KSU High Ropes Challenge

Today we did a "High Ropes" challenge course that the K-State rec services puts on. Normally it's set up for groups to arrange to do outdoorsy team building exercises, but occasionally they open it up for anyone who wants to sign up and come out for an afternoon. Last week, one of my colleagues mentioned they were having an open day, and Julie and I decided to sign up.

You could tell it was going to be fun because we needed to sign a scary waver.

It's very empowering to sign something that binds other people.

If you click that and read the first highlighted part, you'll see that the list of dangers goes from cuts, scrapes, and bruises all the way up to death. After death, they tagged on an etcetera, presumably to cover various kinds of mangling we might get ourselves into. It's been a good week for this sort of thing - my kettlebell training materials  came had a section called, "It's Your Fault!"

We both did all the stuff, but the camera was in my pocket, so we've only got pictures/videos of Julie.

The first event was the "rope vines." Here's a picture of Julie transitioning between two of the "vines".

You have to pretend the blue rope isn't there. I promise those exchanges felt precarious.

To give a sense of elevation, here's a video of Julie climbing up to the vines.

We did five of the obstacles (or "challenges" I think is what the organizers called them). Some were just fun and a matter of doing it, others were a bit trickier. The second challenge was the Power Pole, and it was pretty tricky.

Yes, the poles do sway in the breeze. Quite a bit...

The game here is to climb up and stand on top of a pole, then turn 180 degrees so you can jumb over and whack that hanging ball. The hard part is getting stood up on top of the pole once you run out of hand holds. At some point, you just have to one-leg it up there and hope you can stay balanced well enough to stand up.

Here's a video of Julie demonstrating the proper technique:

I'm told that top of the pole and the walk wire (from the first trick) were both 32 ft up.

After that, I wasn't able to sneak away from various rope-related responsibilities enough to take more pictures or videos.

My favorite trick of the day was the one they called the Giant Swing. Basically, they converted the first set of poles to a big swing set (the swing was a rope). The group hauled you up 30 feet or so (enough so that the rope was maybe 10 degrees short of parallel with the ground), then the swinger lets go of the haulin' rope and gets to fly for about a minutes. It was fast and awesome.

We had a good group. I think it was a great way to spend a sunny Fall afternoon.

Note: Sharp-eyed blog followers may notice that last week only had three posts despite my claim that I was going to do five posts in five days. I didn't do that. Blog fail. Thursday and Friday would have been boring anyway. I think we're all better off.


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