10 questions for Safety of Zip line – Nepal

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“At High Ground, safety- first is our credo. Our adventure acts are all designed and built to meet and, in most situations, surpass international standards. IT’S SAFE!”

This is what it says on High Ground’s official website. But I am not someone who believes everything that’s on the internet.

I was thinking of going for Zip Flying but before that, for my personal satisfaction of course, I wanted to scrutinize it. Now since I work in an excellent travel and adventure company, I got the chance to do some investigation- perks of working in such companies. I got their safety personnel’s number and asked him a few questions.

This blog is an account of all that.

ZipFlyer-nepal

So, is it safe?

Let me answer that with the questions that I asked in my conversation with Mr. Niraj Shrestha, Asst. Sales Manager at HighGround Adventures Nepal.

  • Is the zip line business and High Ground recognized by a credible, authoritative national organization?

Yes, Zip line is a very well recognized business all over the world. Further, Higher Ground is the one and only Zip line operating company in Nepal certified by the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Civil Aviation, Government of Nepal.

  • Do they use poles, tree or steel structures?

The Zip Flyer uses the steel structure, a courtesy of Hulas Steels.

  • Did they use a structural engineer?

Yes, they did. As a matter of fact, the technology and equipments in Zip Flyer has been engineered by Mark Glynn of Glynn Geotechnical Engineering who also designed rides for Disney and Six Flags.

  • What is their method of ensuring that guests don’t slam at the end of a ride?

They have a patented    friction brake which is automatically activated and remains in constant operation at all times. Zip Flyer Nepal uses the award winning magnetic braking system that brings the riders to a safe landing. Braking system has been engineered by QUARTUS ENGINEERING that also designed Space Ship One.

  • How trained are the staffs/ crew members?

The office staffs, guides and the adventure crew are all highly trained and qualified with in- depth knowledge of their respective fields. The staffs have also received rescue training and are certified by Zip Flyer LLC, USA.

  • Do they use a full body harness or a sit harness?

A full body harness is best for zip lines because it prevents the riders from hanging situation in case of pulley jams and so on.

That being said, Higher Ground uses a sit harness but they do have measures that make their sit harness no less than a full body harness.

The Comfort Seat/ Harness holds the rider with three separate restraining straps/ clamps located at the legs, waist and chest, providing triple redundancy. So even if one of the straps fails- which is very unlikely according to them, the others will protect the rider. Moreover, the harness was engineered and built by an Austrian paragliding company who also built harnesses for TUV SUD, ASTM and paragliding standards.

  • What is the width of the cable used and how many attachments are there to the cable?

The old standard was 3/ 8” diameter, 7×19 strands GAC (Galvanized Aircraft cable). High Ground uses 3/4″ high tensioned cables used in tramways and its durability is 20+ years.

  • Does their course have a lightning protection system? If not, why not?

They have a class C lightning protection system as per the requirement. They also don’t allow zip line rides in poor weather conditions.

  • Is the Zip Flyer properly maintained?

There is a daily general safety checks by the trained staffs. They also carry out special maintenance once in a week and intense maintenance every month.

  • Does it meet the standard?

Zip- Flyer system meets and even surpasses every part of the industry standard (the ANSI-B77 Tramway, ASTM and TUV SUD codes). Zip Flyer Nepal is THE MOST TECHNOLOGICALLY advanced zip line in the world.

With all this, I can conclude that the Zip Flyer operated by High Ground in Nepal is safe.

For all of you reading this, I am going to risk my life very soon to make sure this is safe and sound. I will be writing a blog for my zip line experience when I do it. I am pretty sure I will be all right with all my 206 bones.

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10 questions for Safety of Zip line – Nepal
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