Heavenly Flyer riders still zipping along

Jim Grant / Nevada Appeal news ServiceAt a length of 3,100 feet, the Heavenly Flyer is the longest ZipRider in the lower 48 states.

Jim Grant / Nevada Appeal news ServiceAt a length of 3,100 feet, the Heavenly Flyer is the longest ZipRider in the lower 48 states.

Even though summer quickly is coming to an end, visitors and residents still have an opportunity to ride the Heavenly Flyer zip line.

The flyer, at Heavenly Mountain Resort, is a zip cord that takes people down the mountain, reaching speeds of 50 mph, said Heavenly spokeswoman Aimi Xistra-Rich.

To get to the zip line, riders take the gondola up to Heavenly's Adventure Park, then hop on the Tamarack Express " which is at 9,156 feet above sea level. Riders are strapped in, and they zip back down to the gondola while taking in all the scenic views of the lake during their flight, which takes about 90 seconds.

Overall, riders have a 525-foot vertical drop and travel 3,100 feet " which makes the flyer the longest zip rider in the continental United States.

Xistra-Rich said the flyer has been filling up since it opened, so she recommends making reservations a day in advance. People can go online to Heavenly's Web site (skiheavenly.com), or to the ticket office at the base of the gondola.

Riders fly every 30 minutes, and they can go in pairs. Operation of the zip line is weather-dependent.

The flyer won't run if southwest winds exceed 30 mph, or if lightning storms occur, Xistra-Rich said. If that happens, riders can go the following day at no extra charge, or they can get a refund.

Russ Pecoraro, Heavenly communications director, said the resort doesn't keep detailed records of when the flyer hasn't operated due to weather conditions. Operations don't stop very often, Xistra-Rich said.

In the winter, Heavenly must de-ice the zip line, much like they do with the chair lifts, Pecoraro said.

The zip line's operation ran more smoothly over the season as compared with winter because the weather is easier to predict, Pecoraro said, adding that a lot of the bugs have been worked out since the winter.

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