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World’s Highest Zip-line Opens in Val Thorens

The world’s highest zip wire line has opened to the public in France’s celebrated ski resort, Val Thorens, which allows daredevils to travel along at an altitude of 3,200 metres and at speeds of up to 100km per hour. Yes, it’s scary!

The mega zip wire, known as La Tyrolienne, connects the Maurienne and Tarentaise valleys. With a starting altitude of 3,230metres above sea level (10,597ft), it can lay claim to the title of highest zip wire on the planet. The new attraction has been billed as "a route through the skies mimicking the journey of an eagle in flight."

Experts behind the project said that the ride was largely constructed from the ground. Engineers would ski the route of the zip-line dragging the steel cables by hand. 

“Installing the zip-line was the kind of challenge I love taking on in the mountains,” says Mathieu Berger, one of the expert skiers behind the zip line. “We limited our use of helicopters and fitted the cable from the ground. We really had to prove our ingeniousness to make the connection and ski down the snow-covered route between Orelle and Val Thorens.”

All thrill-seekers wishing to have a go can access the new attraction from the Bouchet chairlift in the Orelle ski area and will finish at the top of the Funitel de Thorens. The trip runs for almost a mile, but only takes 1 minute and 45 seconds, covering a drop in altitude of almost 250m. However, the high-flying experience doesn’t come cheap as the 105 seconds of adrenalised thrills will cost you €50 (£41) per person. ‘Zippers’ must be aged over 8 and be wearing a helmet. It is allowed to bring your skis along to travel. 

The French resort of Val Thorens, which is part of the Three Valleys ski area, is the highest in Europe and is also a popular destination for activity holidays. This breath taking new activity makes a nice addition to the resort’s growing list of high adrenaline options besides skiing and boarding, which already features the longest toboggan run in France, mountain biking on snow , ice driving and karting. 

Val Thorens was recently awarded as the most improved European resort at the World Snow Awards thanks to its continued investments both in the town as well as out on the slopes.

  • Date published: 21st March 2014
  • Written by: Ian Thomas

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