When I say the word “winter” you probably think about sitting by a fire inside with a cup of hot cocoa, a fuzzy blanket, and a good book. For me the word winter means chilly days filled with all kinds of outdoor adventures! I work at an adventure company that offers winter zip lining, which means that on any given day I might get a call from some crazy adventure-child wanting to go zip lining even though it’s snowing and 20 degrees outside! It’s my job to take them but I’m happy to do so because if they’re willing to go freeze their butt of 41-feet above the ground for an hour then by-golly I’m going to make it a fun hour!
When we get people who are want to zip in the cold, we have to spend the first ten minutes of their experience stuffing giant winter jackets into harnesses and figuring out how to work around the extra inches of padding. After helmets and gear are all finally in place we start our ascent only to find out how hard it is to climb a few stairs in snowpants and a snow jacket with the extra padding with weight! From the top of the first zip it’s hard to ignore that it’s really really cold! Eyes watering, lips frozen into a smile, and hands un-moving in a death-grip around their lanyard, participants immediately rejoice in their awesome decision to go zip lining in winter because it’s an incredible, memorable adventure that not many people are willing to brave in Wisconsin’s extreme cold.
The second zip is the fastest, and also the most scenic. Flying through the 750 foot long zip, participants try to get a view of the wetland as they pass over. In the spring there are fawn in the grasses, but this time of year you’re greeted by the lovely chickadees who are winter residents. ZOOM. Then in an instant you’re gone and up onto the next platform.
Taking a few steps up, participants complete the last zip in the winter wonderland, reach the ground, take off all of the gear. Abundant thank yous are shouted as everyone rushes to get inside to warm up their rosey faces, watering eyes, and cold fingers. Once all of the adventure gear is put away I take a seat at my desk with a cup of steaming hot cocoa from the secret trail stash. I look out the big, front window and watch the crazy adventurers drive away, smiles still frozen in place. I sure do love my job…even in the winter.
Sincerely – your favorite winter zip line guide!