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Jeffrey Weidel: Treetop Park

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From page A9 | February 22, 2013 | Leave Comment

hp photosmart 720Although it’s definitely winter time in Lake Tahoe, all the cool activities are not confined to the snow.

At Granlibakken Resort on Tahoe’s West Shore, groups of kids and adults are taking time off from snow sports to enjoy some fun in the trees.

That’s right, trees!

North Tahoe Adventures, in partnership with Granlibakken Resort, is offering the first aerial adventure park in California.

The Treetop Adventure Park course is situated on the Granlibakken property and participants climb to an initial starting point on a tree platform, then travel through the forest on an aerial trek anywhere from 15 to 50 feet in the air.

The Adventure Park is comprised of a series of courses linking tree platform to tree platform with a variety of bridges and zip lines. The course is an exciting outing for a group of teens, a birthday party location for younger children, a family seeking active fun, or can be enjoyed as an individual. Ages 4-and-above are eligible to experience the Adventure Park.

The Adventure Park was first offered this summer and continues to remain open at specified times in the winter months. Granlibakken offers a variety of winter activities, including skiing, tubing and snow play. But the Adventure Park is an offering no other resort in California can duplicate right now.

“The Treetop Adventure Park is based on a European model. There are a lot of these Adventure Parks in Europe and maybe 20 on the East Coast right now,” said Jesse Desens, who owns and operates the North Tahoe Adventures. “But there are only three aerial parks that are west of the Rockies, and this is the first one in California.”

All Treetop Adventure Park participants are outfitted in climbing harnesses and helmets, and are connected to a belay system, making it virtually impossible to completely disconnect from the safety cable.

“Granlibakken has a history of recreation and had a ropes course here for many years,” Desens said. “What we’ve done is turn it into an aerial adventure park that has a variety of cool bridges and zip lines.”

Located on Lake Tahoe’s west shore, Granlibakken has a modest ski hill that’s great for taking a beginning ski or snowboard lesson. A lone tow rope carries people to the top of a hill for the quick downhill trek. On the opposite side of the ski slope, a sledding area receives much more attention.

More serious skiers and riders can use Granlibakken for a convenient lodging location they can book for a
modest price. The lodging comes with a generous buffet breakfast.

While serving as a serene, isolated place for families to vacation, Granlibakken is an even bigger lure as a conference destination. With more than 200 rooms and conference space for an estimated 500 people, Granlibakken hosts numerous groups year round, ranging from ski clubs to international academic organizations that seek a secluded getaway in an inspiring area.

In addition to the 50-plus platforms and bridges comprising the adult/Monkey courses, the treetop adventure park is family-friendly as well. A new Flying Squirrel zone has been created that caters to young kids, ages 5-and-above. But the Flying Squirrel zone is also recommended for beginning climbers.

There are two beginner courses and six more for intermediate and people with advanced skills. The upper-level courses are suitable for people with a variety of skills and abilities.

The Flying Squirrel zone consists of three different kids’ courses and includes a variety of bridges and zip lines, including some that are almost 300-feet long.

The Adventure Park was a fun day for Taylor Zweben, and his younger brother Brady.

“My kids loved the zip-lining,” Bonnie Zweben said. “We had to tear them off it; they didn’t want to stop. The Adventure Park provides very good instruction and made me feel very safe about it. They ease kids into it until they start feeling comfortable.”

Weather permitting, the Adventure Park is open weekends and holidays. There are two daily sessions that last approximately 2½ hours. Times are 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., and 1-3:30 p.m. Reservations are recommended.

Cost is $45 for ages 13-above and $28 for children 5-12.

For more information, visit TahoeTreetop.com or call 530-386-1375.

Jeffrey Weidel can be reached at skiweidel@yahoo.com. Visit his winter website at examiner.com/skiing-in-san-francisco/jeffrey-weidel

Jeffrey Weidel

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