I did it! I went zip-lining for the very first time and the experience was incredible. The wind on my face, the views around me — it felt like I was flying!
Zip-lining had been one of my goals for 2016 and I’m happy to say that I am now able to check this off. I was given two complimentary rides by ONE AXE Pursuits for the Elora Skyrider Zipline in Elora, Ontario to help me cross this item off my goals list. Because I’m a nice person, I decided to
drag take my sister along with me and give the second ride to her.
Now, I used to be petrified of heights when I was younger. Ferris wheels terrified me; I was scared of walking across even the lowest of bridges; I was even scared of the small spaces between the steps of certain staircases. I have slowly gotten over this fear and eventually became the one pestering my friends to ride the tallest and fastest roller coasters.
My sister, on the other hand, is a different story. She is more afraid of heights now than she ever was as a child.
“Growing taller and more clumsy will do that to you,” she tells me.
So, while my sister also wanted to experience zip-lining for the first time, she was significantly more hesitant than I was. With this strange contrast in mind, we both ended up loving the experience.
The address of the Elora SkyRider Zipline is 29 David St W, Elora, ON N0B 1S0, Canada. We followed a sign at the side of the road indicating that the zip-line was nearby and turned into a community centre parking lot, strangely deserted for a Friday afternoon. There are more signs in the parking lot pointing you in the right direction and the entrance to the zip-line is at the very back. Everything is well-marked so you can’t miss it. The Skyrider Zipline is open on weekends in June and September and daily in July and August from 10 am to 5 pm.
My sister and I proceeded to walk under a large “Elora SkyRider Zipline” sign and into the woods. A wooden launch deck was a few steps away and we could catch glimpses of the open gorge through the foliage. As we walked up to the structure, I surveyed the area around us. Trails led away from us on either side. The launch deck directly in front was small: it was less than double my height and a few arm spans across. There were more signs and two hanging clipboards with waivers on the side of the structure. A small staircase led up to a higher platform where we would launch from.
We were greeted by a smiling woman clad in harnesses and a purple helmet. She asked us if we had zip-lined before, to which to replied no. She began showing us how the harnesses go around our bodies and gave us bright orange helmets to put on. My sister and I clambered up the short staircase (with spaces between the steps, I might add) all decked out in our gear.
The woman explained how they have doubled up on everything: there are two lines stretching across the gorge, two ropes connected to two clamps from the zip-line to our harness. She explained how she was securing us and made sure we felt safe before going across.
The zip-line also has a clear pouch you can put your phone in. This way, you can film your ride and there’s no risk of dropping your phone into the gorge below.
A big thank you to her for taking this photo of my sister and I:
“So, who’s going first?” the woman asked.
I nudged my sister.
We whispered amongst ourselves for a few seconds before she reluctantly agreed to go first.
After a few more minutes of securing and assuring, my sister stepped off the edge of the launch deck and we watched as she soared through the air across the gorge.
“Woah… Woahhhh… This is so fun!” my sister exclaimed.
“Sneaky making her go first,” the woman chided.
“Or else she might have been too afraid to go after. Especially if she sees me screaming as I fly across the gorge.” I jokingly replied. This may have only been half true and perhaps I was postponing my ride without fully realizing it. Was being close to the cliff edge giving me second thoughts?
Well, it was finally my turn to go zip-lining. The woman attached my harness to the line and after a bit more delay, I stepped off the platform and into the air.
The ride was exhilarating. My childhood dream had come true and I was flying through the air! There were beautiful views of the Elora Gorge in every direction I turned. The wind on my face felt cooling in the summer heat and I felt invigorated.
And then the ride was over and I was on the other side of the gorge.
Already? That couldn’t have been more than fifteen seconds.
Before I could give it much more thought, I was greeted by a cheerful-looking man, “Woah, watch out! I’m joking — I’ve got you.”
Though my feet had landed at the edge of the cliff, I suddenly noticed my body felt like it was being pulled back.
Back out towards the open gorge.
It took me a long second to realize that it was my harness, still connected to the zip-line, causing this pulling tension. The man proceeded to show me how he had safely hooked me to a fence and that I wasn’t going anywhere. Then he unhooked the clamp of my harness connecting me to the zip-line. The pulling sensation stopped.
“You’re aliveeeeee!” the man cried.
He opened the gate for me and I sauntered to the other side. My sister greeted me and we started laughing about how funny the man’s jokes were. After unclipping my helmet and fumbling with the harnesses for a bit, trying to figure out how to take them off, my sister and I found a spot in the woods to sit and reviewed the footage we had captured.
Check out this short video my sister put together of our zip-lining and cave climbing adventures in Elora! Sorry for our terrible phone camera quality. 😛
Overall, I really loved my zip-lining experience on the Elora SkyRider Zipline. The staff makes sure you feel comfortable and safe before the ride and the views are absolutely gorgeous. I do find it, however, to be a bit pricey for such a short ride. It costs $30 for a single ride or $20 for children. Alternatively, you can also buy a $100 day pass for unlimited rides. If you’re not on a tight budget, I would definitely recommend this to anyone looking to add a different zip-lining experience to their list. It’s also a great place for first-timers.
After zip-lining, my sister and I proceeded to wander around the woods a bit. We hiked down into the gorge we had just soared across the top of and also did some pretty epic cave climbing.
And so ends a great day of overcoming our fears, experiencing more firsts, and having spontaneous adventures.
Is zip-lining something you want to try too? If you have zip-lined before, what was your first experience like? Are there any other activities that scare you, but you want to experience? Tell me in the comments below!
Disclosure: I received two complimentary rides for the Elora SkyRider Zipline thanks to ONE AXE Pursuits. As always, all opinions are genuine and my own.