When I called Mountain Skills to learn about the difference between their two via ferrata courses at Whistler and Squamish, I was told that the Whistler course is more adventurous and much longer, lasting 4 hours versus only 2 hours at Squamish, which justified the significantly higher price. I asked about any differences between the morning and afternoon tours, and I was told that they are identical. Based on this information, I signed up for the 4-hour afternoon Whistler via ferrata.
When I showed up at the designated meeting place, I was told that so many people had signed up for this tour that we were being split into different groups. As a solo traveler, I was told that a large group would head out first, while I had to wait for a tour guide whose morning tour ran late and wasn’t ready yet. Once he finally showed up, he said that a member of our group was stuck in traffic and hadn’t yet arrived. So instead of starting at 1:30 PM as scheduled, we didn’t actually begin until 2:15.
Normally, I wouldn’t mind the delay, except that our guide then informed us that the ski lift that would bring us down after we finished stops running at 4:15, and if we didn’t rush through what was advertised as a 4-hour course in under 2 hours, we would be stuck at the top and have to do a lengthy hike to get down. As a result, we were extremely rushed and pressed for time during the entire experience, and instead of having time to take breaks and enjoy the experience, we went virtually non-stop the entire time.
I don't blame our guide for this, as he did the best he could under the circumstances. And we did in fact get to the top just before 4:15, but I was extremely exhausted, dehydrated, and disappointed that what I hoped would be a highlight of my visit to Whistler was nothing like what was advertised and promised.