Zipline is an adventure sport where a freely moving pulley is used to move a person from one end to another, usually from top landscapes to an inclined bottom. The stainless steel cable is fixed between two points of different elevation and the adventurer is geared up; attaching him to the pulley sending him sliding down the rope.
This adventure sport is also introduced by several other names in the sports industry like a spy line, flying fox, aerial rope slide, etc. Zipline flying has successfully won the hearts of millions of thrilling-sports admirers making it quite a popular outdoor game and has successfully managed to spread its wings in several countries across the globe.
The zipline expedition is quite famous for its thrilling ride down the slopes, relishing the cold fresh air and the remarkable beauty of nature down below. Generally, high-hills, forests, and canyons are an ideal destination for this thrilling rope sport. This sport doesn’t require any kind of special training or briefing session; making it one of the simplest refreshing adventures. You will be geared up with equipment, safety harness and with just that you will have the marvelous adventure of your life.
A Brief History
Originally zipline was used as a means of transportation for goods and animals as well as humans in remote areas like mountains, forests,--and especially in the areas where people needed to cross rivers. The precise details on when and where the zipline had started is still a mystery but many experts believe that the practice of transporting goods and humans started from the mountain region. People in the mountain region practiced the zipline when they had to get across a hill or transport materials down the cliff.
In ancient times, China also used the zipline method to get across the rough rivers. It has also been estimated that India and Japan also possibly started using ziplines as a transportation method since as early as 250 B.C.
The zipline which was practiced as one of the means of transportation evolved into an adventure sport after the biologist Donald Perry used zipline to study jungle canopy in Costa Rica. He easily managed to study the canopy with the help of zipline which also made his travel quite smooth. Donald’s zipline adventure became a global sensation that piqued the interest of Canadian entrepreneur Darren Hreniuk; who then launched his first zipline canopy tour in 1997 giving birth to modern zipline sports.
Zipline In Nepal
Nepal, a country dignifying the definition of ‘beauty’ with its celestial Himalayan allurement, green lush forests, high hills, beautiful valleys and tons of water attractions have always been the core of all the adventure activities. The country's grand hills offer some of the best landscapes to enjoy the thrilling sports. Nepal also has a history of using ziplines as a means of transportation in rural areas in the past making the country plenty well informed in the rope adventure sector.
The country has been frequenting exploring and experimenting with the ideal destination to savor the different types of adventure sports which are the major attraction of the tourism industry. As of now, the country has presented three of the optimal spots to enjoy the thrilling rope sports. Here we will do a brief discussion on all of them and you can decide which destination piques your interest.
1. Zip flyer In Pokhara
The zipline by the High Ground Adventure is one of the tallest ziplines in the country at the elevation of 1533 meters. This zipline has an inclination of 56° making it one of the steepest ziplines in the country and cover a total area of 1.8 km with a vertical 600m drop.
You will be launched from the top of Sarangkot which is just 10km away from the city of lakes, Pokhara. The flying expedition starts from the architectural marvelous structure--Butterfly Pavilion, after a life-time experience your thrilling adventure will be concluded by landing in the Hemja village which is at the altitude of 915 meters. The extreme ride takes you with a speed of over 90 miles per hour making it an ideal spot for adrenaline junkies.
The thrilling vertical ride will give you the magnificent view of mountain ranges like Annapurna, Machhapuchhre and the soaring Seti River down below. The mid-air adrenaline rush amidst the beauty of the Himalayas and lush green forest down below will certainly be one of your most treasured memories.
The Zip-flyer TM LLC, USA designed this zipline system using advanced technology and tools making it an artistic aerial sports stronghold. You can enjoy the ride without any worries as the design has been estimated to exceed the standards set by the agencies like ASTM, TV SUD and even ANLS B77 Tramway.
2. Dhulikhel Zipline
Dhulikhel is another major tourist attraction in the country which lets adventurers enjoy aerial sports to an extreme level. This is the best short-destination alternative to enjoy thrilling sport within the Kathmandu valley as it is located just 30km away from the capital and can be included in a one-day trip.
This zipline is located close to the Araniko Highway making it an easily accessible location; connecting with the Dhulikhel border and Panchkhal Municipality, the Dhulikhel zipline covers the distance up to 1100 meters with a heart-pounding 73-meter vertical drop. The sports enthusiasts will start their mid-air thrill from Thakle launchpad, concluding the journey at Panchkhal, Khawa. The adventurers will travel with a speed of 60 km per hour to 90 km per hour in the ride that will last on an average of two and a half minutes.
