The Fernie Aerial Playground and Rippin’ Zipline played host to The Free Press’s staff, family, and friends last Saturday.
The guide, Alex, helped us into our harnesses and helmets then we trekked up the mountain to the aerial playground.
Safety was a top priority as we received a hands on tutorial of how to properly hook and unhook our clips to the metal guide wires spider-webbing the aerial playground. For every action we took, we needed to ask permission from our partners and wait to receive a go-ahead.
The obstacle course, located 60 feet in the air, got progressively more difficult as I continued on. I encountered everything from walking across unstable tires, to climbing across a mesh netting, to gliding across guide wires on a snowboard.
After a few more obstacles, it was time for a 60-foot free fall, although it seemed like 200. The seatbelt like mechanism clicked on after 15 feet and allowed for a gentle landing on the ground.
After a bicep-burning climb back up to the obstacle course, it was time to take a ride on the zipline. Flying through the air provided a highly addictive adrenaline rush. The teens and tweens in our group seemed to have far more courage than the rest of us as they went beyond the intermediate course all the way to the expert level.
Throughout the day there were a few expletives and high-pitched screams. There were fears overcome and a lot of physical exertion. There were moments of terror, as well as freedom as I flew, ungracefully, through the air. But most importantly there was a lot of mutual support, camaraderie and a sense of accomplishment.
For those who have never tried ziplining before, I highly recommend you head over to the Fernie Alpine Resort and give it a whirl. The staff are friendly and patient, the course is challenging and rewarding, and the view is breathtaking. You won’t be disappointed.