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Enjoy the great outdoors with Up At The O2

Emdad Rahman

WHETHER IT’S A solo or a group climb, you’ll hit the giddy heights as you scale the O2 and savour some fantastic views of our city. The great outdoors always gets the juices flowing, and with no help from things like ladders the elevated climb to the top is one that will get the adrenaline levels rising.

The last few days had seen London drenched in rain and the forecast for our climb was also a wet one. Fortunately we seemed to have got over the worst as we all got kitted up and get set for some urban mountaineering. A quick change into our climbing boots and suits, latch and harness – and we were raring to go.

The experience itself is fun-packed throughout as climbers embark on a memorable 90 minute group expedition to the peak – the top of the O2. From here, all the celebrated and well known landmarks are visible in all their glory and the roof of the O2 enables all climbers to roam free and enjoy breathtaking 360 degree view of the capital city. If the conditions are good and the day is clear, climbers can see up to 15 miles into the distance. In contrast, there is a night walk in the dark to view the awesome cityscape lit up by thousands of bright lights and the emerging post dusk stars.

At the halfway point of our climb the heavens opened, and the group got the drenching they deserved. Fortunately the rain subsided around ten minutes later, and we were able to reach the peak and savour the amazing views of London. Whatever the conditions are, walkers will enjoy the climb and make it memorable in their own way. I really enjoyed myself when it started pouring with rain: the level of visibility diminishing slightly and wind levels rising enhanced the experience no end. My 12 year old was with me – his first O2 experience – and he loved it, despite having a slightly nervous moment as we neared the peak. It was clear he felt a sense of achievement having completed the climb.

For those who might be thinking they’d be too nervous of tripping and plummeting down the shiny surface, I should add that the safety harness mechanism is attached throughout, except when climbers reach the top. Once secured, you are going nowhere apart from where the path leads you. The climb is like walking uphill on a trampoline – though acting on the urge to jump up and down like a toddler is strictly prohibited, as it would have a health and safety ripple effect on climbing groups who may be ahead or behind.

Our ace climb guide Steve was fabulous from beginning to end; witty, fun, full of life, informative and always on hand to help out. Whether it’s a leisure climb, team bonding or a special occasion, Up at The O2 is a great experience in any condition, day or night. Enjoy it alone or bond as a group as you marvel at Canary Wharf, historic Greenwich and the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. It’s great value, a thrilling climb, a bonding opportunity with exhilarating views to help make a special memory. What’s not to like?

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