Unbeatable Views, An impressive Guide and a totally fun couple of hours.
We had the pleasure of being invited down to try out the UP AT THE 02 for some Urban Mountaineering over the roof of the O2 Arena. Yes this was a walk over the actual roof!
Tickets in hand, waiting for my friend Lee Miles to arrive i stood outside the O2 Arena looking up at this blue platform that stretched over the roof of the arena thinking what am i about to do..i have a slight fear of heights!
So my friend Lee arrives and snaps me out of my fearsome thoughts and we head into the cabin eager to hand over our tickets. In return we are given a waiver form to fill out ensuring i accept any liability and provide my emergency contacts should anything go wrong…
We are ushered into a room set with rows of seating, we take our place near the front to make sure we hear all of the info we are about to receive. A lady comes in called Victoria who welcomes us and introduces a safety video for us to watch. After a few minutes of carefully and intensely watching (whilst finishing a conversation over crypto currency) Victoria comes back in. (At this point i would recommend everyone pay attention to the video!) and we are taken through how to put on our safety apparatus. We are then taken to collect our clothes – We had a choice of full gear or a Gillet on this occasion. Being the adventurer i opt for full gear! After getting dressed and ready we are taken out to the starting point.
Armed with our safety harness and phone in pocket (this is all we are allowed to take with us whilst our clothes are stored securely in a box) we are taken up the stairs to the starting point of which a photographer takes a couple of photos of us before our journey.
Victoria shows us how to move our harness up through the fixed rail that stretches across the roof and is the point of contact that keeps us attached and safe from rolling back down this curved roof. Victoria then offers up the opportunity for someone to go first…Knowing im the blogger my mate Lee shouts ‘Aaron’ and so forcibly volunteering i take my place to lead the pack of visitors on this trek. Locked on to the rail i take my first steps, and quite quickly start to enjoy it. With Lee following behind me we set off to set points given to us by Victoria.
I make my way up occasionally stopping to take in the views as myself, Lee and the group start to spread out giving us chances to take a look across London and get my breath. Victoria is a helpful and friendly guide throughout, making sure she stops to talk to each of the group, engaging in conversation and finding out our reasons for taking part as well as being the tour guide if anyone has any questions about sights or direction. After about 3 set point stops to gather the group we get to the top of this structure. Feeling like Rocky Balboa we are on top of the world! We are given about twenty minutes to take photos and enjoy the view without worrying about rolling back down. Victoria our super guide also takes some pictures for us too. After out time at the top its time to make our way down at a thirty degree angle, knowing that its easier to come down than up you certainly have to make sure you have grip on the way down.
All in all the experience took approximately two hours from start to finish inclusive of safety video. At the end you can and i did feel a sense of achievement at completing the walk. I can now talk to my friends and family and say ‘I did that!’
After we get changed back into our clothes, we are able to exit into the O2 shop of where you can purchase photos that are taken at sections of the roof on your climb and also clothing, teddies and t shirts to commemorate.
if you wish to take up this opportunity to climb the O2 then please see the details below: