Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Adventures in Ziplining

Last week I had the opportunity to go ziplining.  However, this wasn't your normal zipline that you hear about, we did not get to walk or ride up the mountain to get to the top.  We had in my opinion more adventure getting to the zipline than we did even riding it down.  This week for Travel Tuesday, I'd like to tell you about my Adventure's in Ziplining.


Technically, we did hike a little ways to get to the portion of the mountain that the actual zipline was positioned.
I should mention, this is actually a privately owned zipline in the northern Utah mountains, so it's not open to the public.  Because of that, I will not be mentioning it's exact location.

I did go with a group of youth that I was a camp leader for, we had 9 youth in our group. Our youngest girl was almost 12 and our oldest was 18.  Some of them had done this before, others this was their first time.

This was actually my first time.

I was watching a group go before us, and I have to say they took forever.  Some even took 5-10 minutes just to get up. I know some appeared afraid of heights and a few froze half way up and had to be talked through to continue which is why some took so long.

But, I don't know if it was because our girls were highly motivated, because they decided they wanted to compete with each other to see how fast they could get up. Or the fact that they were all pretty active/athletic.  But let's just say, our fastest girl made it up in 19 seconds, and most made it up under a minute. Seriously, these girls were awesome and fast, I was totally impressed!

Which is why as the leaders started, I knew I wasn't going to be able to make it up in under 20 seconds, but I definitely didn't want to take 5 minutes!
I had no idea if my tendon was even going to allow me to do it, but I wasn't going to pass up the opportunity. I have gotten good at protecting the tendon and I figured it I used my arms to pull me when it was my right legs turn to push up, it would all work out, and it did! I also had a theory the faster I went, the better my muscles would be and not get shaky!

So what all did I do?

FIRST, we got to climb a 30 foot wood pole.

Of course we put on a harness first, but the rest of it was all up to us. One person at a time made the climb, while everyone else watched.


Not going to lie, I have never climbed a wooden (telephone like) pole before, and even more I haven't ever tried to climb up on medal pegs that were only about 3 inches long.
As you got higher up, the medal pegs changed into about 2 inch U shaped pegs.

First half of the pegs to climb on the right
last half of pegs to climb on right
The U shaped ones were so much easier to grip with my sweaty hands:)

How long did it take me to climb the 30 (ish) foot wooden pole?  Well not sure exactly, I didn't have anyone clock me with a stop watch, but one of the girls said she thought it was about 30-40 seconds. I felt like I went up pretty fast, so I agree with that time.


I did not want to fall, and anytime I felt my sweaty hand slipping a tad, I just reached for the next. I only paused for a second on one of the pegs, about half way up.
Because it was higher than I was tall enough to reach (sometimes, being 5,4 has its disadvantages:).

So when I got to it, I had to put my left foot on a peg, and then lean to my right just slightly and give it a little jump and grab the peg above with my left hand, and then I was able to pull myself up enough to keep going at the pace I had been.
(Loved that by the way, I felt super tough for not falling:)

Once I got to the top of the pole, I got to step out onto my next adventure.


So, SECOND, we got to climb out onto a single rope that was stretched between the forest tree's and walk across the forest on this rope, while balancing and only holding on with one hand at a time.

This was another first for me, I have never walked across a rope that was 30 feet up in the air, with only my own balance to get me across. We walked across the tree tops, for about 25 (ish) feet.

(Our harness, was hooked onto a rope above us, that we couldn't reach but if we did fall, there was a guy below belaying us so we would be caught.)


I had only heard of one gal falling that day, and I did NOT want to be the second girl to fall:) That would have wounded my pride way too much, ha ha.

Once we got out on the rope, we actually had to turn around. Which was the hardest part in my opinion. But luckily we were still next to the pole, so we had that to hold onto.


Once we were turned around, I had to let go of the pole and reach out for a single rope that was hanging to my right about 4 feet from me. Which meant balancing on the rope for a few steps without falling before I could grab it and use it for help.


There was a single rope hanging about every 5 (ish) feet, so in other words you really just had one rope to hang onto at a time.
Once you get your balance, I found it to be pretty easy. I found moving faster walking on the single rope was easier than taking smaller steps.
I saw some really never get the hang of it, and it was quite shaky the entire time.



Thankfully, I did not fall, and this was so much fun! I have never done anything like this.
Clearly if you've read my blog and adventures, you know I do not have any problem with heights.
Truthfully the only thing I was afraid of, was being the one to fall, ha ha. But let me tell you, I would and did give it my all so that wasn't even a possibility!
No way was that going to happen, whenever I do something new. The back of my mind is always saying just relax, stay calm and make it look effortless and definitely make sure it doesn't look like I am a beginner, so that is what I did!

FYI, I crossed the 25 ft rope in under 15 seconds.  Not quite as fast as some of the girls, but not to shabby:)


THIRD, was the zipline.

Once we made our way across the single rope bridge near the forest tree tops. We arrived on a small platform.  Where a gal, unhooked our harness from the belay line, and put us on the zipline.

