The Difference Between a Zipline and A Tyrolean Traverse – Empower Adventures

Commonly misused interchangeably, a zipline and a Tyrolean Traverse are not actually the same thing. Although they utilize most of the same materials, each method of transportation requires different strengths and mindsets to complete. Empower Adventures is here to shed some light on the differences between a zipline and a Tyrolean Traverse.


A zipline is a method of traveling from point A to point B by way of rope or cable. Commonly used by scientists in the past to study birds and how they fly through the rainforest canopies, ziplines could also be used to access remote villages. Clearly, ziplining has quickly evolved into an extremely popular adventure sport. At adventure parks all over, like Empower Adventures right here in Tampa, families can fly past beautiful scenery with nothing but a cable, harness, and pulley!

How Do Ziplines Work?

Ziplines utilize gravity as the biggest force getting someone from A to B because the cable is always on a slope. The descent of the cable and the weight of the person in the harness increase speed as they ride. This gives each rider the thrill and excitement of zipping through the air quickly.

At the end of the zipline, each rider’s speed slows as the zipline levels out and no longer has a slope. Some ziplines, like Empower Adventure’s, has a height and weight limit for safety reasons. This is a restriction you will typically find with regulated ziplines.

What’s the Appeal of a Zipline?

While they originated as a scientific tool, recreational ziplines have quickly popped up everywhere as an adrenaline pumping birds-eye view of nature! A great eco-friendly alternative to other outdoor sports like off-road ATVs, ziplines have very little environmental impact. At Empower Adventures, riders get to see Tampa Bay like they’ve never seen before and still experience the thrills and adrenaline-pumping that comes with zipping through the air.

Tyrolean Traverse

A Tyrolean traverse is another method of traveling from point A to point B, usually by way of rope. Commonly practiced by mountaineers, hikers, spelunkers, and adventure climbers, traversing is a necessary alternative to bridges and pathways. When there is no other way to cross a large open space, a Tyrolean traverse will do the trick. For example, when extreme hikers come across a river dividing two large bluffs, they must find a way to get across. The shortest way across is by Tyrolean traverse.

Empower Adventures does not offer visitors the chance to experience a Tyrolean traverse, because it generally requires tough work from the individual. Focused on family adventure and fun, Empower Adventures does offer an aerial obstacle course that will satisfy tactical adventurists.

How Does It Work?

Tyrolean traverse is difficult because there is typically no gravity to help you move along the rope. Because the rope is attached to two vertical points a person must inch their way across the rope to the other side by pulling themselves (and their gear) across. This requires strength from your arms, legs, and hands to pull the weight of yourself and your equipment.

What’s the Appeal of a Tyrolean Traverse?

Although you are safely strapped into a harness, the Tyrolean traverse offers elements of thrill and excitement because you are using your own manpower to get yourself safely across. It requires determination and focus to reach the other side. Once you’ve completed that challenge, you can continue your journey.

Empower Adventures in Tampa, FL

Empower Adventures in Tampa, Florida is THE place to go to experience an exhilarating zipline above the beautiful land and water preserves of Tampa Bay. Start your day’s adventure on the Aerial Obstacle Course, challenge yourself to take a Leap of Faith, and then finish the evening off with a sunset zipline cruise. Plan your visit to Empower Adventures today and get started on your adventure!