Zip a ride on the wild side

Adventure awaits long before you even get close to Long Beach

Danielle Buchanan takes a long look over the edge of the cliff at the foaming white water far, far below. She turns to take one last look at her new husband and then turns her back — and jumps.

Although this is the first day of his life with her, Jeff Buchanan doesn’t flinch when his love leaps from the cliff. He knows she’s attached with a five-point harness to a heavy wire cable and within seconds is almost across the foaming gorge. When it’s his turn he is just as filled with excitement and derring-do as his new wife.

The Lower Mainland couple are on their honeymoon at the Ha’uukmin Tribal Park, which hosts West Coast Wild, a zipline adventure company located on Highway 4 about 40 minutes west of Port Alberni.

The site contains roughly a kilometre and a half with six  ziplines, which take the Buchanans and the other members of the group on a two-hour tour through the rainforest canopy and over the whitewater canyon of the Kennedy River. The lines vary in length from a few hundred to a whopping 1,000 feet, giving adventure fans the ride of a lifetime in complete safety.

Ensuring that safety on this day are guides Riley Scherbers and C.J. Munro, one of whom zips across to catch the clients with a special braking device prior to their arrival on the other side, while his partner checks each harness prior to the big jump.

They have fun with it, too. Scherbers has one adventurer stand with her back to the drop and spread her arms over her head.

“On 10,” he said. “One … two … Go!”

At that, he gives her a gentle push and, with a surprised and delighted screech, she’s off.

The focus of the site is on fun, but the guides point out natural features such as the edible wild blueberries and huckleberries beside the path as the group takes a short hike through the old growth forest between the lines.

This is the second year the West Coast Wild operation has been in business and even though it is located far from any amenities or other attractions, it is drawing an increasing clientele of thrill-seekers as word filters out on websites such as Tripadvisor and others.

The adventure is for those aged 10 years or older, although the primary consideration is weight — the zippers need to have enough body mass to propell themselves all the way across the line, thus avoiding the necessity for the guides to zip out to the rescue and haul them to the other side.

The final zip of the day takes us underneath a bridge over the river and back to the rough-and-ready tour centre. The newlyweds are not just smiling, they’re glowing. They took the jump in more ways than one. It’s a good start.

For more information about ziplining adventures or to book, visit www.wcwild.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just Posted

Third delivery of building units for 222 Corfield in Parksville arrives April 26

Vehicles should expect intermittent, single-lane alternating traffic

City of Parksville to look into cost, process of beach cleanup

Cleanup would include removing rotten logs, adding sand

BC Ferries to pilot selling beer and wine on select routes

Drinks from select B.C. breweries and VQA wineries to be sold on Swartz Bay to Tsawwassen route

RCMP ask Parksville Qualicum Beach businesses for help battling thieves

‘With your assistance forensic evidence could be located for prosecution’

VIDEO: Alberta man creates world’s biggest caricature

Dean Foster is trying to break the world record for a radio show contest

Flooding, climate change force Quebecers to rethink relationship with water

Compensation for victims of recurring floods limit to 50% of a home’s value, or a maximum of $100,000

Storms blast South, where tornadoes threaten several states

9.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia at a moderate risk of severe weather

Private cargo ship brings Easter feast to the space station

There are three Americans two Russians and one Canadian living on the space station

Notre Dame rector: “Computer glitch” possible fire culprit

The fire burned through the lattice of oak beams supporting the monument’s vaulted stone ceiling

B.C. senior sentenced for sexually abusing special-needs granddaughter

73-year-old Cortes Island man will go to jail for three years

Police probe eight fires set at B.C. elementary school

Nanaimo RCMP say fires appear to have been set intentionally

Howe Sound Queen sailing toward retirement

Vessel now up for auction ends regular runs between Crofton and Vesuvius at the beginning of June

Should B.C. lower speed limits on side roads to 30 km/h?

Vancouver city councillor wants to decrease speed limits along neighbourhood side roads

Most Read