Tag Archive | adventure sports

Moab 2015: Facing My Fears in the Sky

Have you ever stared death in the face? I have! Ok, so perhaps I’m exaggerating a bit, but Friday morning was our zip-lining adventure! I had been alternating between looking forward to it, and absolutely dreading what was sure to be my impending death.

Jon had seen the zip-lining shop when we had been in Moab the year before, and really wanted to try it. I said I would, even though, as you may remember from some of my previous posts, I have a very healthy fear of heights. But I like to challenge myself, so I purchased two non-refundable tickets to a 6 zip-line adventure, complete with an off-road UTV (Utility Terrain Vehicle) ride up to the zip-lines, and a trek across a suspension bridge. Of course, I hate wasting money, so I knew if I made the purchase, I was not likely to chicken out.

As we were getting ready, I started getting really nervous. Jon told to try not to think about it – maybe listen to my audiobook? My nerves abated as we walked across the street to the shop, but I got nervous again when signing the waiver. I went and sat outside to wait for the safety chat and ponder my impending death. Shortly the other soon to be dead tourists all assembled outside and our guides – Chris and Jake – showed us how to get into our harnesses and helmets. I snugged my harness up as much as I could, knowing that I was still a goner.

Soon we bundled into two UTVs and headed up the mountain. The trip was exciting and scary at the same time! Chris explained that in the world of off-roading, this road would be considered a 4 on a difficulty scale of 1-10. It seemed like a 9+ to me.

Heading up to the Zip Lines

Heading up to the Zip Lines

He explained how the zip-line company came to be, and the fact that it is located on private land. He also explained how the zip-lines were engineered and their safety features. I started to feel a little more comfortable, because lots of the reviews said the trip up to the zip-lines was scarier than the zip-lines themselves. I might actually live!

We reached the top of the hill and climbed up a short, steep section of the slick rock to the beginning of the first zip-line. It was called Sneak Peek and it was 280 feet long, designed to ease you in to zip-lining. My nerves were back. I made Jon take a photo with my cellphone to document my last moments on earth. I look nervous…

Me before my first zip - how green do I look?

Me before my first zip – how green do I look?

Jake (one of our fearless guides) zipped first so he could operate the braking system for the rest of us. I was relieved that I didn’t have to try to stop myself… Chris asked who wanted to go first and a 12 year old kid volunteered (I am not an early adopter…). He looked like he was having fun! I volunteered to go third, afraid that if I waited too long I would lose my nerve. But I did it! I screamed a little bit after I first stepped off, but I did it! Once Jake had stopped me at the other end, he had to remind me to let go of the handle… But I did it! And it was fun!

The zip-lines get a little longer and faster from the first one – they are all named for their successive features and challenges. The longest zip- Home Run – is 1300 feet long. Each is unique, some are steeper, some are windier (so you spin more), but they were all fun.

Jon has fantastic form

Jon has fantastic form

Jon waiting for his next zip

Jon waiting for his next zip

In between zip-lines, there are short hikes, including one with a suspension bridge (which looked totally safe but was still scary for me!), and amazing views.  We got a bird’s eye view of Moab, and could even see several of the rock formations in Arches National Park – 10-15 miles away.

We Made it over the Suspension Bridge!

We Made it over the Suspension Bridge!

Don't we look cute!?

Don’t we look cute!?

The course is near other UTV routes, so we saw some of the off-road tours go by, and the last zip-line goes right over a mountain bike route, so we got to fly over top of several mountain bikers pushing their bikes up a steep section of slick rock.

Jon zipping the last zip - Home Run.

Jon zipping the last zip – Home Run.

I took video with my camera – I don’t have a GoPro, so I just hung it around my neck and pressed record, hoping the camera wouldn’t flop around too much or turn around on my body…. I think it worked pretty well.  The video below is me on the last zip-line – Home Run (bear with the slow start…).

I didn’t want it to end. I was ready to keep going all day long! But soon we had reached the end of the sixth zip-line, and Chris and Jake went to go fetch the UTVs so they could drive us back down the hill. Which again, was a trip that was scarier than the actual zip-lining.

The UTV Ride down the hill - it was pretty steep!

The UTV Ride down the hill – it was pretty steep!

I was very proud of myself for doing it and not chickening out. It was exhilarating being able to conquer my fear of heights and discover that something I was terrified to do is actually really fun! Chris and Jake were great – very supportive and it is clear that they get a kick out of helping someone get over their fear as well. I loved this adventure!

Have you ever zip-lined?  If you are interested in trying it out in Moab, Utah, I can’t speak highly enough of Raven’s Rim Zip-Lining – they were great!  http://www.ravensrim.com/