If there’s one thing Rob and I would never call ourselves, it’s sappy and traditional. Actually, I wouldn’t say we’re even all that romantic… or normal. So naturally, when it comes to celebrating things they don’t usually involve flowers, chocolate, wine, or sandy all-inclusive beaches. They tend to involve snow, mud, heights, and lots of gear. Needless to say, this weekend of celebrating half a year of marriage (we’ll take any excuse to go have an adventure) was no exception. We went ziplining. It was cold, icy, and it rocked.
Back a few years ago I had the pleasure of visiting Bretton Woods Canopy Tour during an extremely cold and windy day (snow and 45 mph gusts of wind). I had a blast, so naturally when Rob and I decided on zip lining for our semi-anniversary, I recommended Bretton Woods. I had also heard there was some course improvements, so a third of the course was going to seem brand new to me!
So, we made the two hour trek from home up to Bretton Woods. Once there, we made our way to the canopy tour basecamp (right near the main lodge) and met our tour guides Robert and Todd. They quickly introduced themselves, made sure we were properly dressed, and got us ready for what was in store for the afternoon. Most people think of ziplining in the summertime, but honestly I think we both prefer the colder weather. There’s something seriously awesome about trekking through the woods in snowpants, heavy gloves, and wishing you had brought your snowboard goggles. One moment you’re on the ground and the next you’re soaring across a valley 180′ off the ground with a fantastic view of Mt. Washington. And an added bonus? Groups are smaller. We were joined by another couple from Dorchester, MA celebrating their 9 year anniversary!
After a quick chairlift ride to almost the top of Bretton Woods, we made our way to “Ground School” where Robert and Todd demonstrated how easy it was to use our gear, keep safe, and have fun. Once our guides were sure we all had the basics down, we quickly moved off the ground and up into the trees for the actual canopy tour. The tour itself consists of 9 ziplines starting out with some easy, close to the ground runs. You’re also quickly introduced to rappelling with a small and safe 10′ drop off a tree, but you’ll get to do some big rappels later in the trip.
Instead of spoiling all the fun and surprises, I’ll just say that after the initial ziplines, this tour is full of height, speed, and surprises. Unlike other tours that hide in the trees and are literally fool proof, this tour is full of things that will take your breath away, make your eyes water, and get the adrenaline pumping. It’s by far the best I’ve ever done, and I’m looking forward to maybe giving it a try on a hot summer day.
What you need to know: This is a pretty rigorous tour, but it’s still first timer friendly. Be ready to do some easy hiking in a variety of conditions (for us it was mud, ice, and snow) no matter the season. For winter visitors, snow pants and waterproof boots are highly recommended, as are sunglasses or goggles. Gloves, helmets, and all the equipment you need to zip are provided. And there are weight, height, and age restrictions too! Check them out here.
How much does it cost?: For just the ziplining, you’ll be right around $90 a person. They do offer special deals on some holidays and a variety of packages that can be combined with lift tickets, spa visits, and other activities. Also, if you enjoyed your tour – please oh please – tip your guide!
A huge thanks to our guides Robert and Todd for such a fantastic tour. We always appreciate running into folks in the outdoor industry who truly do enjoy their work and have contagious enthusiasm, and these two absolutely did. Hopefully we’ll see you next time! ~ Jillian + Rob