From the moment the planning began for our visit to Australia, my wanderlusting focused on the BridgeClimb Sydney. Imagine going to Australia and not standing atop the Harbour Bridge!
So began the arm-twisting, I mean convincing, of our traveling companions of the brilliant idea to gaze over Sydney from the summit of the bridge vantage point.
“Well I’m not really so great with heights,” came the reply from our friend on hearing my first proposal.
“You don’t have to worry because you will be attached by a safety cable to the bridge while climbing, ” I said slightly over enthusiastically, like a puppy with an over active tail wag.
She stared at me with wide eyes clearly not convinced.
“The guide is with the climbers at all times on the bridge. Imagine the view of Sydney from the top, imagine the story you can tell your kids, imagine the feeling of accomplishment when you say you did BridgeClimb Sydney!”
Finally, after a few weeks of similar enthusiastic coercion, I mean encouragement, likely in an effort to not have to listen to me like an infomercial for BridgeClimb Sydney, our friends agreed. I signed the four of us up on-line faster than you can say kangaroo.
The Day of the Climb
“Do you know how windy it is this morning?” came the nervous greeting at breakfast from our travel mate on the day of the booking. I launched into a tirade, I mean reassuring banter, ” I have no doubt that with 3.2 million people having climbed the Sydney Bridge in the past 17 years safety is the top priority. Let’s head over and see what they have to say.”
It is possible at that point I grabbed my friend’s hand and began pulling.
What to Expect When You Arrive
I believe I could hear sighs of relief around me as I presented our group to the desk at BridgeClimb Sydney. Full of smiles and reassurance, the staff told us the wind and weather are monitored closely but there was no concern today. All was well within safety limits. I gave a little fist pump in the air.
With check in completed we moved on to join the rest of the group we would climb with. Waivers signed, health questionnaires filled out, screening with metal detectors and breathalyzers completed (everyone is checked for alcohol intake before being allowed to climb), we moved on to the change rooms.
What will you do expect before you start climbing?
All climbers will be given a set of coveralls to put on in individual change rooms. We were surprised to be told to leave on only our underwear under the blue and grey one piece outfits. Clothes and all possessions, including cameras, phones and watches, are left in a secure locker. This is for safety purposes. One group photo is included and you can purchase others if you choose to do so.
Trust me when I say that as unusual as I thought it was to be told to take off my clothes, the heat of Sydney left me grateful for the suggestion a short time later on the bridge.
Now dressed in climbing uniforms, the most organized distribution of equipment, from harnesses to hats to headsets we have ever witnessed in group instruction ensued. We practiced clipping into a metal cable and were told what to expect once out on the bridge.
Was the climbing scary?
You can expect I kept a close eye on my friends and without any exaggeration all I saw were smiles from the first step out onto the catwalk under the bridge. They were relieved that the bridge did not sway at all, that the climb up to the top of the bridge was so wide and they told me later, the fact that our guide so clearly told them what to expect made all of the difference.
Are there any restrictions?
To participate you must have a general level of fitness and be able to climb independently. Some medical conditions may prevent you from experiencing BridgeClimb Sydney such as heart or respiratory conditions, recent injuries, fractures or seizures. Children between 8 and 15 can do the climb if a parent is with them. Those over 24 weeks pregnant are not advised to participate.
What was the best thing about BridgeClimb Sydney
It goes without saying that the view and the adventure were highlights for me. What came as a surprise was the in-depth history that Graham our guide entertained us with. I had expected the experience to be all about the physical aspect.
One of our favorite moments was Graham telling the story of his Nana being 10 years old the day the bridge opened in 1932 and her memories, passed on through generations of the huge parade and celebrations.
Last Words of Advice for Those who Are Fearful of Heights
Rather than coming from us we decided to leave this section to our friends. Here’s what they had to say upon finishing the bridge climb.
“You will never feel rushed and the atmosphere is very relaxed. When climbing to the top of the bridge it’s more like easy stair climbing, like walking uphill. The only time we felt a bit uneasy was under the bridge where it feels a bit more exposed. Climbing the ladders to the arches of the bridge are a bit steep but very manageable. The train runs quite nearby so don’t be surprised by the loud noise if it does. Don’t worry everything will be very well explained by the guide. Most of all go for it. It was fantastic!”
What did we think of BridgeClimb Sydney? Our 10 second video says it all.
With thanks to our friends for being willing to go along with my endless ideas. Our gratitude to our guide Graham for a most amazing adventure. Information and booking for BridgeClimb Sydney can be found here.
Would you climb the Harbour Bridge?
Dave and I were guests of BridgeClimb Sydney. All opinions and fist pumps are my own.