Arty journeys...


Sunday, 9 April 2017

Spring Harvest - High Ropes Challenge for Comic Relief

My grandchildren do the High Ropes Course - but I have never done it, nor have I ever wanted to do it. I've been very happy to be proud granny with her feet firmly placed on the ground taking photos but about three weeks ago I had an idea - maybe I could raise some money for Comic Relief if I did the High Ropes Course.

I have various difficulties that make this a very silly idea - including a fear of heights (specially if what's under my feet wobbles and there is no fixed barrier around the edge to hold onto) plus I have a problem with my sense of balance even when standing on the floor and the inability to climb up or down steep steps even with a firm you can see it was a very silly idea but I set up a Comic Relief giving page and the donations came in.

This looked quite a LOT higher than I remembered it. 

Most of the following photos were taken by my daughter - on her camera and phone I can't guarantee that I have got them all in chronological order. 

Here I am chewing my nails beforehand. 

Feeling more confident. (Feet still firmly on the ground.) 

I really shouldn't have worn that long, thick purple cardigan thinking it would cover the bulges. A harness exaggerates bulges and the cardigan acted like a bustle. Not a good look. 

Walking out of the enclosed platform area towards the first section. 

The first step was quite a deep step - steeper than I am comfortable with on the ground.

Contemplating the first step and wondering how on earth I'm going to manage to make that step down from the platform onto the wobbly planks. 

I stood there for quite a while before stepping off. I cannot begin to explain how wobbly and insecure it all felt to me. Although everyone else seemed to manage it easily I teetered for a while trying to regain my balance.  

It was unbelievably hard to make my other foot follow on. 

Both feet were finally on. I took a deep breath and tried to walk forwards. If it hadn't been for the cheers of encouragement from my lovely extra-extended family on the ground and on the first level with me and the fact that I didn't want to let down anyone who had sponsored me, I would definitely have chickened out before this point - but I was determined to do it.    

Making slow progress - with my son-in-laws encouragement and advice on how to proceed. My feet seemed to have lost their connection with my brain. It was such a relief to reach the first platform. 

Slightly quicker over the next section but still a lot slower than everyone else.

I began the cargo net reasonably well but slowed as my arms got very tired and heavy. 

After about half way I felt that I needed to twist my arms around the net in order to carry on. 

A series of platforms to step across - the first gap wasn't too bad and the platforms were quite solid.

But this one felt like an enormous gap. 

Here I'm thinking about stepping off onto a tightrope. Yes, I had a harness but I was pretty sure that if I fell and was left dangling I wouldn't be able to get up again with my legs shaking as much as they were and my arms feeling like lead. 

Concentration and fear.

Making progress at last. 

Nearly up to the next platform - being encouraged on the way. 

Nearly round the first level. 

We were all offered the opportunity to go round the lower level a second time because the top level wasn't open as there was a problem up there. My son-in-law had explained that I had been sponsored to do this for Comic Relief and they allowed him (as photographer to get proof that I really did it) and me to go up with the young lady who worked there and just to do the first part that was safe to do, so that I could say I'd been up there. The others all did the first level again but I didn't because I knew I wouldn't manage to go up to the top if I did the lower level again. When they had finished my son-in-law and I went up to the top.

Looking down from the platform with a lovely secure floor and a sold barrier around it. I only took a couple of photos from up there before handing the camera over to my official photographer and encourager. 

The plan was that I should get round as far as the bike and get on it. The lady who was helping us went ahead to the bike and we followed. My goodness that was scary.  

Edging my wat across the beam. 

Slow progress sideways. 

I made it to the corner. 

and then got stuck. 

I managed to get one leg around the pole and almost got my my foot securely onto the beam, 

But even with helping hands from either side, the step up onto the beam was too much for me to manage. We found out later that there's usually a platform at the corner which makes it easier to step up. No wonder I couldn't manage it. . 

To get back to the firm platform I had to cross that pole again. It was pretty terrifying but I knew I was nearing the end. 

 Saying "Phew" when I reached the platform.

I've done it! 

What a relief. 

A certificate. 

I discovered quite a lot of bruises and have aches in all sorts of places but it was worth it. I'm very grateful to everyone who has donated - we have £270 raised so far - a bit more has been promised - I'm just waiting for the last few donations to come in. 

Thank you very much for joining me. 


  1. wow! even from looking at the photos it looks flipping scary! I don't particularly have a problem with heights, but not sure I could have done that. Huge well done.