“What was your favorite part of the Zip Wild Adventure Course?” I asked my nine-year-old son. “When you got stuck in that skinny rope tunnel. That was pretty funny!” Of course, it was.
The funniest part is actually that I found myself still getting stuck on what was by then my third outing on Northwest Trek’s Zip Wild Adventure Course. For whatever reason, the “challenge” part of this “zip line challenge course” seems to fade into the back of my mind while Zip line! takes over any available lucid space.
My first experience was on Zip Wild’s Adventure course in 2012. I brought a small group of travel writers to experience this brand new attraction at Northwest Trek. We suited up, filled out our waivers, and navigated a small practice course so we could familiarize ourselves with the ropes, carabiners, and zip line pulley. Feeling we were trustworthy enough to proceed, the guides pointed us toward our initial challenge, a 30-foot climbing wall we’d need to scale to reach the first launching platform. In a moment that can only be described as ‘you’re never too far into your career to learn something new’, I listened to my group and became the first participant to scale this wooden warden, eager to dive into this new venture. It is here I will point out that I should have shifted from my leadership role to a ‘sweeper’ role. After I took off, the group chickened out, and I was committed to 45 minutes of navigating through the forest canopy to its end, alone. Facepalm!
My innate desire to mark a milestone birthday with something out of the ordinary brought me to my second Zip Wild adventure in 2013. This time, I decided I was going higher, and harder. A group of 13 of my most daring girlfriends came along and we suited up, passed the practice course, and headed into the trees. The Sensation course is the most challenging and is for folks over 18 years of age and 4’7” and taller. This is with good reason. Swinging from landing platform to pirate net, Peter Pan-style, looks incredibly easy when actors do it. For those of us with no formal Tarzan training or semblance of upper body strength, it becomes more of a “getting acquainted” session between groins and safety harnesses. But with more work comes bigger rewards and the zip lines are higher, longer, and more thrilling.
It was another birthday party that brought me to the Zip Wild Adventure Course a third time just this month. On this occasion my son was too young to try the higher courses, and needed to be with a parent, so we tried the Discovery course. This course is for folks eight years old and up. Its climbing wall to the first platform is only 14 feet high. The zip lines are milder, but the rope tunnels and tightropes prove just as challenging, to spite being closer to the forest floor.
If you’re ready for an adventure, enjoy a solid challenge and a nice adrenaline rush, the Zip Wild Adventure Course is worth every penny.
Costs depend on which of the five courses you choose, and are in addition to the entry fee into Northwest Trek itself. Reservations are recommended and can be made online. Participants should show up 30 minutes prior to their reservation time in order to fill out waivers and put on gear. Close-toed shoes are required. Guides check equipment, certify participants are ready to go, and follow groups out onto courses.