Riding the zipline at Calgary Olympic Park


There’s a tall structure that most Calgarians are familiar with in the northwest corner of the city, and that’s the ski jump at Calgary Olympic Park. Used for the 1988 Winter Olympics, one would imagine that a ski jump doesn’t have a whole lot of use during the summer. As it turns out, there’s a zip line that starts at the top of the jump. That zipline happens to be the fastest in North America. And the ride? Fun as hell.


Tannis got me a ride on the zip lines at COP for my birthday, and so on a sunny Saturday morning we headed over. We were suited up in harnesses that, when used, are like incredibly comfy pseudo-hammocks. After a brief safety orientation, we headed out to the beginner zip line. My harness was attached to the line, and for a few seconds I flew down. The ride ends when the harness hits the springs at the end.


We were driven to the top of the hill, and took an elevator to the top of the tower. I volunteered to go first, so that I wouldn’t get psyched out by watching other people go on the line first. As I went down the line it felt as if I was free-falling, and I was going so fast that the moisture in my eyes whipped to the sides of my face. The ride was over far too soon, and as I slid into the springs, I had to resist the urge to run up the hill and try it again.

I would definitely recommend the zip line for the thrill-seeker with a morning to kill. It’s a little pricey, but if you only go once you will still have a blast.