Talk about small world, guess who was the gal waiting to switch hooks and of course cheer us on and motivate all the girls to get up.  An old friend of mine from my childhood.
In fact, in our early teen years we had gone to camps like this together too.  We chatted for a minute, and then I turned and stepped off the platform.


The zipline was a good one.  You went a bit down the mountain trail, whooshing through the forest and then as you got to the end, it caught and your weight and momentum sent you back up the line a ways.
After you slowed a bit, a guy would grab us, and pull as down the hill a bit to a guy with a ladder. I climbed to the top of the ladder and they unhooked me, and then once down the ladder, they handed me back the line and I got to run/walk it back all the way up to be ready for the next person to use.



MY LAST THOUGHTS:

It was about 90 degree's out that morning as we did this, so it was a hot wait. I think my hands would have been less sweaty if it had been a tad cooler, but guess they weren't so bad to not get the job done:)

Most ziplines you won't actually get to do the pole climb or rope walk, per what I have heard or experienced in the past.
But if you ever do get the chance, I highly recommend it, as in some ways those two things were far more adrenaline filled than the zipline itself, for me at least

Although this one is far more unique as to getting to the top, it is not one of the longest rides in the country.  But that's okay, I didn't have to shell out big bucks like most ziplines cost.  In fact, I got to do this for free:)  Guess, it's one payoff of donating my time as a youth camp leader:)

Would I do it again?  Heck ya, and if I do it again next year,  I am definitely going to try to make it up the pole and across the rope in under 30 seconds. I mean hey, if 11-18 year olds can do it in 19-60 seconds.  Clearly I can do it in under 30, right:)  ha ha!!




20 comments :

  1. Wow, this sounds so cool! I've done a zipline course before in Florida but it definitely didn't have the first or second part. This sounds challenging but like a great time. Did the girls end up enjoying it?

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    1. I know, usually you ride a tram or hike up, this was pretty fun I actually had more fun climbing the pole and walking across the wire:)
      Oh the girls had a blast, they were trying to beat each other, or their times from previous years, totally competitive bunch!

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  2. I went zip lining for the first time last year ... but if I had to climb a pole & walk across a line like that... no way Jose! That's crazy!!!!! You are one tough cookie!

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    1. LOL, Oh I am not really tough, I just love doing stuff like this. All the other leaders did it too, and they were older than me. It's fun to act like a kid, I have plans to never grow up!!!!

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  3. Now this, I would definitely do! The only thing though, I'm super clumsy, so I probably would be that girl to fall off the rope and/or off the pole haha. Still sounds like a blast though! :) And my goodness, you were SO SPEEDY!!! I would need a ton of help with knowing where to put my hands and feet to make it up lol. I totally love that you joined in with the competitiveness of the time and everything, you sound like a fun leader!!:)

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    1. Oh, with all the running and training you do, I bet you'd be up in a flash and have the balance to work through it with no problems!
      It was actually easier than I thought, kind of like going up a ladder, but you just search for a different foothold and handhold each time:)
      I don't know if I am that fun, all the leaders did it. It's just fun to experience everything, who cares what age we are right!

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  4. O Wow! This is looks/sounds like something that would be on Amazing Race! As you probably already could have guessed, I've never done anything like this before!

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    1. It was a lot of fun:)
      Ya, I could have guessed that about you. But you never know, maybe one day you might find yourself giving it a try:) There were dozens of girls who were terrified of heights and this kind of stuff and they all did it, and loved it after:)

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  5. I can't say I've ever climbed a wooden pole before either, but props to you! It looks like it was so much fun! <3 I'm hoping to go ziplining with my friend once I'm done with boards! :P That's awesome that you got to do it for free!

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    1. It was a lot of fun!
      I hope you do get to go, that would be a nice reward after your boards!!!

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  6. Oh wow! You go on the best adventures, Kristy! :) We went ziplining in Jamaica during our honeymoon but we didn't climb any poles or rope walk like you did. I loved it and would definitely do it again someday, maybe with Chase when he's older.

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    1. Thanks Denise.
      Oh in Jamaica that would be awesome, I have only been there once but didn't get to do that, they have some great forests and views I bet that was gorgeous!!!

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  7. That looks like so much fun! We went ziplining when we went on a cruise that stopped in Jamaica. Would love to do it again!

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    1. Oh how fun, that would be a great way to see Jamaican forests!!!

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  8. I would love to go ziplining sometime, but I don't know about the first part you had to do! I could climb a pole, but I don't know about the rest! Glad you got to experience something new!

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    1. Hope you get to go sometime! Most of them have trams or you just hike up to it. The pole and the wire walk were the best parts for me:)

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  9. Awesome! Sounds like a lot of fun! I've never gone ziplining before but will have to try it.

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    1. Hope you get to try it, I really think you'll like it!!!

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  10. I love rope courses, high or low, they are so fun and challenging. I haven't done one in years, now I want to go.

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  11. I am so impressed by what you accomplished. As someone afraid of heights, I could not do the zipline adventure that my family was doing in Hawaii, but I did take movies and cheered everyone on! You definitely had the ultimate challenge with the pole, the ropes and then the zipline!

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