July 7, 2012

Last weekend I got to knock another item off my life list. Looking back, I notice that my last life list item was done almost a year ago. That's really pathetic. Note taken to do more of this stuff. 

Anyway, so last weekend we ziplined! And not just any zipline, the fastest zipline in North America! Canada Olympic Park here in Calgary has a 500m long zipline, where you can achieve speeds between 120 and 140 km per hour. My friend offered us the opportunity to report on a few great things to do around Calgary, and this was one of them. If I wasn't being motivated by external forces, I'm not sure I would have done this. The morning before we went, I stayed in bed as long as possible, to prevent myself thinking about it. It didn't work, I had bad dreams about it instead.

On the way to the hill, I watched this video, knowing that Jann Arden would help to soothe my nerves.

Jann is my inspiration.

So we got suited up, and you have a little lesson on a short track to practise the flying and braking. That turned out to be not so bad, and helped me to feel better about the whole thing. Then you get in a van, and you drive to the top of the hill.

And then you take an elevator to the top of the ski jump tower, and area greeted with this view.

Really incredible. Scary, but incredible.

You climb down those stairs, and your harness is attached to the cable. You are basically sitting in a suspended sling that you zipline in. My biggest fear about the whole thing was actually jumping off. I kept envisioning this great drop off that you would have to jump off to get started. In actuality, you are suspended from the track, and then they pull the platform out from under you. Then they flip a lever and you are off. You just sit back and wait for the countdown.

And it was incredible. The first bit is the worst as it's the steepest part, and I could barely catch my breath. But then it evens out, and it's an amazing ride to the bottom of the hill. And while that view from the top looks intimidating, you are never that far from the ground, as the line follows the slope of the hill. All in all, it was a way better experience than I was expecting, and I would certainly do it again.

If you are interested, all the information for the COP Zipline can be found here. COP also offers summer rides down the bobsled track, as well as other great activities like wall climbing and mountain bike trails.

Thanks to my friend Alex for making it all happen.

July 2, 2012

Any down time this long weekend has been spent listening to Real Estate. Perfect for long, warm summer days.