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A Different View

June 25, 2007 By: Jennifer Merritt Travel Agent

Zip lining can be quite an adventure

Alaska, well known for its wildlife, may soon be better known for adventure, specifically in the form of a 5,330-foot-long zip line that extends from a mountaintop to the beach below in Hoonah, Alaska.  Icy Strait Point's zip line runs across the Icy Strait Point Cannery

Such an excursion is offered by the Juneau, Alaska-based
excursion company Icy Strait
and is available for commissionable booking on Alaska itineraries
through Celebrity Cruises,
Holland America Line, Princess Cruises and Royal Caribbean.

Using a zip line manufactured by ZipRider, the cable
rider—said to be the world's longest—drops 1,300 feet at a speed of up to 60
miles per hour, so it is not for the faint of heart. "The scariest part is
climbing up to the first platform before your first run," says Travel Agent's Debbie Strong, who tried zip lining for a day through the
Sierra Madres on a recent trip to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. "Once you get
past that, the fear is gone and it becomes totally exhilarating."

Icy Strait Point points out that participants must be
between 90 and 275 pounds and be comfortable with heights (obviously!). The
one-hour excursion also includes a narrated bus tour through the village of Hoonah and up the mountainside.

Johan Dybdahl, president of Icy Strait Point, says wildlife
sightings of Sitka black-tailed deer and Alaska coastal brown
bear are common along the way. The company also adds that because the zip line
consists of only a launch tower and landing platform, it produces a minimal
impact to the environment below.

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