Zip-Lining Down a Mountain

Zip lining is fun for those of us who aren’t afraid of heights! I totally recommend it as an activity for just about anybody. Once you get used to the mechanics of it, it is actually pretty easy. I went recently with a friend of mine and man did we have a good time!

If you’ve never been, here’s what to expect: go somewhere that has good reviews on Yelp or other site, this way you are more likely to have a good experience. Also, signing a waiver is pretty standard procedure, so don’t be surprised by that. This waiver might be on their website or they might email it to you prior to you coming so that you will know if you have any preexisting conditions that might make zip-lining a bad choice (those who are pregnant shouldn’t go zip-lining, and those with heart conditions, bad knees, or backs might want to look into something else).

You’ll get to the location and one of the first things that should happen is a safety brief. Your team will spend time explaining what all the gear is, how it protects you, and how to work it. Now is NOT the time to lie about your weight. The carabiners, harness, and the lines themselves are rated for certain weights. You lie and equipment gets damaged or someone gets seriously injured. Or dies. So be honest about how much you weigh.

They should do a practice run on a small line near the ground so you can get the feel for how your gear fits and how to make yourself stop without injuring yourself. If you have questions, now is the time to ask them so you can practice anything you are concerned about while still on the ground. If you are uncomfortable here, definitely STOP and tell somebody. Because the next step is going up the mountain/hill/course to start the fun. If you’re already uncomfortable, I promise it will only get worse when you’re adding adrenaline and significant heights to the equation.

After ground school, you’ll find yourself going up – sometimes you’re driven up, and sometimes a hike is part of the experience. Depends on the company and the course. After you head up, the instructors will run through everything one more time, explain exactly what you’re doing, and then usually at least one instructor will go down the line to the opposite platform. This is to help “catch” guests as they come through. Then you’re off and zipping!

The one thing that surprised me the first time is that zip-lines can be loud. It’s a weird hum that I’d never heard before. At first, I was taken by surprise but then my brain started equating it with fun, so I got excited about it. The place I went does several different tours: one at night where they give everyone glowsticks (sounds fun, doesn’t it?) and another in the fall so that you can see the changing leaves and gorgeous scenery, and then in summer when you can see lots of wildlife.

I’m definitely going back!