You know me… I love a challenge. And when someone emails to suggest you might like to try something, assuming I can actually get there, I’m generally very quick to say yes. It’s got me involved in all kinds of interesting adventures. And it is exactly what happened when I was invited to take part in the Go Ape Zip Challenge.
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Go Ape Sherwood Pines, taken 2012.
I am a huge fan of Go Ape. I’ve been several times – and they’ve featured here on Splodz Blogz twice before (read about my experience at Sherwood Pines and Rivington). I’m not scared of heights, I’m not afraid to try new things, and I love to be in the trees. And so a zip challenge is no big deal, what could possibly be exciting about that?! But this was a zip challenge with a difference. Go Ape were asking me to haul myself UP the zip line. No, not down. Up.
With the upper body strength of a, well, I don’t know really, but I don’t really have much, there was no possibility that I would be winning the prize for the fastest up the zip. But that is never my reason for taking part in this kind of thing – I just wanted to have a bit of fun and do something I wouldn’t normally get to do. So I headed over to Sherwood Pines, my nearest Go Ape course, to meet up with the instructors there and have a go.
“Landing” at Go Ape Rivington.
I was made to feel very welcome. This was an opportunity for the staff at Go Ape to show members of the public like me something of the background workings of a high ropes course. After a cup of tea and a look around the hut, we had a quick lesson in what it’s like to be an instructor before heading out to the battleground – zip line five. Each evening when the paying public leave, Go Ape instructors do the whole course, locking gates and fixing ladders as they go. That means that each morning, in order to get the course ready to use, they have to go round in reverse – which means heading up each zip line.
I admit that I didn’t look at the zip line and think “wow that’s a long way”. But it was. It was a very (very) long way. And I struggled. But after the necessary safety briefing, instruction and watching a couple of others give it a go, I took my turn and gave it my best shot.
Messing about on the Zip Line at Rivington, 2017.
Rather than go into loads of detail in words, I took my Go Pro along to try and get some footage for you. I made this short video – hope you enjoy it!
I might have come last (well, fifth out of five…). but it was such a fun thing to do, an excellent way to spend some time outdoors on a rainy Saturday morning. You can’t currently book to do the Go Ape Zip Challenge, but I suspect it might come back sometime so keep an eye on the Go Ape social feeds (twitter, facebook, instagram) as that’s where they promoted it this time.
How much do you think my arms will ache tomorrow?!
There were cameras going off all over the place so I might get some snaps of me sometime – I’ll be sure to share them on my instagram if I do.
With thanks to Go Ape for the invitation, and to the instructors at the Sherwood Pines course who were all fab.
Got another silly challenge for me? Get in touch!