“So I just jump?”
Lisa Visetin was standing on a small wooden platform on a tree about 40 feet in the air. The next tree and platform was a little over six feet away.
The instructor told her to jump for a rope hanging in the middle and swing Tarzan-style to the other side.
“Seriously?” she asked, smiling but unsure.
Visentin, who works for AVR in their Summer Fun Cruiser, was on the blue course (upper beginner) at Upper Clements new Adventure Park, facing a challenge known as the Leap of the Faith.
Lisa and I and another dozen guests were trying out the new zip lines and challenges as part of a grand opening at the park.
The Leap of Faith, like all the challenges in the course, has both a mental and physical component to it.
You can’t fall because you’re clipped in—twice—and it’s not a big jump at all. It just looks big.
The challenges increase slowly, starting at the initiation course where guides literally show you the ropes.
The training bridge is only a few feet off the ground, the first bridge on the green course (beginner) is higher but with nice wide planks to walk on. The first zip line is just a short little glide.
Then you climb higher on the blue course, make the Leap of Faith and the challenges get harder—more balance is required, more confidence in the gear. For every challenge there are little tricks and the attentive guides give them out when they see you struggling or unsure.
The red course is another step up from the blue—not only is it a little bit more difficult physically, it requires a lot more thought and focus.
At one point I lost my focus, thought I was out for a walk in the park and didn’t wake up until the whole bridge, literally, went sideways on me.
The pace of the course is well-thought out with frequent breaks and fun surprises.
After the red course, it’s onto the zip lines. There isn’t really much of a physical challenge to the zip lines—your weight and gravity do most of the work. But the mental part is huge.
Once you take the first step, it’s a pile of fun to glide from tree to tree—just remember to reach out and grab the lifeline as you arrive, so you don’t end up rolling backwards.
I was good and tired when I reached the end—more mentally drained from checking and double checking my clips. And from pushing myself beyond my comfort zone.
The Adventure Park, across the road from the Upper Clements Theme Park, is intended for older teenagers and active adults. The course is a serious challenge but doable by anyone in reasonable shape.
There is a height minimum of 5’2”—mostly because you won’t be able to reach the clip in points and the zip lines require a certain weight to carry you to the other side.
It’s important to wear sturdy footwear and leave yourself lots of time--three hours isn’t too much at all.
To sum up, it’s challenging but doable and a great way to spend time with friends or family in the outdoors. There’s a discount for groups of more than 15 and, if you only have 14, give me a call—I can’t wait to do it again.
For more information, check out the Upper Clements Park webpage: http://www.upperclementsparks.com/adventure-home.php