|Olly abseiling down the tree for the first time|
|Me 100ft up on a cold and windy Friday night|
|Magical English Bluebell Woods|
So after a leisurely breakfast we got on with it, hoisted the cable up the lower tree, and I gingerly weighted the lowest point to see what happened. I sank to the floor. Higher it went up the tree. Less tension though, the real danger clearly being over tensioning rather than being too slack. Olly and James were towed up the line, with more adjustments and eventually after looking at everything, we decided to go for it. Scott slowly lowered Olly down the zip wire from the top of the tree, along with a saw to get rid of the branches in the way at the top. After some extreme high wire tree surgery, the 80 metre belay rope then came to an end, and it was time to let him go! (There is one small branch in the way still that was just out of reach, but it's not particularly painful unless you're wearing shorts!) Olly rode gracefully down the rest of the line, with the long rope acting as a gentle brake on the long grass. Then it was James' turn, from the top this time. He went bloody fast but slowed down almost as quick and came to a comfortable stop on the floor about 200 metres down the wire. My turn next and I went the furthest, came nowhere near the floor and ended up coming to a stop hanging about 20odd metres away from the end, Charlotte followed me screaming, and then Tom with a zimmer frame for good measure.
|Extreme high wire tree surgery|
The method we used is to connect yourself to the pulley with your locked stop on a 15 metre or so length of rope, which is attached to yourself coiled in a bag, when you come to a stop, you can abseil down the rope to gradually release yourself from the cable. Clearly weight is a huge factor in this zip wire as to speed and landing. Everyone involved did a bloody good job with simple yet effective rigging. There was no hoist system installed, you had to prusik to the top of the tree, and connect yourself to the cable whilst stood on a branch. All in all a fantastic weekend, many thanks again to all who were involved! Needless to say, we didn't get around to repainting the rocket, maybe we can organise another weekend to get the job done before the September open weekend?