Not content with pushing myself to breaking point by climbing up mountainous terrain during my Everest Base Camp trek, I decided that it was time to try an exhilarating way of travelling down through the new patch of Himalaya landscape I had found myself in – via Zipflyer Nepal, “the world’s most extreme zipline.” The first zipline in Nepal, it’s the latest attraction to spring up in the adventure sport haven of Pokhara.
That is, the world’s longest, fastest and steepest zipline, that boasts to be over 1.8km long, with a 600 metre vertical drop and which can travel at speeds up to 100 miles per hour.
The thrill-seeker in me spotted the advertisements for Nepal’s new zipline adventure as soon as I landed in Pokhara and despite the scary looking video and £45 price tag, I was booked to go the very next day, forcing a friend to join me for the ride.
Located in Sarangkot, a 20 minute bumpy truck ride from the centre of Pokhara, the zipline stands isolated at the top of a hill where the only other sound you will hear apart from the rustling of the trees is the gut-churning mechanical clunk of the zipline in motion.
Fully briefed and split into pairs (if you have not signed up with a partner already), you are summoned two-by-two to the platform. My friend and I were, of course, the last pair to take to the stage having patiently watched others being buckled up and released into the air alongside a chorus of nervous expressions. Luckily for this monster of a zipline you get to sit in a harness, not hang by a rope!
When I was strapped, fastened, clipped, clasped and secured in my seat my adrenalin was, literally, sky high. I was so scared I wouldn’t remember the commands we had been told: tug on one rope to slow you down if the person at the end of the line waves a flag as a warning; pull both ropes to ‘release’ you should you come to a stop; always lean back; keep your legs splayed in the air at all times. Did it have to be this difficult? Would I remember any of this is anything happened while hundreds of metres up high, hanging in the air?
Before we knew it we heard “FIVE, FOUR, THREE, TWO, ONE, GO!” as the metal shutters flung open, swinging us out and straight down out into the great expanse of the dense forest below us. It was breath-taking and terrifying at the same time. My heart was racing but my face was smiling as I was propelled through the air in the direction of the magnificent mountain peaks which formed a stunning wall in front of me, and later soaring over the beautiful Seti River. It was absolutely exhilarating.
So exhilarating that I wished the zipline was LONGER.
So exciting that I craved for it to go FASTER!
I panicked a little when my zipline slowed half way and my friend ended up racing further ahead than me (he was heavier after all). I had felt more at ease when we were in side-by-side and my immediate thought was that I was going to get stuck mid-air which would turn adrenalin into complete panic. Instead I used all my might to lean back to gain speed and all my strength to keep the harness straight since the wind was swaying me slightly to the left and right.
I had to keep going, I couldn’t let adrenalin loose to panic, but before I knew it (the flight lasts only a matter of minutes) the end of the line appeared and I was relieved not to have anyone waving flags at me.
I’d traversed a beautiful landscape with great adventure. I shot through the sky. I had survived the world’s most extreme zipline. It’s just a shame that you come to a very abrupt and slightly painful stop that yanks you swiftly out of your adrenalin-charged world. Be prepared for that.