June 28, 2009

klimpark in the amsterdamse bos

barun (my brother-in-law, "prasanta dutt") called me around noon, saying that he had managed to get 2pm reservations at the klimpark that had recently opened in the amsterdamse bos. i got ready quickly and bicycled down through the mild drizzle. the klimpark is a series of eight tree routes where you swing, slide, slither, and scream from tree to tree, across cable-connected pathways running high above land and water. it is one of two in the netherlands (there are several also in germany and france).

Arush, Arohan, Barun and Amit geared up with seat harnesses and carabineri.

on the whole, it's sort of a evolved, closer-to-nature version of the roller-coaster amusement park. the equipment is designed by using modern mountaineering gear, and is completely safe after a relatively quick training.

Arohan negotiating a pendulum segment on the course. The course is designed not only to be adventurous, but also with a pleasant sense of aesthetics.

Arush on one of the segments in route 5

barun negotiating a relatively easy stretch on route 5

more relaxed as the end is near

Arohan took this picture of me while we were waiting for a thunderstorm and lightning warning. for some time it looked as if the park might get closed for the day but it opened up again. I am holding one of the two hooks at least one of which you must at all times keep hooked on a cable. The other one has rollers on which you whiz across sky-cables from one tree to another.

A sweating but relieved Arohan near the end of the "sandal" segment on route 8. This segment had floating sandal-like footholds that kept slipping off. While not dangerous, we found it among the most challenging parts...

amit at the end of one of the bungee segment on route 8. here you jump off a platform at the end of a 3m bungee cable that rolls you across a chasm to another tree, while you are bungeeing up and down. At the end is you slam onto this net which i can be seen climbing.

Arohan is relieved that the course is coming to an end (almost)!

what i like about this entire exercise is that while it is completely safe, it isn't the wear helmets and body-cage type of security you find in some lawsuit-crazy american places. in europe, if you get hurt because of your own stupidity, the courts don't let you sue the owners as readily as in the us, so school kids here learn trapeze and unicycle and other circus tricks much more readily...

Ahhhh!! (arohan, barun and arush)

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