British Columbia

Grouse Grind inspires Whistler to create its own high-tech hiking trails

Whistler Blackcomb will use RFID technology to create timed hiking trails

Fitness buffs will be able to compare their hike times to others using RFID technology

Whistler Blackcomb has banned smoking at the resort (The Canadian Press/Paul Morrison)

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 trail head 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," said Rob McSkimming, the resort's vice-president of business development.

Elite running and walking times will also be posted as benchmarks.

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.