Published: February 28, 2011 1:44 p.m.
Last modified: February 28, 2011 1:48 p.m.
CORNER BROOK, N.L. – I stood on the platform staring across Canada’s highest zip line — a cable strung 85 metres over a plunging gorge at Marble Mountain, one of the best kept secrets in western Newfoundland.”Have fun!” the guide urged me as I shook with fear but stepped from the edge, my feet suddenly dangling free over the vast chasm below.
I was secured to the down-sloping cable by two pulleys with cords attached to a harness with straps around my waist, legs, shoulders and chest.
Through my helmet I could barely hear the other zipliners cheering me on as I laughed like a kid on a roller coaster. A spectacular view of the Humber Valley, cut through the foothills of the Appalachian Mountain Range — the same peaks that extend into Georgia — flashed past.
And before I knew it, I was slowing down as the cable angled upward toward the waiting guide who caught my lines at the receiving platform.
Now, that’s a knee-wobbling rush.
Marble Zip Tours offers eight lines criss-crossing the spectacular Steady Brook Falls near Corner Brook, N.L. The longest ride sprawls across 420 metres and is aptly described in promotional brochures as a heady blend of parachuting and flying.Anyone aged six and up who weighs between 65 pounds 275 pounds is eligible to zip. Guests are warned that if they freak out after the first line and want to quit, they have to zip back across to get off that side of the mountain.
“But don’t worry — this really is a rare event!” says the Marble Zip Tours website.
It didn’t happen during my visit, as our small band of mid-winter thrill seekers became more bold with each line. Some of us were running off platforms or even jumping off backwards as the tour progressed.
But if hurtling over a deep void isn’t quite your speed, Marble Mountain is also a winter wonderland featuring world-class skiing and snowboarding.