The Dhulikhel zipline was designed by using Indian and Australian technology meeting the American and European safety credentials making it a completely safe enjoyable ride. You can enjoy various kinds of zipline flying in Dhulikhel like:
If your adventurer soul desires a solo thrill this classic zipline package is a suitable pick for you. Generally, the classic zipline is designed for a single person to have all the glory of the aerial-adventure sports. The person will be strapped on the zipline with the harness tied on the waist and launched from the pad relishing the beauty of nature down below.
If you are looking for having an adventure of your life with someone special, this is a perfect thrilling package for you. The pair strapped together in the zipline will be launched from the pad enjoying the view and surfing on the beauty of nature down below from the sky.
This package is suitable for a newbie to the adventure sport or people who are not confident about a solo ride, so, you can enjoy it with your friend or a special one.
Besides the classic and couple zipline flying, Dulikhel zipline also offers newly introduced zipline Superman zipline. In the superman zipfly, you will put your whole body in harness and face straight forward in a pose like“Superman”. You will fly like superman does in the movies; leaning forward and enjoying the mesmerizing beauty of the Himalayan country from the sky.
The superman zipline is at the elevation of 2300 meters and covers 2,200 horizontal distances with the same 73-meter vertical drop. Like other categories zipline, superman zipline is slightly advanced so the weight limit has been set to maximum up to 75kg regarding the safety concerns of the visitors.
3. Dharan Zipline(Flying Fox)
This zipline is the latest addition to the country’s thrilling adventure list, the new attraction was officially launched in March 2020 adding more flavor to the country’s adventure sector. The Dharan zipline is 650 meters long, the starting point is located at the welcome gate of Bhedetar and extends up to Debhithan, Dharan-4.
The zipline which is operated in the southern slope of Bhedetar is owned by Worldwide Nepal Group Pvt. Ltd. The company had a vision for building a zipline attraction in the area for years; their dream started taking form in December 2019; the zipline was all set within four months.
The new hotspot offers zip flyer categories like the classic ride, tandem flyer, and superman flyer. Besides being a major attraction for domestic tourists, this zipline region is pretty close to the Indian states like West Bengal, Bihar and is expected to attract a lot of tourists from those regions.
The zipline system was designed by the technicians from Austria using the best equipment in business which was imported from the USA. The maximum depth in this zipline is about 300 meters with 43 meters difference in starting and landing zone; the launching pad being at the altitude of 1420 meters. The zipline wire with a 16 mm diameter has the capacity to uphold up to 11,300 kg, with the capacity of the harness and carabiner being 2,200kg and 2,700kg respectively.
The thrilling-racing adventure sport can be enjoyed throughout the year taking into consideration the weather; avoiding it on rainy or stormy days. Considering the safety of the sports enthusiasts, the best tools and safety harness are practiced in sports. So, you can enjoy the unparalleled ride of your life-time comfortably to the contents of your hearts and without worrying about anything else.
In case you are concerned about the speed of the zipline, it is self-controlled and adjusted; in addition to that, you will also be supervised about manually controlling the speed in case it is required.
As there are not many requirements in zipline flying like a training session or throughout briefing in other extreme adventure sports, you will still have to meet a few criteria to be part of sports like:
- You will have to be over 18 years to participate in this sport or should be accompanied by a guardian or parents if you fall under the age group 13-17.
- The zipline rider must weigh a minimum of 35kg and maximum up to 125kg. If you weigh less than 40kg or exceed 120kg, the sport is not completely safe for you.
- This sport is not suitable for the people who have back or neck problems, and also in case of pregnancy.
Some Helpful Tips:
- Wear comfortable clothes and closed-toed shoes, there is a possibility of your shoes falling down below if it is not securely tied.
- Don’t carry expensive accessories or jewelry with you during the flight as they might fall off.
- Carry sunscreen cream and bug repellent as you may encounter heavy sun rays and bugs in the forest areas.
- You need to be very careful about watching your steps as the starting off points are high hills and you need to be attentive towards your footing.
- Don’t try to take selfies as it is quite a fast flight if you decide to take a selfie stick then make sure it is properly attached to your wrist or you are firmly holding it. Also, you will get the video that will be recorded by the camera attached to your helmet.