I have often looked up from having lunch at one of the many restaurants at Plaine Dranse, near Chatel in France to hear the swoosh of someone experiencing the Fantasticable and thought – I really must try that. Well this summer, I finally got my chance and boy oh boy, was it worth waiting for !
What is the Fantasticable?
The aptly named Fantasticable is a zip wire spanning 1.2 Kims from one mountain peak to another. Then if that wasn’t enough, they send you back across to another mountain on a second wire of about the same length. You reach speeds of up to 100kms per hour whilst suspended like superman 240 metres above the ground. You can begin to understand how it feels to fly through the air like a super hero.
After taking the chair from Plaine Dranse to the top towards Linderet, there is a little cabin where you get kitted out. To be fair, getting into the harness and walking over to where you start your thrilling journey, is probably the most difficult part of the whole experience.
Fortunately there is someone to help with the harness and you have all the time in the world to shuffle over to the zip wire, in something that resembles the tightness of a little black dress.
Then begins your attachment to the wire. The lady who did this was great – she asked my name and talked to me the whole time in English. She explained what I needed to do and what she was doing and why.
Enjoy Your Flight
I was ready to go – suspended from the zip wire in my black harness facing down about 60 cms from the ground. The lady checked if I was ok, wished me a safe flight and with that I was off.
No sooner had my journey begun, when the ground disappeared and I was flying hundreds of metres above Plaine Dranse gazing down at all the bars and restaurants which looked incredibly small at this point.
It was a lovely sunny day and I could see my shadow dancing over the ground as I hurtled from one side of the mountain to the other. I wasn’t really aware of the speed until I got closer to the other side where the ground was closer to me and then I could understand how quickly I was travelling.
I remember thinking that I hoped this stopping mechanism would work and within milli-seconds I had come to a halt and was being helped down and pointed in the direction of the next wire.
You really don’t have much of a chance to think about it before you are heading back on the next wire across the mountain. Remember to smile when you are about 50 metres from the end of that return journey, as you are photographed here and it is a great momento of the day.
Exhilarating Zip Wire
As I walked down the road, back towards Plaine Dranse, I definitely had a spring in my step as I relived the experience in my head. It wasn’t frightening, it was exhilarating, for although you are travelling at speed, you can see everything and don’t feel disorientated. I would recommend it to anyone.
It would have been easy to put off doing the Fantasticable for another year, but sometimes it’s good to push yourself. It reminds you of what you are capable of which, usually is much more than you think.
I have travelled to this mountain area for over 15 years in both winter and summer but have never experienced the view and the feeling of flying as I did that day. So next time I am sitting at Plan Dranse having lunch and see the Fantasticable, I know that it really does feel fantastic.