You’ve Got to try Zip Lining! 

STORY BY Patrick 13th July 2018

Zip lining – what is it exactly? Well, essentially, it’s that most exciting ride in the children’s playground, where you hang on to a pulley beneath a cable as it rolls down the wire, taken to XL dimensions.

Well, XXXXXXL to be more accurate. Over the past few years, the wires have been getting longer and longer, hanging higher and higher off the ground, the experience ever-more exciting as operators around the world seek to outdo one another.

They’re all fairly similar. Apart from being much longer (some are now more than 1.5 km long) and much higher (200m above the ground is quite common), the big difference from the playground version is that (thankfully) you’re hanging in a safety harness beneath the wire, not “hanging on”.  You can also go much faster, with some zip line companies claiming you can reach up to 160km an hour, so those childhood dreams of going ever faster can finally come true.

Indeed, Zip World Velocity in Wales (, which claims to have the longest zip wires in Europe, also claims to have the world’s fastest wires at up to 200kph – you ride in a superman-style horizontal position.

A few years ago, Val Thorens in the French Alps opened the highest wire in Europe, more than 3,000m above sea level, and equated the experience to flying like an eagle, and just a few months ago the longest zip line yet opened in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), at 2.5km long. There’s bound to be an even longer one before long.

I finally got my chance to fly on a zip line at Whistler in BC, Canada, where Superfly Ziplines ( operate Canada’s longest zip lines at well over a kilometre long and 200m above the valley below.  You head up to the top of Rainbow Mountain in a custom 4×4, then at the top a series of four dual ziplines take you back down, the fastest reaching speeds up to 100kph as you fly through spectacular scenery.

I “don’t do heights” very well and previously bottled out of a treetop ropes course, but I was determined not to do that again, and my nerve actually strengthened when another chap decided to go no further at the initial “how you use your harness” instruction session before we even started going up the mountain, and I soldiered on.

The ascent was slightly reminiscent of the ratcheting up of your car at the start of a roller-coaster ride, but once my trolley was connected to the cable I actually felt very secure, especially with the super-professional staff explaining everything and checking everything for me. So I was able to enjoy the ride, which truly deserves the description “awesome.”

If you are afraid of heights like me, the best advice is, “Don’t look down, just enjoy the ride.” In the end, the only upsetting thing was that it was all over far too soon. All I could do was scream, “Again! Again!”

Fancy the world’s longest zip line? It’s just opened in the UAE – click here for more info!

Images Supplied by Whistler Tourism.

Enjoyed this article? click here to get more from us

Latest Posts

Next Story

Cliff Diving Leaps Back to its Roots on Mid-Atlantic Volcanic Island