By CONG CORRALES
BARELY a month old, it has extreme sports enthusiasts already abuzz because it is touted as the longest zipline in Asia.
Only an hour and 15 minute-drive from this city, the Dahilayan Adventure Park’s Zip Zone in Barangay Dahilayan, Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon, is adjacent to the northern slope of Mt. Kitanglad.
Its owner, Engr. Elpidio Paras, originally built this extreme adventure theme park to complement his other extreme sports company—Great White Water Rafting Tours.
“This is also my way of helping promote the province of Bukidnon by putting it in the map as having the longest zipline in Asia,” said Paras.
The piece de resistance of the park is two 840m multi-cable ziplines with a drop of 100 meters on a 15-degree slope with a ziprider launched at the 4,500 feet above-sea-level launch pad. Zipriders zooming as fast as 60 to 80 kph through rainforest canopy would then land on a carrier-type flight deck. The slope is 15 degrees on the average.
A specially designed Safari 4×4 vehicle takes guests from the foot to the launching pad of the zipline and recently they have acquired a van to bring guests from the city to the park.
Paras, a licensed pilot, survived a plane crash in the late ’80s and since then had stopped flying planes. He was the first to test the ziplines and guarantees “it is the next best thing to flying.”
“It is a leap in technology. Zip Zone is a first in Minda-nao having multi-cable zipline facilities and as a safety feature; each of the ziplines is equipped with semi-auto braking systems.
The cables used have a 45,000-pound breaking strength tension cables,” said Paras.
The second longest zipline in Asia is in Singapore—a 200m zipline over the sea. The longest zipline in the world is the ProNutro ZIP slide 2000 at Sun City, South Africa. It is 2000m long and 280m high with an average speed of 120 kph.