June 2024

Falling into Queenstown Part Deux: the Canyon Swing


Today’s blog post comes from yours truly, because Scott was too ashamed to write the entry. He totally wossied out and didn’t jump! Just kidding, but I did earn more panty points today than him. 🙂

We headed out again this morning, ready for our last adrenaline kick (and again, WAY more expensive than any drug you can dream of). Scott said he woke up in the middle of the night with a pit in his stomach about being nervous to do it. We both agreed that jumping off the ledge into a river canyon was somehow way more scarier than jumping out of a plane, yet we weren’t quite sure why.

We got to the check in centre and watched a few videos…and it didn’t make us feel any better. To boot, you had about 7 choices of being launched off the ledge: 1) the cutaway (where you are suspended seated and they pull the trigger for you, so you don’t fight yourself to jump), 2) the elvis cutaway (same as #1, but you lay back in a full back bend), 3) the forward free fall where you jump right off, 4) the backward free fall where you lie back into the canyon, 5) the chair, where you rock yourself back off the ledge on a chair, 6) the indian rope, where they suspend you and you do a chin up and drop yourself from your hands, 7) the gimp boy, where you lay completely upside down with your feet above your head (like a talented pole dancer) and they pull the trigger.

Having all these choices made it more difficult for me. Scott was pretty set on his…but i was waffling between the two cutaways, the backward free fall, or the chair. The lady told us we should do a backwards one because we did a faceforward jump for skydiving. I had pretty much decided at that point on one of the two cutaways, but then, driving there, the guy told us we should do our first jump (if we so chose to do more than one at a discounted rate) by jumping ourselves. The harness guy also wouldn’t let me do a cutaway, he told me I had to do it on my own to conquer the fear.

Swing 05 - Photo 13Scott was pretty steady on the forward free fall (it was a category 2 panties of 5 possible panties – really they were more like tightie whities, but I like to call them panties). I decided on the backward fall: a dealthy five out of five panties. I figured if I was gonna do this, I was going to go big, or go home…and do something different than my skydive.

We decided it was my turn to go first, since Scott got to skydive first. I walked the plank, and the two guys setting me up for the jump were REAL hecklers. They kept asking me if I had any medical conditions (and I always lie about my asthma, because it usually prevents me from doing shit like this) and I kept saying no. The guy kept saying “ARE YOU SURE??” and I thought to myself “crap man, he totally saw my inhaler in my purse or something.” But, I kept on with my story…turns out “Canadiana” was on the list of medical conditions, so they made fun of me for awhile about that one.

Swing 05 - Photo 17They kept on going and going with making fun of me…stressing me out. I just wanted to freaking jump. They held me back, demonstrated about five times how it was done…were heckling me about being a girl, how loud I was going to scream…etc. Then, when I’m about to take the plunge, dude goes “wait, your harness isn’t on properly. WTF mate, why did you do this?” (pointing to some loose buckles on my straps). I was like “uh, do you want to fix it?” and they were like, “nope, you might die, but it’s ok.” And then stared at me for like 5 minutes. I was like “so can I go?” and they were like “yup.” I thought they were going to hold me back over the ledge a bit, so I said “will you hold me?” and the dude laughed and said “no, your boyfriend will get jealous.” He then said, watch out for that rock ledge there…make sure you jump away from it. So, shaking like a little leaf after all their antics, and fed up with being made fun of, I jumped backwards.

The fall wasn’t too bad. I was worried I would have the sinky tummy feeling for the whole fall, but it only lasted a few seconds and then I was just falling. Because I went backwards, I did a few somersaults, so it was hard to tell what was happening as rock and river went tumbling through my vision. And above all, I managed not to scream (I didn’t scream during my sky dive either, so as not to irritate my tandem master)…but this time it was important not to give those arseholes the vindication.

When I got lifted back up, the guy said “you didn’t scream!” and I was like, “nope.” HA.

Anyway, Scott was next, and he didn’t get heckled at all (which is really why we decided I should write this blog)…and basically just ran off the ledge like a true pro. We decided to get his video because he swore quite a bit…and my pictures because you could see me better from the camera above me (the skydive blog has pics of Scott because mine were delayed and weren’t available at the time of the blog post…this post has my pics since we got the video of Scott instead).

Swing 05 - Photo 18When he was up and done, I asked him if he wanted to go again (second time jumps were a serious discount), but both of us didn’t feel like it was THAT amazing to blow even more of our budget on it. We are in agreement that skydiving was way more amazing and life changing, and that everyone should do it at some point in their life. So, now that Queenstown has broken down our anxiety barriers, height barriers (we both feel like we could do the Nevis Ledge now – next time we come to NZ, I suppose…), and our budget, we feel great. Lovin’ life, high on adrenaline and ready to keep rockin’.

We had one last burger after our jump at Fergburger – apparently quite a famous burger shop that is always full, no matter the time of day. So delicious. Vegetarian/vegan friends avert your eyes here: they have one burger called the “little lamby” and the “sweet bambi” and the “tropical swine.” We tried them all and thoroughly enjoyed each of them. Deer are also farmed here in South ern NZ, so we’ve been seeing quite a bit of those as well as sheep lately.

Swing 05 - Photo 20Tonight we are in Te Anau, doing our laundry and stocking up on food/showers before we head off to the very remote and beautiful Milford Sound. Te Anau is a funny little village on the edge of the moutains which really reminds us of Hinton…we are currently parked, looking at he beautiful Fjordland moutains (which look identical to the rockies!). We’re sad we don’t have our backcountry gear, because I think it would be stellar…but that just wouldn’t have been practical to bring for the whole 6 months. I think next time we do NZ, we’ll bring our gear and rent a car instead and do more tenting.

Well, cheers mates, we’ll be back online in a few days!

4 comments to Falling into Queenstown Part Deux: the Canyon Swing

  • Landon Croome

    Wow, I’m jealous. Sounds like an episode of departures. Good job guys and I love the blogs. Keep them coming.

  • Dad/Lorna

    Ditto with the jealousy…. good for you guys… keep it up…. livin life through you two is unbelievably great… love the read… love the adventures. Hopefully one day papa and I will try the skydive thing, but who knows… I’m thinkin his adventure days are winding down.

    take care, can’t wait for the next read…. ohhhhh yeah…. and the video

  • Cheryl Chichak

    Kenna, you are SO BRAVE to jump after that scary-ass heckling! You guys have sold me on skydiving – it looks truly amazing – but this canyon thing?! Just looking at it makes my stomach knot up.

  • Kelly MacGregor

    This trip sounds amazing! Love you both!


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