If you like mountain views and have a need for speed, winter zip lining might just be your thing.
I generally get my winter kicks by skiing down big mountains, but there’s something magical about leaving solid ground and swooshing through frosted treetops — not to mention soaring over the skiers on the trails far below.
Perhaps the most fairytale-like view in New Hampshire is of the red-roofed, castle-like Mount Washington Hotel, with its namesake peak rising behind it in a majestic backdrop. This is the vista from the Bretton Woods Canopy Tour, which carries thrill seekers across nine zip lines, over two sky bridges, and down three rappels.
The three-hour guided Canopy Tour begins with a ride up the Bethlehem Express chairlift. From there, it’s a short walk to the practice zip line, where guides demonstrate proper zipping technique, including the all-important braking skill.
The guides then lead zip liners to the first of 16 tree platforms, ranging in height from 10 to 70 feet, where the journey begins: close to a mile of zip lines and some 1,000 vertical feet of descent back to the valley floor.
The course zigs and zags across the trails of the alpine ski area at Bretton Woods, where skiers schuss far below, oblivious to the people zooming through the air above them at speeds up to 35 miles per hour. Along the way, zippers soar through a forest of tall hemlocks — some of them more than 300 years old — where red squirrels chatter from the branches, chickadees sing their ubiquitous song, and porcupines are sometimes spotted napping high in the trees.
Zip liners need no special skills to have a blast in this winter wonderland. Just suit up in warm clothes (Bretton Woods provides helmets, winter gloves, and cat tracks for extra traction on snow boots), bring your sense of adventure, and get ready to fly through the winter sky.
And if you just can’t stay off the slopes, the resort offers zip and ski packages which allow you to zip one day and ski the next — or combine both into one fun-filled day.
The Bretton Woods Canopy Tour is open daily, year-round. For information or to make reservations, call 278-4947 or visit www.brettonwoods.com/Activities/canopy_tour/Overview.
Winter Notes is published on Fridays during ski season. Contact Meghan McCarthy McPhaul at email@example.com.