Get to know the ropes at Northstar | SierraSun.com

Get to know the ropes at Northstar

Dan Savickas

Over coming one’s fear of heights can be a frightening experience, but it can also be a learning and growing experience at the same time.

This is the idea behind the ropes course at Northstar-at-Tahoe. The course is run by a group called Adventure Associates out of El Cerrito Calif.

Adventure Associates specializes in corporate team building and problem solving.

Th course at Northstar is composed of 10 different obstacles. A climbing wall and team orienteering are a few of the other disciplines taught on sight.

The beta, or high ropes course ranges from 30 to 55 feet in the air throughout the trees.

There are two different zones for the beta course. Zone one is composed of a straight climb up to the step across. The step across is two platforms on two different trees where a person must step from one platform to the other, 40 feet off the ground. From the second platform, one can conquer the Little Burma. To complete the Little Burma, one must walk along a wire using two ropes at head level for balance. The Little Burma connects to the zip line platform. The zip line is 250 feet long.

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Zone two begins with the Big Burma. This challenge is the same as the Little Burma, just higher up in the trees. The stem climb is a the next challenge. This obsticle has one climb over 40 feet in the air using the grips on two trees to climb up the tree trunks. This challenge leads to Don’s Ladder. Don’s Ladder allows people to either rappel down, or take the Islands in the Sky. The Islands in the Sky is composed of 12, three by six-foot platforms of wood suspended in the air. One must cross from one platform to the other in order to get across to the other side. The Island in the Sky also connects zones one and two.

The only other feat is the perch, which is isolated from all of the other obstacles. The perch is a climb to the top of a 30-foot tall pole. Once reaching the top, one tries to stand on top of the pole.

There is also a lower ropes course on site with three obstacles.

“It (the ropes course) helps people, because it’s challenges they’ve never had to face before,” said Aaron Davison, who works at the ropes course. “It helps people expand their comfort zone.”

The course at Northstar is open Wednesday through Sunday.