Meandering through inclining dirt roads through impossibly green forests with views of snow covered mountains, I soak up every exhilarating inch of the trail in Whistler’s Callaghan valley in Porsche Cayenne S off-road experience.
A quiet, early morning enjoying avocado toast and a cappuccino at The Four Seasons Whistler is a subdued contrast to the dynamic sequence of events I’m about to encounter vis à vis my three hour Porsche Cayenne S off-road experience with Canadian Wilderness Adventures.
After an overview of the vehicle and course I am about to embark upon, and with my GPS programmed with today’s driving route, I settle into the luxurious black leather seat, primed to begin. Head driving instructor, Mike’s calm, measured voice comes over the crackle of the radio, reassuring participants with anxious nerves. With the aid of his colleagues Craig and Andre, the team guides the cavalcade through the course in the Cayenne, the mid-size luxury crossover sport utility vehicle that was first produced by the German manufacturer in 2002.
Beginning by meandering through inclining dirt roads, dust kicking up into a cloud from the vehicles in front of me, through impossibly green forests with views of snow covered mountains, I soak up every exhilarating inch of the trail in Whistler’s Callaghan valley.
As I come to realize, the vehicle is not just another pretty face for everyday use in the city, thanks to Porsche’s dynamic chassis control system, it is more than well-equipped to handle the plethora of surfaces outdoors.
Most would never venture off-road, far less in a Porsche Cayenne S, through this rugged terrain, but equipped with three well-versed driving instructors from Canadian Wilderness Adventures, I am at ease.
“When we first drove these vehicles, we thought ‘we can’t take these vehicles out here,’ but once we were behind the wheel were super impressed with how they handled the conditions; they’re amazing,” offers Craig before setting up the driving assistance system to adjust for the rocky surfaces ahead.
With the vehicle’s all-wheel-drive system that seamlessly transfers power between the front and rear axles, when I am instructed to balance the vehicle on three wheels over a three foot dirt pit, making one wheel precariously hover over the hole, I still feel balanced. Setting the vehicle to Porsche Hill Control (PHC) for an ensuing hill, I can see on the 12 inch full HD touch screen monitor, that I am teetering at a nearly 45 degree angle with this four wheel braking system, before gently splashing through a creek with enthusiastic praise from instructor Craig, and finally climbing up another hill with sweeping views at its peak.
Ending the day cruising on the sea to sky highway, the vehicle’s 8-speed tiptronic S transmission shows off its agility and noise reduction capabilities, allowing me to take in the views of a deep blue lake and lush forests on either side of me before returning to the hotel.
At the end of the experience with a skip in my step, I am left with a renewed sense of confidence and a healthy dose of adrenaline, ready for another adventure.
3 Hour Round Trip, $399 vehicle and one driver +tax; porscheexperience.ca/en/offroadexperience
This original travel article first appeared in the Summer 2019 issue of City Style and Living Magazine.