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:
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…
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:
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:
One of my fellow zippers, getting crazy on the exit:
Here’s our guide Misty, looking quite relaxed.
And, one last epic view of what you’ll be zipping over:
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!