Most anyone who has attended a summer camp knows what a zip line is. However, for those who don’t, a zip-line (also known as a flying fox, zip wire, or aerial runway) consists of a pulley suspended on a cable mounted on an incline. They are designed to enable a user to traverse from the top to the bottom of the inclined cable – powered by gravity – by holding on or attaching to the freely moving pulley.
While most of the summer camp variety of zip lines are short, low to the ground and intended for child’s play, there are a growing number of professional, zip line tours that are dotting the United States and one of them is located right here in the High Country of Western North Carolina. It is appropriated named "Scream Time Ziplines" as they feature SIX zip lines with the shortest one being 450 feet and the longest at a whopping 800 feet!
Monie & Darcey McCoury, the owners of Scream Time Ziplines, are good friends of mine and as such it would be easy to simply sing the praises of this newest High Country outdoor activity. However, this new adventure promises to be tons of fun and one that visitors and residents will want to include on their agenda of "things to do" for the area.
Scream Time Ziplines opened in January and has already provided early thrill-seekers with an experience that will "zip" you across some gorgeous, mountain terrain (above the trees) at about 45 miles per hour!
<Scream Time’s 6 wheel, Swiss Army Transport is an adventure ride all its own
Those who know Monie will tell you when he takes on a project he only knows one way to do it and that is "all out". Monie has created an experience that starts with shuttling customers from a pick-up spot located off U.S. 421 North to the ziplines, located only a few minutes down the road – ala the way that many whitewater outfitters operate.
The trip is made via a vehicle called a Pinzgauer, which were originally used in the Swiss Army according to McCoury. He adds, "They are very tough army vehicles that can climb close to any gradient, and can hold up to 14 passengers."
Once you arrive on-site, safety procedures are thoroughly reviewed, and release forms are signed before proceding to the ziplines.
That is when your heart will begin to race as trained staff help the customers into the proper gear – which consists of a harness similar to those used in rock climbing.
As mentioned earlier, McCoury has understandably placed an emphasis on safety and to that he states, "All of our cables are aviation grade and everything has been engineered by professional zipline architects."
After covering the safety issues and release forms, customers are then driven up the hillside to the beginning of the zipline course and then "turned loose" for hours of fun!
They basically have two tours for guests to partake in. Their "regular tour" lasts 2.5 hours and allows for enjoyment on SIX of their ziplines which range from 450-800 feet long. You can even race with other guests or friends within your own group. The regular tour costs $89 and is well worth it!
They have a "Super Zip" line that is 2,000′ long that will satisfy any thrill seeker and it costs $47 to ride for 2.5 to 3 hours. Or you can add the Super Zip to your same day "Regular Tour" for $29!
We’d highly recommend paying these guys a visit! You’ll thank us! For more information call their reservation line at 828-898-5404 or visit www.screamtimezipline.com
(TELL MONIE YOU SAW HIM ON HIGHCOUNTRYOUTDOORS.COM – He’ll appreciate it!)
In Case You’re Interested!
Scream Time Zipline, by EBL, LLC. (STZ) represents a synergy between the McCourys and Experience Based Learning (EBL). STZ was established in 2007 after a five year dream of tour operator Monie McCoury. STZ represents energy, passion, community focused business practices, state of the art design and installation, and the first 2000 foot long "triple wide" ziplines in the U.S.!
Monie told me recently, "I was just sitting at my desk and looked out at the property and thought ‘what a cool place to have a zip line’." (Monie is ALWAYS thinking!)
He told me that he began investigating the idea more and by partnering with EBL his vision became a reality. EBL stands for Experience Based Learning and they specialize in designing, constructing and operating canopy tours. In fact, according to their website, no other builder has installed, designed, or operates more locations than EBL.
Zipline or Canopy Tours became more popular in Costa Rica during the mid 1990’s and the adventure has migrated to the United States.
According to McCoury, the idea was bouncing around in his head for several years, but after collaborating with EBL, the project only took a few months to build and this will be their inaugural Spring and Summer season.
You’ll no doubt notice their colorful billboards dotting every highway coming into the High Country, and we’ve already spotted groups being transported via the old Swiss Army carrier! Monie also has a super-hot looking Dodge Charger all car-wrapped with the Scream Time colors, etc. – so you’ll definately be drawn to experiencing this new adventure for yourself!
According to friends and contacts, we understand that he is talking of adding a waterslide or repel tower to the adventures offered – so stay tuned!
For more information on the tours and making reservations, visit www.screamtimezipline.com or call 1-828-898-5404
Details found on EBL’s Website:
This beautiful site is just outside the town limits of Boone, North Carolina. Home to Appalachian State University, this course wash boards across the rolling hills of the outer edge of the Smokey Mountains. You will be shuttled to the location and up the hillside in a 1972 Pinzgauer Swiss Army transport vehicle. The ride itself is worth the trip! This is roughly a two hour tour for the basic 6 line tour and for an extra fee, you will have the option to run the 2,000 foot zip as well. What a rush! We used our Global Positioning System (GPS) while zipping and had a range from 39 to about 48 MPH! Wahoo!!!!! This course really earns their name, "Scream Time Zipline!" Oh, did we mention this site also has the United States first three zip wide, 2,000 foot zip lines?