By Jesse Wood
Construction of High Gravity Adventure, the new aerial adventure course located between Boone and Blowing Rock is “humming along,” according to Carson Rivers, director of operations for Challenge Towers Aerial Adventures, which is the parent company of High Gravity Adventure.
“It’s coming along really well,” Rivers said.
He mentioned that the grand opening is still set for April 10, which is when neighboring Tweetsie Railroad is set to open for the 2015 season. There is, however, a chance that the adventure course opens before then depending on how much rain falls leading into April.
In a week or two, primary construction will conclude and the construction site will be cleaned up. Then the training of staff will begin, and a few trial runs will take place before officially opening up to the public.
In addition to the actual course, three yurts are currently being constructed and those facilities will be what Rivers called the “base of operations.” The yurts are for the office, registration and ticket purchases; storage for all of the equipment and gear such as harnesses and helmets; and full bathroom facilities.
The yurts, Rivers said, add an element of adventure when you think of yurts being used for base-camp facilities, for example, during expeditions in the Himalayas. The construction of the yurts should be complete in a few days when they should be ready for water and power.
Also, Rivers added that there will be “a few thousand feet of deck space” for spectators who aren’t participating but would like to watch their family and friends challenge themselves on the course.
In addition to staff with Challenge Towers Aerial Adventures, which has constructed aerial courses and zipline tours across the country and the world in the past two decades, Rivers gave a “shout out” to local construction company Sunny Day Homes, which is performing some of the onsite work.
While the Boone area has multiple canopy zipline tours, High Gravity Adventure will be unique to the High Country.
The new course features dozens of challenges up to 50 feet in the air, a zipline tour and a freefall.
While the course has a number of components with high-adrenaline activities, Rivers stressed that this is a family-friendly concept for children and adults – even those people who don’t consider themselves “hardcore” or aren’t the best athletes.
“The opportunity is really open for anybody to get up and challenge themselves a bit – from kids as young as four to five years old all the way up to adults,” Rivers told High Country Press late last year, adding that while the course feels risky as if you are “living on the edge,” participants are always strapped into harnesses and connected to steel cables.
The first of the three main components of the adventure park is the “breathtaking” adventure course that features three levels of challenges, progressing in difficulty from 20 to 35 to 50 feet off of the ground. More than 50 challenges are featured in the course.
The second component is a junior adventure course that takes place 15 feet off of the ground and is geared for younger children. The third component consists of a freefall and zipline tour that will “take thrill seekers on an exhilarating series of aerial journeys through Blue Ridge Mountain forests and meadows surrounding Tweetsie Railroad,” according to a release from High Gravity Adventures.
To learn more about Challenge Towers Aerial Adventures, which has been based in Todd for nearly 20 years, the partnership with Tweetsie Railroad and much more, click to a previous article on the new adventure coming to the High Country here.
Check out Challenge Towers Aerial Adventures website here.