|By: Paul S. Cilwa
|Page Views: 2496
|Topics: #Places #Hawaii #Maui #Zipline
|I've never been on a zipline. That changed today.
I've never before gone ziplining. Which, in itself, is reason enough to do it! (Yes, it's been on my bucket list.) After researching the various zipline options on Maui, I chose to go with Skyline Eco-Adventures Haleakala and would absolutely recommend them!
I hadn't thought to ask Keith how he felt about ziplining before I made the reservations. Afterwards, he confessed that he was kind of scared to do it. But he sailed through the course like a trouper, even showing a rare public smile at the conclusion of each sipline. (Or maybe he was just glad it was over?)
The Skyline Eco-Adventures Haleakala headquarters is located just barely outside Haleakala National Park, on a beautiful plot of land they are restoring to its original, pre-colonization state by stripping invasive species from the ground and planting native and endemic plants and trees in their place.
We arrived a few minutes early; so I took advantage of the time to photograph some of the exquisite flowers blooming all around the place.
Keith and I surely looked like naturals once we'd been geared up.
The very first zipline run was the shortest. I was wearing the GoPro helmet, and I went first. Keith followed. So here you get to see what I saw on the zipline, and then what Keith looked like riding it.
The second zipline run was a little longer, and over a deeper part of the ravine.
The third zipline was even longer, and over an even higher ravine. (Are you seeing the pattern?) It was also scarier, because we were supposed to run and jump off the platform, which would make the line bounce up and down as we descended.
The fourth zipline, longer still…
After a short hike we came to the next stop on the adventure: Crossing a chasm on a flimsy suspension bridge that would have sent Indiana Jones looking for an alternate route.
The final zipline is the longest, steepest, and fastest. (The guides said people who "like to eat" can get up to 50 mph. I think I hit 60.)
This zipline is so steep, and we get going so fast, that they can't stop us at the destination. Instead, we keep going up to a raised end, then slide back down and past the destination platform, finally catching us on the next pass. And then we had to climb up a ladder so the tension in the zipline could be released enough to detach us.
Climbing down that ladder was way scarier than any of the actual ziplines! (Watch to the end to see.)
These were our guides, Kevin and Pono. Kevin was lead guide, a very funny guy who had us all laughing every few seconds; yet there was never any doubt that he took his job, and our safety, very seriously.