Leaning back into a harness with knees tucked into chest, I took off into the lush canopy of trees. The cool breeze rushed past as I zipped over the familiar ski trails more than 100 feet below.
My boyfriend, Matt, and I recently joined longtime Bretton Woods adventure guides Steve Nichipor and Rob Wisnouckas for a thrilling three-hour excursion boasting a 1,000-foot descent from the top of Rosebrook Canyon to the mountain’s base.
Participants zip across a total of nine lines, navigate two bouncy sky bridges and rappel off three of the 16 tree platforms. The longest zip takes riders on an 830-foot run 165 feet above the forest floor.
A zipline involves a steel cable suspended on an incline. Riders are attached by harness to a free-moving pulley that slides along the top of the cable as the rider is pulled down the line by gravity. The effect is pure fun.
We were fitted with gear for the tour — safety helmet, burly gloves and seat harness — before jumping into the side-by-side ATV that transported us to the start of the course. The ride up the access roads, bumping along under the gondola and past the Rosebrook summit lodge, set the adventure in motion before the zipping even began.
At the top was a short cable and platform where Steve and Rob demo’d the proper ziplining technique and explained signals for slowing down and stopping once we’d reached the other side. They also showed us how to pull ourselves back up the cable in case we stopped short of the platform. Grabbing onto the cable above and pulling myself backward, I felt like Tom Cruise as the intense “Mission Impossible” theme played in my mind.
The zips became progressively longer during the tour. Each time I braced myself for takeoff, a flutter of butterflies returned to my stomach. Each zip was the perfect amount of thrill, softened by the stunning views of the iconic Omni Mount Washington Resort and the Presidential Range.
Matt and I spent the previous night in the newly renovated Presidential Wing of the hotel. The morning brought a clear view of Mount Washington, with the sun sparkling off the Ammonoosuc River bubbling alongside the golf course just below the room’s balcony. The canopy tour begins across the street.
Matt commented on the new perspective ziplining offers. “We hike, bike, and snowboard, but swinging from tree to tree way above the ground is a unique way to travel down the mountain.”
It was clear how much our guides enjoy what they’re doing, too.
“I’m working outside, I meet cool people, and we’re all having a good time,” Wisnouckas said. “It’s an honor to have work like that. It’s not work. It’s fun. It’s a lot of fun.”
The canopy tour runs year-round, providing a variety of experiences that change by season. Wisnouckas likes zipping in winter best. Not only is the landscape gorgeous when blanketed in snow, but participants also fly over skiers underneath, boosting the camaraderie of the season. He also admitted to liking spring, when wildlife is abundant and the buds on trees grow immensely each day.
Nichipor appreciates fall for the opposite reason: The leaves change to vibrant reds, oranges, and yellows before gently releasing to the ground.
On our early June tour, I was stunned by the rich, green leaves and the clear, blue sky, sure signs that summer is in full swing. It seems the excursion is great no matter which season you visit.
For more information about the canopy tour and other resort activities, visit www.brettonwoods.com.