Hi, for those of you who don't know, I'm Sophie, and I'm the Marketing Manager at Climbing Hut Ellesmere Port.
Since we merged our center with Climbing Hut Shrewsbury, things have been pretty busy. Now that things have settled, I decided to take a trip to Shrewsbury to try out the Action Walls. What are Action Walls I hear you say? Well, read on to find out more!
A FEAR OF HEIGHTS!
You may find this hard to believe, but I am absolutely TERRIFIED of heights. Well, maybe it's actually the fear of falling, but you get my drift. Pretty weird considering I work at an indoor climbing wall, right?
Actually, it has done wonders for my fear. I still get shaky at height, but now, I can climb without gluing myself to wherever I happen to be standing at the time after looking down.
Anyway. I'd been planning on visiting for a while, but with COVID still lingering over the country, I put it on hold.
ACTION WALLS - TAKING THE LEAP OF FAITH!
I have to say, I surprised myself, and everyone else I think.
So one feature of the Action Walls is something that I have taken to calling the leap of faith. Basically, it's a series of towers, starting at about shin height, and increasing with every tower, until you end up as high as the people waving at you from the spectator's area on the first floor. From here. You jump!
I should probably clarify that I'm not jumping into oblivion here. I am fully clipped into a belay device that slowly lowers me down until my feet are back on the ground.
So, this might not seem like a challenge to a lot of people, but when you're up there and you're coping with people watching you and cheering, and also fighting the urge to grip the edge and not let go because you're totally crippled by your fear of heights. It is totally challenging.
I mean, there were 6-year-olds sprinting to the top and acting like something out of a James Bond film, and then fully grown adults getting up there like yeah man, this is nothing.
Then there's little old me, trying her best to mask being scared, and just doing it anyway! I can honestly say, this was the best version of an adrenaline rush I've experienced in a very long time. It. Was. AWESOME!
THEMED CLIMBING CHALLENGES Guys, this was awesome. And remember, I had never been here before. 28-year-old me did not want to turn up on her own, so of course, she took her niece and nephew, who absolutely blew her efforts to smithereens.
We tried Tetris, moving gears, castle walls, and volcanic eruption (which by the way I DID complete, despite what my nephew will tell you. No, I cannot provide evidence). You had to push a button every so often on the way up, which filled the volcano, and when you got to the top the BIG RED BUTTON made it erupt (light, not actual lava. I know, I was gutted too).
There's this really cool activity in the middle, where you have climbing holds on cubes, that are suspended in the air. They move, spin, and bend when you apply pressure on any of the holds. But what a fab challenge! I didn't get to the top, but I did get a pretty funny video of myself falling off quite dramatically, and then floating gently to the ground.
RACING UP THE WALL
The other thing we really enjoyed, was being able to race each other up the walls. The challenges run side by side, and you can really get stuck in trying to get to the top first.
In the middle of the area though, is a see-through wall, with exactly the same route on either side. This is a proper race challenge. Obviously, racing a 9-year-old would be a bit unfair, so I gave her a head start. Still won. Jus' sayin'.
THE FINAL LEAP
We all loved taking the leap of faith. And it wasn't until our last attempt, that we finally smashed it. And honestly, in the words of Irene Cara; WHAT A FEELIN'! The sheer pride that came with making that leap was amazing! I'm not sure I could have lived with myself had I not completed this challenge!
What made it even better, is that we seemed to gather a crowd wanting to complete it. We had Owen, Grace, Jayjay, Ryan, and Alex, all raring to get to the top! With all of our families watching on in sheer disbelief, as one by one, we ticked it off and leaped to success!
This is a day out, that can be enjoyed by EVERYONE! You do have to be 5 years old, but even so! What a place to go! Bring your aunts, uncles, cousins, brothers, sisters, nan, and grandad to have a go! You really won't be disappointed! That's a promise!
So what are you waiting for?