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Wikipedia describes zipline as a pulley suspended on a cable, usually made of stainless steel, mounted on an incline. It is designed to enable a user propelled by gravity to travel from the top to the bottom of the inclined cable by holding onto, or attaching to, the freely moving pulley.

We have never done a zipline before, only saw it on the Discovery channel.  So when our taxi driver was offering us a menu of activities, ranging from handicraft workshop (yawn) to visiting the long neck tribe (no thanks), flying through the jungle hanging on a wire was compelling.

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The Zipline Chiangmai site consists of 27 platforms, a total of about 2,200 meters of wires,varying in length from 20 meters to the “truly amazing” 400 meters. The route also included tree abseiling (rappelling) and walks at the canopy level.

CaptureTwo guides gave us a 15-minute tutorial about the equipment and the setup. After we tried it a couple of times on a hammock-sized line between two tree trunks, off we went into the jungle. First we had a short canopy walk over a rickety “sky” bridge, presumably designed to test our nerves or to familiarize us with the elevation.

zipline-2Then action !

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Sue was screaming due to excitement not terror. Towards the end although she is no longer visible, we knew she was stilling zipping due to the “whistling” sound from the cable.

None of us seemed afraid of the heights. We were quite happy jumping off  treetops into the air. Here’s I.T. zipping along calmly down a rather steep section.

Sue zipping through the same section which traverses the Mae Taeng river.

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One of the launch pads where we zipped off. One guide always zipped ahead first while the other guide unhooked us from the guard cable (usually tied around a tree) and hooked us up to the zipline.

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This is me (Chris) going over the 180 m between platform 21-22. As you will see, it was hard to stop myself from spinning while filming the flight and I ended up braking too early. As a result, I was slipping backwards along the wire causing the guide to be rather concerned. But it really was no big deal as I quickly pulled myself back up to the platform. Wished I had a head-mounted camera.

Truth to tell, when the jungle is so thick, one can hardly see the ground. We really did not register our distance from the bottom, except when we were zipping across the road or the river.

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We also rappelled down a couple of trees (with assistance).

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We were so psyched about the zipping part and totally forgot to enjoy the sights from the treetops.

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It was really a lot of fun. Like rollercoaster rides, it finished too soon.

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2 Comments

  1. i did it in Costa Rica too!! I am hooked!!

  2. My kids would have loved it. keep the fun going. . . .


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