The Mountain Times

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Okemo’s Adventure Zone takes guest to new heights

Okemo Mountain Resort's Adventure Zone is taking visitors to new heights this summer with the addition of Sawyer's Sweep zipline tour. The new high-flying, treetop tour located on the mountain behind the Resort's Jackson Gore Inn will feature a rope ladder, suspended bridges, tree platforms and seven ziplines that rise 40 to 50 feet above the ground.

The time required to complete a zipline tour is about two hours. Groups of up to eight people, accompanied by two expert guides, start with 30 minutes of Ground School. Each guest is fitted with a harness and becomes acquainted with safety procedures and techniques for riding the ziplines. Afterward, groups are transported up the mountain to begin a descent along seven ziplines; the longest of which is 900 feet. Okemo's zipline tour will operate year-round with a different experience in every season. Tours will depart every half hour between 8 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. daily. Zipline riders must be at least 10 years old and weigh less than 250 pounds.

Also new to Okemo's Adventure Zone this summer, the Amp Energy Big Air Bag is a giant inflatable pillow, similar to those used by Hollywood-movie stuntmen. Introduced in January as an on-mountain feature for skiers and snowboarders, the Amp Energy Big Air Bag is 30 feet wide and 50 feet long. It has two inflatable chambers: the bottom chamber is firm, maintaining stability, while the upper one is soft for a soothing landing. Internal air pumps ensure constant air pressure. Tickets are sold individually at $6 a jump, or three jumps for $15. A release of liability must be signed by the user or a parent or guardian before use.

Another Adventure Zone introduction this year is slacklining. This deft display of acrobatics takes place on a ribbon of nylon webbing stretched between two anchors. Unlike a tightrope, a slackline is flat, measuring an inch or two in width, and is set close to the ground with a tension that allows for stretching, bouncing and performing tricks. Okemo's slackline is set up for visitors to test their skills of balance free of charge.

Rounding out this year's introductions will be Segway Personal Transport tours and a rock-climbing pinnacle.

Okemo's Adventure Zone made its debut last summer with its anchor attraction, The Timber Ripper Mountain Coaster, plus Lumberin' Cal Mini Golf, The Stump Jumper Trampoline Bungee Jump, The Maples Disc Golf Course, Twiggy's Snack Bar and The Ripper Arcade and Gift Shop.

The Timber Ripper, a roller-coaster-like ride, follows the natural contours of the mountain at speeds nearing 30 mph. Sled-like cars designed to carry one or two riders, are firmly attached to stainless steel tubular rails and are equipped with brakes, so riders determine the speed of their 375-vertical-foot descent. The Timber Ripper ride starts and ends in Okemo's Adventure Zone.

Following a suspenseful 1600-foot climb straight up the mountain, cars release from the tow cable and glide smoothly around turns, between trees, and along 3100 feet of track that twists through corkscrew turns, along banking loops and over rippling waves and camel backs before finally coasting toward the terminal. The Timber Ripper operates throughout the year in most weather conditions. Tickets are priced at $13 for drivers and $9 for passengers. Drivers must be at least 48 inches tall to operate the sled and passengers must be more than 36 inches tall to ride Okemo's mountain coaster.

Tagged: Okemo Mountain Resort, Adventure Zone