Colca Zip-Lining: Meet the Monster
Thrill-seekers and adventure junkies, drop what you’re doing, it’s time to meet the Monster. Think you’ve been on a zip line before? Yeah, unless you’ve been to Colca Canyon recently, I don’t think so.
The brainchild of the completely insane and totally cool Peruvian American Natan, Colca Zip-Lining takes the art of cabled flight to awesome extremes. Natan is kind of like the Picasso of zip lines: he stands back, stares at the cliffs and then lays a stretch of line that makes people go, “Whaaat?!”
We, along with our cable comrades Rossana and Pedro, signed up for the full package. (We don’t like to do anything halfway.) Natan and his zip-lining sidekick David fit us with harnesses and helmets, and we were set to go.
The zip line adventure caters to both newbies and experienced zip-liners. After zip line basic training, you hit the lower cables gliding through strands of eucalyptus back and forth over the canyon as well as some ancient terraces. The first lines are beautiful but relatively moderate runs that allow newbies to get their feel for starting and braking. For some people, the lower lines might be thrill enough. But zip line aficionados and those who love adventure will definitely need to keep climbing.
And when we say climbing, we aren’t joking. Perhaps Nathan’s greatest creation (or should I say act of insanity) is the hair-raising ladders he built leading up to the platform for the Monster. Thomas had to practically go into a trance to suppress that old fear of heights. Hilariously, halfway up the ladders, Nathan stuck his head into a small cave and casually commented, “Hey, look at those big droppings – I wonder if a mountain lion is sleeping in there.” Excuse me?
At the top, the thrills continue as they hook you onto the Monster and you shoot down the 500-meter cable soaring through the skies like a zip-lining god. Take a moment to gaze upon the mere mortals 100 meters below staring up at you in awe, worshipping your flight. (And watch as they run to the office to sign up for the next zip-lining trip.) The views are outrageous. If you dare, you can even do a 360 or two on the way down. But don’t forget to get those gloved hands ready to brake.
You might think that nothing could top the Monster, but you’d be wrong. Nathan has created a line which is so steep that zip-liners have to wear a parachute to slow them down. Seriously, I’m not making that up. As he was explaining the process, I was like, “Ummm, you want us to do what?!”
Of course, there’s always the second option, which Rossana chose. For zip-liners who don’t want to use the parachute, Nathan will hook you up to the cable and send you sailing down sans chute. He then races down behind you, grabs you mid-cable, and does a hard brake for two before arriving at the lower platform. Wow!
Think I’m making this up? We caught it all on film as well as Pedro doing a zip line upside down, so make sure you hit play on the video above. Of course, I would have done a line upside down too, but – cough, cough – I was wearing a GoPro, so I didn’t want to risk having it fall off my head. 😉
In total, visitors who do the full package zoom down an amazing mile of cable. And they are even talking about adding more runs in the future. As if that weren’t enough, there is an ancient cave tomb at one of the switchbacks which still contains human remains. Nathan assured us it was NOT an old customer. 😉
We thought Colca Zip-Lining was a total blast. Nathan and David were a huge amount of fun and we enjoyed every second of this awesome experience. We can’t wait to see what they dream up next. If you would like to find out more about Colca Zip-Lining and about the Monster, visit them at www.colcaziplining.com.