Today was the day I went ziplining for the first time! We crossed the Rivière Saguenay and headed east for a small rural area known as Cap Jaseux, located just inside the clutches of Saguenay. The roads in Cap Jaseux are like a roller coaster since the fjord is such a hilly and rocky area. It’s a good thing that I have a strong stomach!
Cap Jaseux is the kind of place that has moss covered forests and skinny little pine trees. It is really quite beautiful. The sunlight filters in through the pine boughs and it gives the whole forest a fairytale kind of atmosphere. It was the perfect day for being active; bright, sunny, but under 20 degrees Celsius in the shade. It was exactly what I needed.
The ziplining happened in the middle of the forest, which edged along the Rivière Saguenay. There aren’t any houses or cars along this stretch of the river to block your view. And I did climb quite high above the tree-line to get some stunning views. The trees and wilderness seem to continue forever! I can only imagine what the region’s first visitors would have thought when they saw this haven centuries ago.
Once I had hiked into the forest, I was fitted with a harness. There was a practice course only four feet off the ground, so you may get used to all of the cables and pulleys involved. I then made my way through four full ziplining courses, all located several stories from the ground. The harnesses have two safety carabiners plus another carabiner for attaching you to the zipline. The reason for having so many attachments is so you never need to completely unattach yourself when transferring safety lines. You may unhook one, transfer it to another line, and only then may you unhook the other, in case something happens in between.
The ziplining courses were progressively harder and I wasn’t sure if I could finish the last one. Along with the ziplining, there were obstacle courses, ladders, Tarzan ropes, rock climbing, rope nets, swings and tight ropes to traverse. It was a lot of work! At the very last course, near the end, there was a slender pole with a ladder running up it. I knew I was safe and secured in my harness, and so nothing would happen if I slipped my grip, but being that high above the ground and climbing even higher is intimidating! Especially since I am so used to being so near the ground (being as short as I am!).
It took a lot of mental strength to convince me to climb up that ladder. I suppose I didn’t really have a choice; I couldn’t go back the way I came. But the mind won over the matter, and I managed to get myself up to the top of that pole and I took a wonderful picture to capture my victory!
I later found out that I was one of only four who were able to successfully finish the last course that day. I am not surprised; it was insanely demanding. It is a very gratifying feeling to know that you pushed yourself, mind and body, and you succeeded in your challenge. One thing is for sure though: I am going to sleep well tonight!