June 20, 2013 - 4:54 PM
PEACHLAND - Record breaking rainfall didn't stop these Okanagan women from taking on Canada's highest outdoor zipline – in the nude.
A total of 64 women of all ages came out to dangle 381 feet in the air at ZipZone Peachland today to raise money for breast cancer research while raising the nerve to take the plunge. Those baring all and others dressed in strategically placed, pink-colored gear may have been shivering in the cold rain but their determination was rock solid.
It was Patti Hillman's first time zip-lining and before getting hooked into the cable she revealed she was terrified of heights.
“I don't even climb up ladders,” she says.
Hillman's sister was diagnosed with breast cancer eight years ago and ended up having a left-side mastectomy. Today's event was the first time Hillman herself has raised money for the cause and she had no trouble getting some of her close friends to join her. She says the event is an exciting chance for women to leave any issues with body image behind them. Having a ladies-only event makes it a little bit easier, she says.
Hillman wasn't the only one afraid of heights. Many of today's participants ranging from 18 to 60 years old were facing a fear of some kind, whether it was distance from solid earth or from their clothing.
How did Hillman handle it?
“It was fun, it was totally intense,” she says. “I was terrified and all I wanted to do was close my eyes, but it was breathtaking, it was so beautiful, really cold, but beautiful.”
While the event didn't break the Guinness World Record for the most naked zipliners, the participants helped raised a total of $24,000 for breast cancer research.
ZipZone president Kevin Bennett says it's a huge increase from last year. "It's a good day," he says. "We were really happy with that, last year we had $16,000."
"One of the ladies was telling me one in nine will get breast cancer, that's how prevalent it is," Bennett says. While the goal was $30,000 he says its good to be ambitious.
"You aim for the stars and hit the moon," he says.
Now that Hillman has one ziplining experience under her belt she says she'll be back for more.
“I'll do it every year,” she says.
To contact the reporter for this story, email Julie Whittet at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (250)718-0428.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013