I’m finding it hard to lift my arms high enough to type this morning. Yesterday was Treetop Trekking day. Louise Smith, who jumped off the top of the corporate ladder years ago for a simpler, more meaningful and healthy lifestyle, (but somehow is climbing the corporate ladder at TTT) met Bev Erdenberger and I at the Barrie location in Horseshoe Valley for an AMAZING day at the park.
What is Treetop Trekking you ask. Glad you did! Check out their promotional video below.
Louise introduced us to everyone who worked at the park and then got us all harnessed up in our safety stuff. Between the harness around each leg and around our wastes, two (not one) but TWO safely lines and zip line rollers, I don’t think I could of hurt myself no matter how hard I tried.
We started off with a few minutes on the orientation lines where we were shown how to clip in, to climb the ladders, double clip to walk across a cable and triple locked in for the zip line, we headed off to the easiest of 6 circuits to give it a go.
The course ladders were a bit higher than ordination. I kept telling myself that, I used to be afraid of heights but, that was yesterday! It worked for a while. :-)
The first “Game” (they call it a game – sort of like- oh, this is fun!!) was a tightrope walk between a couple of trees. We walked along one line of super thick aircraft cable (about 75′) and held onto another cable the same size, about 5′ above the line we walked on. Both safely clips are attached to the top line also. If I did slip off, I’d only fall about a foot anyway. The bottom line was about 10′ in the air. The trick here was to pushes the line out one way with your hands and the other with your feet. Interestingly enough, that was easier to do in the middle than at either end.
I’d done this with Louise a couple of years ago. I was in better shape at the time. I remembered it being the most unbelievable core workout that I’d ever done. I was nervous about doing this yesterday because, I’m not in good shape at all . . . . well, unless you consider ’round’ a good shape!
Out I went, sliding my feet, gripping the line with my gloved hands as hard a possible, trying not to look down.When I got to the other side, I felt great. The platforms at each end of the game feel like ‘home sweet (safe) home’ at the end of every game. Bev came along after me, at probably twice the speed or maybe three times the speed that I’d done it in. “Fearless” she is! Louise followed along behind us like she was walking along a path through the woods! (showoff!!!!) :-)
The next game entailed a double line with boards about a foot wide between each line. Again, another line above to hold and clip onto. I just knew that the boards were going to flip over and send me flying through the (for 12″ perhaps) by the time I got to the middle. Slowly, slowly, step step step with an occasional breath tossed in, I got to the other side. I’m such a chicken shit. I HATE heights. I think I may hold the course record for being the slowest most careful person on the course ever. Again, reaching the other end and standing on that platform was heaven. Sold ground. Not swaying in the breeze. Fantastic. I had a chance to catch my breath again while Bev worked her way across then then Louise gleefully skipping along behind us.
Game after game with a few zip lines tossed in we went. Each course got a bit tougher. By each course I was more an more tired. Louise was giving us tips on occasional ‘easier ways’ of doing each game. She loving shook the lines occasionally, just to make them bit more more fun (for her anyway) as we worked our way through the courses. By the time I got to the last course, I was totally exhausted. My legs hurt, my arms, my shoulders ached, my leather gloves were completely soaked with sweat. My stomach muscles felt like I’d been run over by a truck, many many times. but, every time I got to the platform at the end, I felt like a million bucks for making it through yet another one.
All of these games and zip lines run through the woods so, whenever I did get a chance to stand (clipped in always) on a platform, the scene around was beautiful. I reminded me of climbing trees in the forest when I was a kid or, sitting in the tree fort above the forest floor. We lucked out with the weather. It was a bit overcast but, almost no winds in the forest and, the temperature as comfortable. Both Bev and I talked on the way up about what we thought we’d wear while playing. We both decided to drop the jackets just before we started and, we were glad we did. That workout sure brought our body temperatures up.
Bev didn’t like the zip lines in the beginning. Personally, I felt ever so slightly less wimpish seeing her a bit afraid of SOMETHING along the way. Just about all of the ‘games’ scared the crap out of me but, Bev was LOVING everything else. We finally got a a good sized zip line. I got across first. I LOVED the zip lines and videoed Bev and then Louise.
The final event was the “Big Zip”. It’s 700 – 800′ feet long. It goes from one side of the park to the other. They walk over to the beginning of it meant we had to walk up a hill. After the workout we’d just done, that felt like the hardest climb ever but, the zip was worth it for sure. Apparently, you each speeds of 45 mph. Just AMAZING!!
We ended up exhausted but, we had more fun than you can imagine. I’ve tried a couple of times to organize a trip up there with my old triathlon group of friends but, scheduling always turned out to be a nightmare so, I’ve given up on that. Too bad though. The workout is far beyond what any of us have ever done in the gym. Add in the fun and the sunshine and, it’s AMAZING.
We grabbed a quick bite afterwards. It was great that Louise was able to take some time off to take us through the course and then spend a bit of time with us afterwards. I wasn’t going to be surprised if Bev didn’t go back home and quit her job to go and work at the park!
What a great adventure. If you ever get the chance, or, if you can somehow make the time go do this. It’s more fun than you can ever imagine. If you want to go and, want company, let me know. I’ll go anytime!