Nature, sports and outdoor activities

Ziplines, Another Way to Experience Mount Sutton

Published on Sept 13, 2022

Thrilling sensations in the middle of nature, this is what the ziplines of Mount Sutton are all about. A truly breathtaking experience for the whole family!

By Simon Diotte

Is there still someone who sleeps-in on Saturday mornings in Sutton? It seems the answer is “no”! Before the clock strikes 9:00 a.m., the slopes of Mount Sutton are bustling with activity like rush hour in the Montréal metro. Cyclists, young and not-quite-so-young, are getting on their mountain bikes. Hikers check their backpacks before setting off for the peaks; Others start playing a surely epic game of disc golf!

What about me? I’m feeling a bit nervous. On this beautiful September morning, with my daughters Marion, 12, and Romane, 14, I’m getting ready to try Mount Sutton’s two new ziplines. In fact, one of them features the steepest incline among all ziplines in Québec. Really? Indeed, not the quiet morning I usually enjoy!

The Zipline Coaster, a First in Canada

The First Step: Surviving Canada’s first zipline coaster. With our harnesses attached to a steel cable, we’ll be hurtling down a 655-m course that descends, drops and twists abundantly through the canopy, under the gaze of — intrigued? Confused? Admiring? Apologetic? — hikers and cyclists throughout the mountain.

From the launch platform, it seems pretty terrifying. But there’s no turning back, after the short twenty-minute walk to get here. I am the first Diotte to venture out. I warn my children that if I die of a heart attack, they’ll have to take care of their mother (way too squeamish to try this ride!) and Nelly, our now faithful adventure companion!

The countdown begins. The attendant releases the brake. Under the pull of gravity, the descent begins. Like any normal person, I cover my fear — and the strident whizzing sound caused by the friction of the wheels on the steel cable — by screaming my head off! A mighty whouahhh bursts out from my vocal chords. Two long minutes of fun, which pass by in a flash. A new kind of therapy.

At an Altitude of 680 Metres

My two daughters followed, and are asking for more! They have but one idea in their heads: Challenging the Giant Zipline, which starts out from the top of Mount Sutton, at an altitude of 680 m., and head down all the way to the foot of the slopes. The length of the descent: One kilometre. I don’t need to be coaxed to follow them! One zipline experience and I’m now a brave man.

As a prelude, we head up the mountain on the chairlift; We put on a second harness near the launch pad and we’re ready. Then, standing on the tower, my enthusiasm suddenly wanes. Doubt sets in. Is it really such a good idea to almost throw ourselves into the void when we could be playing a leisurely game of disc golf?

However, Marion, Romane and myself as well, we’re a bit too proud to admit it. So, we head out onto the launch pad. Come what may. The giant zipline is double, which means that my two daughters head down at the same time. 5-4-3-2-1, snap, my girls take off like rockets. These ziplines can reach a speed of 100 km/h, for an aerial ride lasting almost two minutes.

Flying over the trees, charged with adrenaline, we admire the tranquility of nature here in the Eastern Townships. Truly a unique life experience! In other words, it’s La Ronde, nature style. A second zipline, 400 m long, takes us back to the main chalet and a comforting poutine.

An aerial experience offering a break from our daily routine, and accessible to anyone aged 10 and older with a sound heart. A few minutes that will live forever in our memories!

Simon Diotte

Freelance journalist and editor in chief of Géo Plein Air, Simon Diotte is passionate about nature and outdoor activities. His favourite sports include: Canoeing, kayaking, hiking and cross-country skiing. Although he enjoys sports challenges, he also loves spending quality family time in nature with his two daughters.
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