUN, you guys! I actually had done one of the rooms before a little while back – the Pirate Ship. It’s supposed to be the “easy” one, but we weren’t actually able to escape it. I was ready for another shot at success.
Deciding between the other three rooms – the tomb, the cabin, and the rabbit hole – was no easy feat. The website describes the room, but it doesn’t say anything about the difficulty. Really, it doesn’t say much about the rooms at all, because if it said too much, it would be giving the fun away. I’ve since discovered that the easy-to-difficult rank is approximately as follows:
- Pirate Ship
- Rabbit Hole
Now, I haven’t done all of them, so I can’t personally attest to this myself.
We settled on the cabin, booked our time slot, and waited anxiously in the hobby of the Hilton Hotel. We watched the group ahead of us emerge: parents with two kids. They’d escaped successfully, and one of the boys started giving us wishy washy clues that made me want to plug my ears and scream LA LA LA. (He didn’t actually give anything away. I was just a little on edge.)
We were debriefed, then we entered The Cabin. I will say no more about the room itself, other than the first couple of minutes are similar to the first few minutes of a final exam. You’re surveying everything, trying to take it all in, and freaking out over whether or not you’ll be able to answer anything correctly and on time.
The staff are able to communicate with you via walkie talkie (they’re watching you – possibly laughing at you – on camera). At one point, they radioed in to offer us a hint. The decision of whether or not to accept was agonizing. On the one hand, the escape wouldn’t feel as real if we accepted hints. On the other hand, the escape wouldn’t be possible if we got stuck on one thing for too long. We initially turned down the hint, then we changed our minds a few minutes later. I’m glad we took the hint – I won’t say what we’d done wrong, but we had been SO CLOSE but probably wouldn’t have figured out our error on our own. We might still be stuck there if we hadn’t asked for help.
Alas, it was a slippery slope – we ended up needing two more hints, but we did escape, with two minutes to boot!
The verdict: Escape Whistler is so, so good. It’s not cheap, at $30 per person for only 45 minutes of action (though you spend at least as long analyzing every aspect of the activity afterwards). But as I learned with our out of town guests, few activities in Whistler are inexpensive – and $30 a person is way less than $200+ a person for some of the other tourist activities.
Now, who wants to do the tomb and the rabbit hole with me?