WHISTLER, B.C. - Whistler Blackcomb says it will use RFID technology to create timed hiking trails for fitness buffs this summer.
The resort's new season-long 360 Pass, valid from May to October, features an embedded antenna that can be detected by scanners at key trailhead locations.
Hikers' start and finish times on various alpine routes will be automatically uploaded to a website, where they can compare their performances against others'.
"You'll pass by the gate, a green light will go on so you'll know that you're being recorded, and away you go," explained Rob McSkimming, the resort's vice-president of business development.
Elite running and walking times will also be posted as benchmarks for guests to compete against.
McSkimming said the popularity of Vancouver's Grouse Grind trail inspired the resort to launch its own timed trails using the RFID (radio frequency identification device) system it introduced for the 2014-15 winter season. Other ski resorts have also adopted RFID technology.
The timed hiking trails are expected to go into operation by the end of June, McSkimming said.