Zip-lines are everywhere! You can literally zip-line in almost any country in the world. I’ve tried it in Costa Rica, Honduras and multiple times at different locations in Canada. I’m afraid of heights but have been working on this fear over the years because things that take place up high (like zip lining!) are pretty darn fun! My fear of heights has been diminishing over the years so I thought nothing of it when I signed up my friend and I to do Mont Tremblant’s Ziptrek earlier this summer.
Mont Tremblant is an all season resort area located approx 2 hours north of Ottawa in the province of Quebec. Best known for winter skiing, Tremblant has many other activities to keep you busy year round. Having not spent much time there in the warmer weather (I usually only visit in the winter to snowboard) I was excited to start exploring in the summer.
My girlfriend Jenna and I set off to Tremblant for a last minute girls weekend away. Before I left home I went on Tremblant’s website and signed us up for Sunday morning zip-lines. I’d seen them on my previous visits and was eager to give them a try. I completely failed however, to actually read up on important info about the zip lines, like how HIGH they are! Again, I’ve been really working on my fear of heights so I figured these zip lines would be a cinch.
A few things to know about Tremblant’s Ziptrek:
- There are 5 zip lines total that take you from the peak, all the way to the bottom of the mountain (check out their map here).
- Out of the 5 zip lines, 3 are 1 km in length, with one of them being 1.6 km long.
- The max height is 250 feet!!! That’s over 25 stories!
- Between 2 of the zip lines there is a nature walk to get to the next zip line platform. The guides talk to you about the local ecology and environment as well as how Ziptrek is promoting environmental sustainability. They also discuses how they developed the zip line course keeping mother nature in mind.
- Last fall, Zip Trek won the Most Eco Responsible Company award (Chamber Award).
- The views from the towers and zip lines are absolutely incredible!
- Cost is $129 for adults, $99 for youth/senior and it takes about 3 hours to complete.
Down The Mountain
My friend Jenna and I met our group at the Ziptrek office and were outfitted with the appropriate safety gear (helmet and full body harness). From there, our little group jumped on the gondola and headed to the top of the mountain.
We had amazing views from the top as we made our way up the first tower.
The first zip line was one of the shortest and lowest. While I did start to get nervous about the heights, it really wasn’t that bad and I had no problem stepping off the first platform.
Once I landed on the second tower, I had a look at what was ahead. All I could see was an incredibly long zip-line dropping down the mountain and out of sight. That’s when I really started to get nervous.
I don’t think the full weight of the just how HIGH and LONG this line was fully dawned on me until I stepped off the platform. I was trying to get some pictures with my GoPro but was struck with paralyzing fear as I began to pick up speed. Unable to hold onto the GoPro any more with my instincts telling me to grab hold of the 2 handles above my head, I gave up on pictures and held on for dear life.
Once I touched ground on the platform at the end, hands shaking and legs trembling, I caught my breath telling myself the rest would be ok.
My group headed into the forest for the first nature walk down to the next zip line tower. It was a nice opportunity for me to get a hold of myself and enjoy the feeling of solid earth beneath my feet.
After arriving at the 3rd zip line, we had to wait a bit for the group in front of us to have their turn. Our guide took the opportuniy to brief us on what was to come. We were instructed to tuck ourselves into a little ball (like a cannon ball) after stepping off the platform. There were strong winds coming up the mountain and with a zip-line this long, people were having difficulty making it to the other side.
My Worst Fears Realized
At this point I was starting to get light-headed, probably from unconsciously holding my breath as I contemplated weather or not this activity was worth my life. (NOTE: Ziptrek is a very safe operation, I had full confidence in the gear and the guides. This was just my fear of heights wreaking havoc on my mind).
When it was our turn, Jenna and I stepped off the platform, tucking our knees to out chest as instructed. I actually stopped breathing when I started this zip-line, fear having a choke hold around me throat.
Try as we might, Jenna and I couldn’t quite make it to the other end of the zip-line coming to a dead stop about 3/4’s of the way across. My worst fears came true as I found myself dangling from the zip-line 250 feet in the air. Thank god Jenna had the GoPro and tried distracting me by taking pictures and filming us while we waited to be rescued by our guides.
In no time at all we were rescued by our guides, being pulled to the platform. I told my guide that although I may appear calm, I’m actually freaking out and I really don’t know if I have it in me to do the last 2 zip lines. That’s when he mentioned that I could double up with a guide for the next (and longest) zip-line. This may seem like an easy escape but honestly, it was the only way I was getting down the mountain!
I have to say, having someone else with me made the whole experience much more enjoyable and I wasn’t nearly as afraid. I actually sat back and enjoyed the view!
With one more zip-line left, my group headed off into the forest again for the second nature walk to the final platform. The views were gorgeous as walked along a ridge line enjoying the warm summer weather.
The last zip line was nice and short but still started out a bit too high for my liking. Determined to do the final one of my own, I told my fears to shut up and enjoyed my last ride down the mountain.
Back on the ground, we made the short walk down to Ziptrek’s office and thanked our guides for such a wonderful experience. As someone who is afraid of heights, I still had an amazing time zip-lining down Tremblant!