Last Saturday… I ticked another thing off my bucket list… My friend and I completed a ‘Go Ape’ High Ropes Forest Adventure!
When I got back from holiday, I received an email from a company inviting myself and a friend to take part in a Go Ape activity at one of their sites, as well as reviewing their accessibility in this blog. I was ecstatic! I’ve always wanted to do a high ropes activity, as I love setting myself a challenge! After all, Go Ape is all about ‘living life adventurously’! I texted my friend to see if she wanted to do it with me, and she replied ‘yes!’ within seconds!
I replied to the company saying that H and I would be so interested in it, and they booked us in. It was good when they asked us if we had any accessibility requirements to complete this challenge, even though I replied saying that we should be okay.
The company emailed me a link to the Accessibility page on their website, so I had a quick look before we left. There was a section on deafness which was great to read, and it listed that if you require additional support, they would be accomodating. They have BSL interpreted videos explaining different aspects of Go Ape. There was also a subtitled safety briefing clip at the bottom of the page which was good to watch.
Last Saturday, H and I drove to our local Go Ape site at High Lodge Thetford, UK.
On arrival, we were given a safety briefing by an instructor. As he started talking, I couldn’t quite catch what he was saying, so I had to step in and explain my deafness. He soon became very understanding and repeated the instructions clearly for me so I could lipread him.
The briefing made you think about which clips on your harness had to be used for what, so after some repetition and demonstrations, I finally understood! There was also clear signage which explained which harness clips had to go where, so I was able to follow these. We were given a quick test to make sure we understood the briefing, luckily we passed! Then, we were off!
There were 5 courses, each with a rope ladder to the podium, and each course was made up with different rope bridges which we had to navigate. At the end of each one, there was a zip wire back down to the ground. Each course got harder, but more fun!
The last course in particular was the funniest as H and I kept falling off the rope bridges as they were difficult to cross = uncomfortable harness wedgies hanging in mid air…
After an intense hour of high ropes, we came to the final zip wire… it was a big one! It was so much fun, but at the same time sad to know that when the zip wire finished, it would all be over.
Overall, the team were fantastic and adapted well once I told them about my hearing loss. My only concern would be if I was up on the treetops and there was a problem, I wouldn’t hear them calling from down on the ground, but I guess either my friend or the instructor would have to come and get my attention.
Perhaps, at the sites they should have some visual information up about if you require additional support due to disabilities, that they have staff willing to help, or that there is a subtitled and BSL signed safety video if they wish to watch it. Other than that, I had such a fantastic time and I would love to do it again, or to try out other high rope courses in different locations. I definitely recommend it!
What’s next on the bucket list I wonder..?
Love E x