After being cooped up in the house for most of the winter, the kids are beginning to get restless. They’ve asked you to go ziplining, which you most associate with the dog days of summer. Are any zipline companies even open this time of year? More so, is ziplining in the snow safe?
Yes, you can usually zipline while it’s snowing, although that depends on how much snow is falling and the level of visibility. Snow, like rain, can create speedier conditions than when ziplining in dry weather.
In this article, we’ll talk further about ziplining in the snow, including what to expect and what to wear. We’ll even recommend a few zipline courses that are especially gorgeous in the winter, so make sure you keep reading! You won’t want to miss it.
Can You Go Ziplining in the Snow?
Lots of ziplining companies are open through the winter. For many of them, such as in Colorado and Alaska, that could very well be when these companies get the most business!
Ziplining in the snow is a completely different experience than ziplining in sunny, clear weather. That’s why many ziplining companies will let you on the course even if the forecast is calling for snowy weather. Well, depending on what kind of snow you’re getting.
If the weatherperson is calling for only light flurries, there should be no reason to cancel your scheduled zipline ride. If the snow is falling steadily but not really sticking to the ground, that too should put you in the clear for your ziplining trip.
Once the snow starts coming down steadily and is sticking on anything and everything, your zipline ride could be delayed or postponed for a clearer day. A coating of snow on the ziplining components could make their operation unpredictable and thus unsafe.
You also won’t want to step on either of the zip lining platforms when they’re snow-covered, as you could slip if you’re not steady on your feet!
Even if the snow isn’t that strong but the wind is, you might have to reschedule your ride. Powerful winds make ziplining dangerous, so the zipline company shouldn’t let you go ahead with your ride down the course.
It should go without saying then that in severe winter weather, your ziplining trip will be postponed or possibly canceled. Severe weather would include blizzard conditions as well as hail.
If you’re not sure whether your zipline ride will go on as scheduled or be canceled for the day, we recommend checking the social media pages of the zipline company you scheduled through. They should post about their availability for the day. You can also call.
What Are the Benefits of Ziplining in the Snow?
You’re happy to hear you could take the kids zip lining this winter if you wanted to, but it’s so cold out. Is ziplining in the snow really worth it?
Most certainly! Here are some reasons that will incentivize you to schedule that zipline trip before the weather warms up.
Adds a Unique Element to Your Zipline Ride
If your kids have gone ziplining dozens of times in the past, it can get kind of boring for them. That’s just how kids are. By ziplining when the world is covered in snow or even when it’s actively snowing, now their zipline ride is more transformative.
Everything will feel novel to them again, which could reignite their interest in ziplining.
Gets the Kids Outside
Your kids spend almost all summer outside playing with their friends or the neighbor kids, but in the winter, they’re mostly stuck indoors. Ziplining is an exciting way to get the kids up off the couch and outside where they can get some exercise and fresh air. Plus, everyone will take a break from their smartphones, which is always refreshing.
Lets You Drink in the Beauty of Nature
There’s something special about the beauty of winter that you don’t get during any other time of the year. The world seems almost to stop and everything is tranquil and picturesque. Even if your kids aren’t paying much attention to that, this is a perk that you and your spouse or partner can enjoy.
Might Run into Fewer Tourists
If you live near a popular ziplining company, then you know how jam-packed the place can always be in the summer. During the winter, tourists aren’t as inclined to drive out and spend a day ziplining. This means shorter lines and less hassle for you!
We saved the biggest benefit for last. If you remember our article on ziplining in the rain, we talked about how the zipline cable and wheel bearings have less friction in wet weather, which increases your ziplining speed. This is regardless of your weight, which is something that usually doesn’t happen when ziplining on a sunny day.
It’s the same case when ziplining in the snow. Your kids will love the extra speed boost.
What to Wear When Ziplining in the Winter
If you want to maximize your fun when ziplining in the winter, you and the kids must dress appropriately. Otherwise, you’ll be cold, wet, and cranky within 20 minutes. Here is a list of gear to shop for ahead of your ride.
Let’s start with the upper half of your body. Under your coat, what you wear is very important in insulating you. You need at least two layers but use your discretion. If the weather is going to be in the upper 30s or so, then you might wear a base layer and then your winter jacket as your main layer.
On those bone-chilling winter days when the temperatures are nearly in the single digits, then you certainly need two layers besides your winter jacket. Both layers should be relatively form-fitting and moisture-wicking.
Of all the materials to avoid when layering, cotton is at the top of the list. That’s due to cotton’s inability to wick away moisture like sweat. The sweat will just stay trapped against your body, making you feel colder.
For your outer layer, you need a winter jacket, but don’t just grab whichever winter garb you find in your coat closet first. The jacket should be lightweight. You don’t want to be so bulky in your coat that the zip line crew has a hard time hooking on your harness and other equipment. Then your safety could be at risk.
You also need flexibility in your winter jacket. If you can’t lift your arms over your head or pivot your body easily, then your coat is too constricting.
