We, the VCB girls, strongly feel that to really know what we are marketing and promoting every day, we must experience it firsthand. So every month, we set aside time to take a mini field trip to an attraction, lodging property and/or restaurant we have not experienced before and we experience it!!….I know, I know…hard work, right? (insert grin here)
So this month’s field trip was to Ausable Chasm’s Adventure Course…and the name definitely does not lie…side note, this course is not recommended for those with little coordination or for those who have a debilitating fear of heights! Although you are well educated beforehand and are safely strapped into the course at all times, I don’t recommend choosing that day to conquer your fears.
So let’s walk through the course…
1. Rope Ladder (Try jumping around a little and shaking the ladder…apparently it is way more fun for you than your friends that are also on the ladder with you. Hehe.)
Karen Billings, owner of Point Au Roche Lodge, reaching the top of the rope ladder
2. Uphill Zip Lining (hint: get a good push of the rock because the shorter distance you go, the more of an arm work out you get pulling yourself to the other side. We were all a bit sore the next day! But where else do you get to just hang out over a chasm?)
Me thinking I got an awesome push off the rock...and only ending up about 1/4 of the way down the line. Sigh...
3. Horizontal Rock Wall Climbing (This was the scariest part of the whole course for me! You are using wooden steps and metal rungs securely attached to the walls of the chasm to spider man it horizontally across to the next obstacle….not the most comfortable experience, but how awesome is that view?!)
Me forcing a smile as I am seriously panicking on the inside...why I thought getting a picture of the rocks and water below was a good idea at the time is beyond me!
4. Downhill Zip Lining (This was the absolute best one! You just got to float down the line, enjoy the view and not have to worry about a thing. The staff even caught you on the other side so you wouldn’t run straight into the rock wall.)
Amber Parliament getting ready to zip line...next Ausable Chasm brochure cover? I think so!
5. Rope Bridge/Pretty much a Tight Rope (Again, you are securely fastened into this course, but STILL balance is not my strong suit so thank goodness for the rope side rails!)
Karen having no fear as she crosses that rope bridge
6. Step Bridge/the last and final obstacle (funny story…right before we got to this course the staff said they thought this obstacle was just way too easy with 30+ steps, so they decided it would be much better to take out every other step and bring it down to 16 steps with gaps in between. Don’t they know my legs are short!?....but really, that view!)
Since we had the Premiere Package, we also got to experience the rafting down the river, which is a nice relaxer after being an extreme adventurer. I have to give props to the Chasm employee that was steering the boat who made it comical and informative all during one 20 minute trip. He explained the different rock formations and how they came to be, why some of the trees at the top of the Chasm walls grow towards the water instead of upwards (of course I cannot remember the scientific word…but it’s basically because the tree gets more light from the sun reflecting off of the water below then from the direct light from the sun above, so it grows down…how crazy?), how part of the chasm is located on a fault line (which by the way, just a few days later, experienced an earthquake and rock slide) AND how there was a 1911 movie filmed at the Chasm called “Black Chasm”.
Rafting through Ausable Chasm...those people in the picture? Visitors from Connecticut! When you work for the VISITORS BUREAU, you tend to get excited about that kind of stuff.
Funny story about this one too! One of the scenes required the horse and its rider to jump from the top of the chasm wall into the river below. Since they didn’t want their actor to get hurt they found someone in the neighboring town of Keeseville who was just crazy enough to go through with this stunt. The first few times around the horse was much smarter than the rider and halted at the edge of the chasm. After a few unsuccessful tries, the crew decided to blind fold the horse (not recommended!), which led to a successful jump off the edge but an unsuccessful ending for the rider. As the horse walked away without a scratch, the rider had a few broken limbs and only a few cents worth of pay to end the day. Black Chasm…1911 film made right in your own back yard…check it out!
The cliff the horse and rider jumped from in Black Chasm (1911)
After all that, we ended the day by just walking casually around the trails, enjoying the weather and changing scenery at every turn. So overall, the staff was amazing, the adventure was high level stuff and Ausable Chasm is just a gorgeous place for people of all ages and abilities to be!