Summer is almost here and Buena Vista, and the whole Arkansas River Valley, is starting to buzz with excitement. All of our seasonal summer staff are now settled in at The Adventure Company and A Riverhouse Lodge and we were very excited to all go zip lining at Top of the Rockies Zip Line in Leadville, CO.
Even though it feels like summer is upon us here in Buena Vista, as we drove north to Leadville, we began to see more and more snow still covering the ground, even in June!
After arriving at The Top of the Rockies office, we got checked in, and suited up with harnesses, hardware, helmets and gloves needed to ride the zip lines. Our guides were super friendly and walked us through ‘ground school’ which is a very short, low practice zip line just to see how all the gear works and get used to sitting in the harness.
Luckily, the guides do all the clipping and unclipping for you here, so we didn’t have to worry too much about the technical gear.
Then we rode up about 1,200 feet in an ATV on 4WD dirt roads. The first zip line started at about 11,200 feet, right at tree line. You’ve probably seen that line on the mountains where the trees and everything green stops growing and it’s just bare on the top. Going above tree line is a magnificent place to get the best views of the valley below and Sawatch Mountain Range across the way.
But why does tree line happen? As you go higher in elevation, it becomes consistently colder, and the snow stays packed down on the mountain for so much of the year that trees simply cannot grow or survive there.
Jumping off that first platform was exhilarating and admittedly a little scary at first, because there is no baby stepping into it, you have to take a full on leap to get off the platform.
There are six zip lines in total, with a short hike in between each one. Each line is unique, two people can go down together at the same time on several of them, one line is only for one person at a time, some are very high up and have a good drop off, some are low to the ground and go over creeks or over The Leadville Railroad. On two of the lines we were close enough to supposedly high five on the way down, but we were not that coordinated as you can tell by the photos! And of course we took a running start and tried to race each other down some lines!
Each zip line takes you a little further back down the mountain, until you zip all the way back down to the base, at about 10,000 feet.
I would definitely recommend zip lining at Top of the Rockies to anyone who is up for a daring adventure, whether you’ve never been zip lining or have gone before. The views of the Colorado High Peaks and the beauty and isolation of their property cannot be beat.
Until next time,