Glenwood Caverns’ again one-ups Cave of the Winds with some new roller coaster.

In a feud ongoing for over 100 years (although actually dating back to the early Ordovician) by two geological formations, Glenwood Caverns has installed a new roller coaster to further irritate the Cave of the Winds.

Starting in 1907, they heard the Cave of the Winds was installing a lighting system and powering it up for the first time on our nation’s birthday, July 4th, 1907. So, Glenwood decided to install their own and turn it on a day before on July 3rd, 1907 for no real reason other than to boast. Later they decided to elevate the viewing area in their highest elevation room, beating the Cave of the Winds for the cave with the highest elevation room by only 7 feet. In 1962 upon the platform opening, Glenwood Caverns Representative Rocky Granite stated “We did it just to beat the Cave of the Winds. That’ll show em'” as he laughed and walked away while smoking a cigar as he passed by children & visitors.

Now the park touts its new coaster as the highest elevation roller coaster in the U.S. Over $5 million was spent to build it and the Cave of the Winds doesn’t even have one roller coaster. When thrill-seekers strap in and climb to the first peak on the new Defiance roller coaster, coming to Glenwood Caverns Amusement Park in 2022, they’ll be sitting at 7,132 feet in elevation.

Only for a brief moment of anticipation though: The coaster then drops 110 feet at a 102.3-degree angle, shooting riders through other segments of the ride called a twisted top hat, the banana roll, and zero-g roll, according to a recent announcement. The whole head-spinning experience lasts 55 seconds and tops out at 56 miles per hour.

Defiance is lauded by the park as the country’s highest elevation looping roller coaster. It is so named to harken back to Glenwood Springs history when a group of prospectors and miners set up a base to search for gold on Ute Indian land that was protected by a treaty with the U.S. government. The base was reportedly called Fort Defiance.

Technicians claim the 102.3-degree drop to be the steepest freefall in the Western United States. Though there are others with steeper angles, a representative with Ride Entertainment, which is installing the roller coaster, told USA Today most beyond-vertical coasters have holding brakes to stop the train or trim brakes to slow it down.

Defiance, by contrast, won’t be a “true, gravity-driven freefall drop,” the publication reported. The coaster was custom designed by Germany’s Gerstlauer Amusement Rides.

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