"When in doubt, put your legs out!” No, it’s not a new sexual position, but it could be the next best thing. Zip lining. Yes, zip lining at speeds of up to 60 mph across the desert hills could be the thrill of a lifetime.
Flightlinez, the company that operates two zip lines in the Las Vegas area is definitely the way to boost the excitement quotient in your boring, everyday life. We promise you, hitch up to one of their zip lines and you won’t feel the same again.
Since we were staying downtown on this trip, we went to Fremont Street to check out the action of old downtown Las Vegas. It is waaaay different than the “Strip.” For one thing, you can comfortably walk around the closed street and there are much shorter distances between attractions, hotels and restaurants. While it may lack some of the glitz of the mammoth hotels and casinos further north, it is well worth visiting and even booking a room there. This is the area where you get a feel for the real character and characters of Las Vegas! We took pictures with Elvis for good luck, just before climbing up to the Fremont Street Flightlinez.
Walking underneath the attraction and looking up, it seemed like pure fun – four people flying overhead, emitting loud shouts and screams. Was it joy? Fear? Excitement? It grabbed us, for sure, so that we had to find out more, and immediately headed over to sign up for our chance to soar over Fremont Street.
As we climbed up the erector-set-like stairs to the launching platform, we realized it seemed so much higher when we were up there, than from the ground looking up. No kidding! Little tingles of fear began to pulse along our nerve endings and drops of sweat started running down from our armpits.
Do we really want to do this? Can we do this? The idea was to try this shorter and slower zip line before embarking on Flightlinez’s other longer, faster, and much higher-in-the-sky zip line in the desert. Just about the time we were considering backing out, one of the Flightlinez crew members said, “Hold this and stick your legs in here.”
Before we knew it, we were each scrunched into a harness, ready to launch, and it was too late to “chicken out.” Suddenly, we were flying above the people below, and swiftly soaring towards the other side.
As the speed picked up, we started to relax, but then we turned backwards and forwards again before our breathing returned to normal. Before you could say, “Wowwwww,” the ride was over. So fast? What a thrill! But painfully too short.
The downtown experience definitely whetted our appetitites for something more, something longer, something to relish before it’s over. Something really scary! We vowed to go out to the desert for the 60 miles an hour/ 200 feet high over the ground Flightlinez tour. Hey, we were “pros” now!
So, we made arrangements to go out to Boulder City, NV at Bootleg Canyon for the longer, four-platform version of Las Vegas zip lining.
Flightlinez makes it easy for you by having a bus that leaves from the strip and gets you out to Bootleg Canyon in less than an hour. This is your chance to meet some of the other brave folks who have signed on for something each of them is unquestionably nervous about doing. It was apparent from their anxious faces and only a little nervous chatter among the 16 passengers as they each secretly pondered, “What have I gotten myself into?”
When we arrived at Flightlinez headquarters, the apprehension of the group seemed to dissipate when we were introduced to our flight crew. These are a bunch of wildly enthusiastic hipsters who are extremely serious about their responsibility. The first thing they asked: “Did anyone do the Flightlinez downtown?” We were the only ones to raise our hands.
Everyone was huddled into a large room where the mechanical aspects of what we were about to do were carefully explained. Safety was stressed over and over to assuage any worries in the group. After that, we were helmeted and suited up, while being reminded again about how to hold our straps and repeat, “When in doubt, legs out!”
Then we all piled into the bus for the trip up the mountain. Everybody was feeling pretty confident after “flight school.”
These are not the highest mountains you’ve ever seen, but when you see the first take-off platform and the wires connecting each peak with the landing platform at the other end, you suddenly realize, “This is for real.” There’s a whole lot of desert below that participants will be flying over, starting at about 1200 feet above sea level.
There are four separate “take-offs” and “landings” as you zip line your way down to base camp. And the most fun we’ve had in our lives!
The flight crew carefully gets each person settled into their harness, again going over the instructions:
“That is where you are going.”
“This is where you start.”
The first take-off is the scariest, simply because it is the first. But what a blast!
Following their instructions to hold your straps and keep your legs up, you can moderate your speed to your liking. That’s what their slogan, “When in doubt, keep your legs out” means. You just have to make sure you are going fast enough to reach the landing platform or you will be sitting out there like a bird on a telephone wire, alone until the crew can go out on the line and bring you in. If you are going too fast, the crew on the platform signals you to slow down. Landing is easy and stopping is a no-brainer with the huge pads to slow your progress. It’s all great fun.
Reaching speeds of 50 – 60 mph is possible. I doubt that we went that fast. But no question – you want the thrill to last as long as possible, and seeing the views and watching the ground undulating beneath you is a hoot.
After the three landings taking you down the mountains, it seems like the final stop comes too soon. Wow - zip lining is exhilarating! We wanted to go again, but the next nervous bunch of enthusiasts was right behind us, and our bus was loading for the trip back to Vegas.
The ride back to the Strip was distinctly different from the ride there. Everyone was excitedly talking about their experience and how much fun it was. Fear and mystery had been replaced with joy and the pride of accomplishment. And, oh yeah, the desire to return soon for more!
Zip lining is probably not something you think about when going to Las Vegas, but you should. It could be the best diversion for forgetting about all the money you lost in the casino!
Whether you go for the shorter Flightlinez at Fremont that has you hovering over the tourists below you, craning their necks to watch, or for the longer and more thrilling Bootleg Canyon version, it’s a fantastic fun treat. The Flightlinez crews are great folks whose sole job is to ensure you are safe and happy. Be sure to check out Flightlinez for some real Las Vegas excitement.
Flightlinez at Fremont
425 Fremont St
Flightlinez at BootlegCanyon
1512 Industrial Road
Published on Feb 12, 2013