Played the tourist today and was booked to do the harbour bridge climb.
Our climb was booked for 11.35am. We checked in and we were then put into our group, which consisted of Jenny, myself, 2 young lads from England on their gap year, a young Malaysian girl and three older Americans.
After a short talk and breath test for alcohol we then had to sign a disclaimer, then it was off to be kitted up. Firstly your given a jump suit to wear, then you pass through a metal detector, your not allowed to take any cameras or anything up for safety reasons, the only thing your allowed is your sun glasses and then there attached to you, they even give you a handkerchief, again that’s attached to your wrist. Next you put on a harness and get kitted out with a radio, so the guide who was called Tyrone could talk to you and do the guided tour bit and finally a waterproof jacket.
After a short go on a training ladder it was out onto the bridge. Rather narrow to start with, then you climb four sets of ladders onto the start of the arch, a little steep to start but the higher you get the more it starts to level out, stopping for several photo opportunities which are taken by the guide. At the summit you then have a group photo taken.
We’d just had this photo taken and was crossing over the bridge to start the climb down when a storm came in, it was quickly on with the waterproofs and started to climb down. The wind got up, gusting at 50mph I later found out, it started to rain, thunder and lightning and then hailstones. It was really pretty extreme and you really had to hold on or be blown over, as there is no shelter on the arch, luckily your attached to a safety wire. It seemed that as soon as we’d got off the arch and down the ladders it all stopped and the sun came back out! The guides all said they’ve never had it that bad.
When we got back to take our equipment off we was met by several managers that were all apologising, they offered us all another free climb and free photos which were worth nearly $70 I think. It was perhaps a bit more dangerous than I thought, I think mainly due to the thunder and lightning, being on a huge steel structure is probably not one if the best places to be! I just thought it was all good fun and it added to the excitement, nobody got hurt, everybody was ok and I didn’t hear anyone complain.