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Flying Over the Berkshires


With your body and pulse racing, you forget to scream. No one would hear you anyway. I try to shake the images of Broadway’s “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” debacle, where a lead actor playing the hero plunged from a platform into a pit below the stage. Instead, I remind myself that these guys told us you can zip a Volkswagen on this thing with no problem. Then, a few hundred yards into the journey, I feel comforted by the steady rhythmic zing of the metal wire. My trepidation turns to exhilaration. Swaddled and secure in what is basically an adult Baby Bjorn, I feel safe, as my harness snugs my body to the high tension cable above my head. The speed twists the novice zipper in different directions, but at this point you may as well relax and enjoy the view. It feels unreal to be flying over ski trails and roads, a stream and hundred-year-old stonewalls. And then the cable slopes up and you slowdown, gently landing feet first in a grassy meadow.

A fellow zipper, Jenny Gross, from Wendell, Mass. described the experience this way: “Itwas absolutely gorgeous to see the hill towns that we drive through so often and to see it from above and to see the valley. It was just phenomenal.” The X-2 line offers an even more extreme ride. This is the final fling – 2,600 feet long and 185 feet in the air. While X-2 is higher, by this time so is your confidence, and you can truly take inventory of the sights and surroundings as you soar over the landscape. “We want to provide an experience for the guy who sits in the cubicle Monday through Friday,” Loftus said. “We want him to feel like a superhero.”

The Berkshire East Ski Area is located at 66 Thunder Mountain Road in Charlemont, Mass., about 1 hour, 40 minutes from Hartford. The three-hour Valley Jump costs $110 for adults and $100 for kids 12 to 16. For zip trips a bit more down-to-earth, Berkshire East also offers the one-hour Base Tour, which costs $30 for adults and $20 for kids 8 to 16. There is also a Mountain Top Tour offered for $85 ($75 for kids 8 to 16). There are weight restrictions, so to find out all you need to know, visit www.berkshireeast.com/zip_home or call 413-339-6617.

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Jim Altman is a 15-time Emmy Award-winning reporter at FOX CT and the co-host of Daytrippers (Thursdays and Saturdays at 10 p.m.) Jim can be reached at jaltman@ctnow.com.

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