Sometimes you have to fulfil those promises you hope your child will forget. In my case today it was the when you are 10 we will do Go Ape together. The fact I hate heights and am totally useless at rope ladders and scramble nets didn't get me out of this one!
Just glad my son is 3 years too young even if he is already tall enough at not quite 7:
Having signed mine and my daughter's lives away on the safety form we had our briefing and checked out how to use the course. At this point I thought we would manage to miss the extreme routes:
You really shouldn't look too closely at the course before you tackle it as it looks pretty daunting:
The first section combines a practice and a test of whether we have listened to the instructor. It lets you in gently:
Then it was time for our first little zip wire which we both managed before you get to the point of no return as once you pass through the next gate you are committed and can't get a refund! I have to say the subsequent sections are a lot higher than the first one:
Then we had an unavoidable extreme where we Tarzan swung into a cargo net. I have to say I wasn't too happy about clambering off the net and nearly came a cropper at this stage:
Each section had a rope ladder to ascend and then a zip wire to descend. At all times we had to be clipped on by at least one safety line and sometimes even three! It did make it feel safe to launch yourself into space:
Unfortunately the photos I thought I had taken on my son's camera didn't save but luckily I had my iPhone safely zipped in a pocket and managed to get some high up shots:
As you can see it was a long way down from here:
That was the worst part of the course for me as I have limited upper body strength and really struggled to cross it! I am pleased that I did manage to complete the course even if I did take the easier route when offered it...
We both came off tired and exhilarated and contemplating doing it again - think I need my head examining! Here are our videos with plenty of screams, whoops and tumbles:
I will wrap up my post with my 10 Tips for Go Ape:
- Check height restriction my daughter was a few centimetres over the 140 but she had a struggle on some parts to clip on and off
- Its physically hard work so I would recommend building up your upper body strength in the weeks before you take part it enabled me to cross the cargo net
- One group up with us had some friends go to the wrong Go Ape (Grizedale) so make sure when arranging a group you say which one!
- Dress appropriately - trousers that a) enable you to stretch b) that won't be ruined when you inevitably end up on your bottom in the bark chippings at end each zip wire
- Gloves were very useful to protect hands when on cargo nets etc
- Wear shoes or boots which don't have smooth soles as you need to balance on some very narrow pieces of wood and wires
- Unlike me check that your camera that you take up the top with you is actually working and is on a lanyard
- Bring along a friend to take photos and video from down below
- Listen carefully to the instructions and safety brief especially the one to always have one safety line attached at any time
- Just go for it and be amazed at what you can get yourself to do even when scared stiff!