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Seven Ziplines

When someone says “zipline,” I think of the childhood deathtrap we built in my friend Scott’s backyard, made from one piece of 3/4” nylon rope that we got on sale. It started 40 or 50 feet up in a tree and was held tight to a 4×4 clothesline post with a boat winch. I’ll never forget the sound a (non-locking) carabiner makes as it picks up speed down the rough windings of a cheap nylon rope.

But, I tell you… when a business makes their livelihood from ziplines, they are a bit more serious, and a lot more safe.

I believe it was seven, the number of steel-cable ziplines at the Kauai Backcountry Adventures course. First we geared up:

Gearing up at Kauai Backcountry Adventures

Next, we were taken out into the woods in a serious all-wheel-drive vehicle, to a zipline course over a beautiful forest valley below Waialeale, the highest mountain on Kauai. I was not too stressed, as I figured this is WAY safer than skydiving…

Beautiful view over Kauai Backcountry's zip course

The operation seems quite safe, and they replace the lines (thick steel cable) far more often than OSHA requires. Our guides were really cool, and Chris & Misty really made the day by telling us Kauai stories and jokes. Besides keeping us safe, they showed us how to look cool:

Chris zipping at Kauai Backcountry

I’ve got some videos, but no capability to process them on my netbook. Here’s the next best thing, a view down the zipline:

A bird's-eye-view down the zip course

One of my fellow zippers, getting crazy on the exit:

Getting sideways on the zipline exit

Here’s our guide Misty, looking quite relaxed.

Misty looking relaxed at Kauai Backcountry

And, one last epic view of what you’ll be zipping over:

Scenic forest view of the zipline course

If you’re up for some adventure in Hawaii, I definitely suggest to do a zipline course! I was really entertained by the cool guides at Kauai Backcountry Adventures, and from what I hear, they have the best scenery of any zip course. So, if you’re looking for a bit of adrenaline, give them a try – you won’t regret it!

In case this isn’t enough excitement, I’d recommend skydiving. I didn’t try any of the DZ’s on the islands (as I didn’t have my gear, and am very un-current)… but most of them advertise 13,000’ tandems (avoid the low-alti 10,000’ Cessna places). If the zipline views are this good, just imagine the view from 13,000’ with no obstructions!

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Posted in Around the World 7 years, 5 months ago at 3:33 pm.

3 comments

3 Replies

  1. This look great, maybe one day I will be doing this myself. Look much safer than bungee jumping and sky dive. Your guide Misty looked so relaxed indeed!
    .-= Dina´s last blog ..Top 3 Modes of Transportation by Travelers Around the World =-.

  2. Hi Dina, I think it’s definitely safer than both of those. The main risk is if you touch the zipline while moving, because the cable will cut you. But you are hanging far below it, so you really have to TRY to touch it.

    The risk of falling from the zipline is basically zero… so the worst risk I see is that you’re in a remote place. In case of having some “standard” medical emergency (stroke, heart attack, etc) it would be longer before help arrived. And that risk I take every time I go hiking, anywhere in the world… heh.

  3. The zipline can cut, eh, never thought of that!
    .-= Dina´s last blog ..Top 3 Modes of Transportation by Travelers Around the World =-.