I wanted to do something for my friends, something they would never do for themselves. I needed a team-building experience that would cater to our motley group of six: various body sizes, interests, and fitness abilities. And I wanted something close to Pokhara so we wouldn’t have to spend half a day or more in a bus. Ziplining in Pokhara was the perfect choice. Something out-of-the-ordinary; something that would inspire and delight.
The drive alone was a morning to remember. HighGround picked us up from our designated meeting spot. As the sun began to rise, thick clouds parted to reveal green hills and square plots of rice. We bumped and curved along on an off-road path to the top of a mountain and ran around like monkeys taking pictures of the valley below.
Our excited group settled down once we were told to step on a scale, and were given basic instructions on how to operate the zipline: one handle to slow the chair, another to break. Laughter turned into nervous chuckles.
Standing at the top of the zipline platform, the area known as Hemja comes into view. The scene feels endless–until it is your turn to step up to the gate, sit down in the chair, and lean back.
I am told to place my feet on a trap door that will open and drop me into the air. One of my friends is in the chair next to me. Since two can fly at a time, you can “race” to the bottom. That we did.
The metal door opens and your chair is catapulted forwards and down. A feeling of weightlessness takes over as the harness drops you six hundred meters. You pick up speed and aren’t sure whether those squeals of delight are coming from you or the friend beside you.
Wind rushes around you as you catch even more speed. When you think the ride should end, it doesn’t. The zipline stretches 1,800 meters and takes at least two minutes to descend. At the base of the ride, waving workers signal for you to clutch the break as you were previously instructed to do.
Then, with shaky legs, you wobble off to the office to see photos and video footage, all available for purchase. You can wait for the other members in your group at the café and order snacks and coffee once your stomach has settled down.
There may be other ziplines in the world, but few can rival the scenery and the experience of gliding down a hillside in Nepal. Unlike those initial few drops of a bungy jump, ziplining offers a continuous feeling of flight. If you’ve ever wanted to feel like a bird, this might be your best bet: it’s definitely an experience to remember.