03 April 2011

Catalina Island Ziplines!

One of Santa Catalina's most exciting attractions is the newly installed zipline ecotour located 5 minutes directly north of Avalon. Tucked away in a steep, lush canyon, this zipline is a great way to see breathtaking views of the island's topographical beauty, as well as a rare skyline view of the greater Los Angeles area. 

Here is a map tour of the route:
Downtown Avalon to Zipline base camp

Bus ride to 1st platform

The first zipline is short and close to the canyon side. It allows you to get a much needed feel for the experience because the next line is much longer, faster, and higher above the ground!
Line 1 - a gentle intro!

Line two took us soaring across the entire valley. As i exited the zipline's platform, the canyon floor dropped away beneath my feet and I really began to feel the full force of the ocean breeze, in a scary and exhilarating swaying sensation.
Line 2: straight across the entire width of the valley

Line 3: back across the valley

Line 4: by far the fastest!

Line 5: slow and mellow
 Here is the whole route. It took about 90 minutes to complete, and at each station the guides told us interesting facts and history about the surrounding buildings, flora, and fauna. Additionally, hilariously lame, tension-easing jokes were plentiful and much appreciated by myself and my fellow zipliners.
The whole route
 Here is a view looking in from over the water.
Route w/ elevations, as approximated (poorly) by my GPS

View of Avalon, the harbor, and zip line
route directly north (right) of town
Here is the speed and elevation profile for the zipline course (including travel to the zipline base camp, bus ride to start platform, and some travel back to town.) The zip line starts at 4 km total distance and goes until 5 km. The fastest line hit 100 km/h (about 60 mph)!

To see the route in Google Earth, you can download this gpx file!

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