A wild zip-line run above the treetops By Hugo Martin
VALLECIT0, Calif. — As I step off a 25-foot-tall wooden platform, a shrill scream nearly drowns out the high-pitched zipping sound of a metal pulley spinning along a half-inch metal cable above me.
Legs flailing, hair blowing in the wind, a white-knuckle grasp on a harness, I fly at 40 mph toward a tiny tower barely visible in the distance. A blur of trees, shrubs and hiking trails flies past my feet. It's all happening so fast that it's hard to take in. If only that annoying girlie scream would stop.
Wait a minute. That falsetto is mine.
Then it's over. Somehow I miraculously slow down and swing to a stop, and I'm standing on the other tower, ready to do it again.
This is a zip line, the high-thrill, high-wire act that's currently sweeping through wilderness and ski resorts, and once you've ridden one, it's easy to understand its popularity.
Zip lines can be built in a few months; they appeal to adrenaline junkies of all ages; and they are completely carbon-neutral, relying on simple gravity instead of internal combustion.