Giant Zip Lines: an uplifting experience

Published on June 25 2019

Want to spice up your life with a thrilling outdoor experience? May I recommend the Arbraska Laflèche Ziptour, a circuit of giant zip lines. Zzzzooooom!

With lots of enthusiasm and a little naiveté, my friend Isabelle and I set out on our adventure. The light spring drizzle doesn’t dampen our good mood. No way!

SAFETY BEFORE SOARING

After signing the registration form in the main lodge, we meet our guide for the morning, the friendly Cazoo, who gives us our helmets, gloves and harnesses. We put on our gear and head into the woods for a short hike to get some altitude (logical!). Before we launch, Cazoo explains how carabiners (our best friends) work, and the right way to tackle the zip line: with grace, a zen attitude and a little elbow grease. She also informs us that the facilities and trees are inspected every morning for defects or abnormalities. No danger!

Here, it’s not age that determines whether you’re allowed on the extreme zip lines: it’s height.

I knew I’d chosen the right companion for this epic. Isabelle is 5 feet (1 m 52) tall—exactly the minimum height! We’re cleared for takeoff. What’s more, we’re zen and graceful.

Ready to rock.

THE ZIP TOUR ADVENTURE BEGINS

We get off to a strong start with a vertiginous 750-foot zip line. On the too-small platform (too small for me, anyway), I clip my carabiners and pulley to the line with a mixture of nervousness and excitement. I lean out into empty air and I’m off! The “descent” lasts so long that I have time to tell myself, “Calm down, girl, and enjoy this!”

And enjoy it I do.

I take the time to look left and right. The diversity of trees, the different shades of early spring green, the elevation of the mountains—in a word, it’s a beautiful landscape. You can literally touch the trees. The tranquillity of the forest is broken only by the sound of the pulley’s ball bearings. It’s intoxicating in every way. Finally, I arrive safely at my destination, the other platform. Well, almost: I’m too light, so I don’t quite make it! So I have to pivot and pull myself to the platform—hence the elbow grease requirement. But if you’re like me and don’t have the heft to glide to the finish, don’t worry: the guides are really nice, and they’ll come and rescue you if there’s a glitch!

Continuing along the circuit, we soar above various sites: a lake, the entrance to the fabled Laflèche Cave, the parking lot (look at the little tiny people!). Each section of the course is unique.

Ninety minutes later, after eight zip lines and a few rope bridges, our adventure is over. I come back to earth, very proud to have mastered this experience. I’d definitely do it again!

GET THE MOST OUT OF ARBRASKA LAFLÈCHE

You can extend your stay at Arbraska Laflèche by choosing the Flying Tarzan package, which includes the Ziptour of 8 zip lines and a three-hour treetop course; or you can combine the Ziptour with other on-site activities, such as the tour of the Laflèche Cave or the GPS rally. Be sure to dress warmly for the cave, where the temperature averages 4 degrees Celsius all year round!

Enjoy your visit!

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