Sunday, 12 June 2016
On top of London #upattheO2
To the Dome, for a bit of a climb. We'd assembled from across various part of London, to climb over the Dome. I worked close to the Dome for a while and often used to see people setting out on the expedition, but this is a first for me.
At Base Camp, we were given clipboards and a massive form to fill in. Waivers, emergency numbers and even shoe sizes. All logical, of course, because we'd be given gilets, harnesses and boots for the climb.
A briefing, a few moments to climb into the harnesses, put all of our belongings into blue boxes for safe keeping and eventually emerge at the start of the actual climb.
A few more safety checks as we were clipped onto a runner line that went all the way to the summit. Our special gripper locking safety wheels needed to be at the right angle to pass through certain loops and then onto the climb itself.
The first few steps were curious, the walkway was boingy and we needed to manipulate the safety system without trapping our hands inside the mechanism. We soon found our rhythm and were climbing properly. The way up started steep but became progressively easier as we approached the top. Logical really with the flattish shape of the Dome.
Plenty of time for pictures and a wander around at the top. A cameraphone-only zone because we'd all been asked to leave any bigger items back at base camp.
After the range of triumphant pictures against all manner of scenic backdrop - Canary Wharf, the ex-Olympic Village, West India Dock, Victoria Dock, The Thames Barrier - it was time to clip on again and start the descent.
Amusingly, there were a few angled sections to the descent, which progressively looked more and more sheer. I'm told it was 30 degrees, but it felt like 60.
Back at ground, we did the group hugs and handshakes and then triumphantly handed back our gear.
Great fun. We'd been on top of London.