Soar above the Canadian Rockies on a thrilling zip-line adventure

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Written by Patrick J. Smith posted on Thursday, September 24th, 2009

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Outdoor adventurers, I had an opportunity earlier this week to do something I hadn’t done in a while. It was in every respect absolutely thrilling.

I took the zip-line tour with Banff Adventure Unlimited. Yes, a zip-line tour – three lines, to be precise, riding in a harness that makes me feel as close to being able to actually fly as a human being can get.

If you’ve been on a zip-line, you know what I’m talking about already. Next only perhaps to hang-gliding and skydiving, zip-lining really is as close as we land-bound creatures can get to having wings. When you get strapped into that harness and then slide out into space, the feel of the wind in your face, the rush of excitement as the world opens up beneath your feet … they’re almost indescribable.

As I said, you descend via three lines; the last takes you across the Kicking Horse River. It is my favorite part, actually. There’s just something about the river beneath you that is awe-inspiring.

In between the lines, you’ll be accompanied by trained guides who will give you an introduction to the plants and animals of the places you’re visiting. Those little interludes alone are worth the journey for anyone who, like me, is a sponge for learning all about this beautiful country.

Ha. Yes, the tours are fascinating. But I think most of you who are interested in zip-lining are in it for the lines themselves! Can’t say I blame you, either. You get to go up to 50 kilometers per hour on those lines. Fifty! You’re flying through the air above a vista so beautiful it really could break your heart.

And it’s safe. Believe me. The folks at Banff Travel know what they’re doing. You’re in very good hands. I talked to a couple from Germany on vacation, who did it almost on a dare. The man was the driving force. He said he had a problem with heights and wanted to face down the fear. Good for you, I told him. The guides were gentle and understanding. They let them do it at their own pace. By the end, the couple couldn’t stop raving about the trip; they even booked another trip for the very next day!

I’m telling you, it’s a marvelous way to have the most exciting time in the Canadian Rockies. I certainly won’t let it be so long again before I’m back in the harness and ready to go!

But don’t just take my word for it. Call the folks at Banff Travel at 1-888-659-3394. Let them tell you all about it. I think you’ll be glad you did.

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