If you want to forego head protection, you can. After all, you’ll wear a helmet when ziplining anyway. However, a helmet won’t keep your head warm like a beanie can. Buy one that’s stretchy so you can pull it over your ears and they won’t get cold. The beanie must also be thin so you can easily wear a helmet over it.
Alternately, you can try a balaclava, which is a face mask with an opening around the mouth and part of the nose. You won’t have to worry about your nose and ears getting frigid in one of these.
Scarves are also optional. If your winter coat has a tall collar, that should protect your neck enough from the cold. Zip your coat all the way up but make sure you’re not choking yourself!
If you do decide to wear a scarf, choose a shorter one. Wrap it firmly around your neck and then tuck any excess parts into your coat, zippering the coat over the scarf ends. Having loose fabric like a scarf could get caught in any of the parts of the zip line once you start racing down the course, which can be very dangerous.
Keep those digits toasty with a pair of gloves. Although mittens can provide plenty of warmth, they’re too clumsy for you to wear when ziplining, especially if you want to hold on tight when you ride.
Thin but insulating gloves with grips on the palms and the insides of the fingers will protect your fingers without interrupting your zipline experience.
A pair of waterproof snow pants are a must when ziplining. Although you won’t be sitting in or near the snow at any point during your ziplining experience, these pants will keep your lower half warm as you stand in line and wait for your turn on the zip line.
On especially cold days, we’d suggest a pair of long johns under your snow pants. This is just like how you layered your clothes on the upper half of your body for excellent insulation.
The footwear you choose when ziplining is important. Since you’re racing in a downward trajectory, you need shoes that fit securely on your feet. You don’t have to worry about flying flip-flops in the winter, but you don’t want your boots to get soaked through to your socks either.
Winter boots provide protection from water. The boots should have soles with lugs for traction so you don’t slip on a snowy path. Tuck your snow pants into the boots to avoid any exposed skin.
These Are 5 of the Best Places for Snowy Ziplining
Are you not sure where to schedule your wintertime zipline excursion? No problem! We found 5 such places that will take your frosty breath away with their amazing scenery.
In the Smoky Mountains of Gatlinburg, Tennessee is CLIMB Works. They also have a location in Oahu, Hawaii, but you won’t be able to zipline in the snow there.
The Mountaintop Zipline Tour is especially beautiful during the snowy season, as you can drink in snowcapped mountains and bare trees covered in white. This dual ziplining tour lasts two hours, and you’ll be hydrated throughout so you’re ready to ride.
Recommended for zipliners ages seven and up, the Mountaintop Zipline Tour is considered easy to moderate. The weight limit for riders is 250 to 270 pounds.
Breckenridge Zip Line Tour
In Breckenridge, Colorado is the Breckenridge Zip Line Tour, which also happens to include snowmobiling tours if you’re interested in that. The grounds are 2,000 expansive acres with ziplines up to 800 feet tall.
As you ascend the course and then ride down, you’ll see gold mines, canyons, and mountainsides. The only three times you can zipline here are at 9 a.m., noon, and 3 p.m.
Near Ottawa, Canada is Arbraska Lafleche. When ziplining here, the descent is an astounding 850 feet, which will give you and the kids something to talk about for a long time to come!
If you want to make a day out of it, Arbraska Lafleche also features a snowshoeing experience that lasts nearly two hours as well as a fascinating and educational tour of the Canadian Shield, which is one of the biggest caves in the area.
Wrap up your day with a nice break around a roaring fire complete with hot chocolate.
New Hampshire’s White Mountains have never looked better than when rushing on a zipline at Alpine Adventures. Since 2006, their Zipline Canopy Tour has held records in New England for speed, height, and duration.
The zipline course is located on 300 spacious acres. You can choose from five different ziplines, the shortest of which is 250 feet and the longest which is 1,000 feet! The shorter courses are ideal for beginners.
The two-hour tour requires at least two riders. If your kids are under the age of 16, you must accompany them. The height limit is six feet, five inches and the weight limit is 240 pounds.
Denali Zipline Tours
In Talkeetna and Seward, Alaska is Denali Zipline Tours. The Talkeetna Zipline & Canopy Adventure north of Anchorage is intended for riders ages 10 and up. The tour lasts three hours, in which you’ll get to see snowy forests, the Susitna and Chuitna valleys, kettle ponds, ravines, and ridges.
As you ride, you’ll zipline across the Reflection Pond on a 600-foot course. The weight limit is up to 270 pounds.
South of Anchorage is Stoney Creek Canopy Adventures in Seward. This tour is also three hours and is meant for riders 10 and up who are 270 pounds at most. One of the ziplines is a moderate 65 feet long while another is 1,110 feet and lets you see beautiful ponds and valleys.
If the kids have never gone ziplining in the snow, treat them this winter. It’s so much more fun to zip line when the world is covered in snow, plus, you’ll go faster too. Why not schedule a zipline ride today?