One experienced ‘high wire’ family visited shortly after opening and here’s their great feedback:
“As a family, we’ve done quite a lot of similar experiences, ranging from via ferrata in France, to a spectacular zip line course in Switzerland. My Service in the RAF has also involved team-building high ropes events, and as a family, we’ve seen at least six different Go Ape venues. This was second to the Swiss adventure in terms of adrenaline, but a clear first in terms of usability and safety.
The venue isn’t terribly appealing aesthetically. Skegness sea front on a drizzly summer morning probably had something to do with that, but the structure is slightly scaffold-like and doesn’t have the earthy attractiveness of a woodland course. But that’s where the negatives end…
PROS…and there are many:
- The safety system. Simply terrific. The inter-connected carabiners meant that, once connected, we were physically unable to disconnect both safety devices at the same time. My daughter is highly adventurous and tends to rush headlong without thinking – especially when excited. On a previous Go Ape experience, she waved to her mother from a high platform with a disconnected carabiner in each hand! Consequently, I’m used to having to supervise extremely closely, but at Altitude44 this was completely unnecessary, and she was able to follow her own route, at her own pace, while I maintained complete peace of mind.
- Free routing. The Go Ape model is painfully one-dimensional, meaning groups are forced to work at the pace of the slowest person ahead by dint of the linear routing. Altitude44 overcomes this by design, allowing freedom of routing across multiple layers and a web of platforms. We were all able to choose our comfort level based on height, then select obstacles that were colour-coded by difficulty. The more adventurous went straight to the top and attempted the ‘black runs’ while others stayed lower and took a more cautious approach. Brilliant.
- Jeopardy. Other high ropes venues tend to have much shorter safety cables when compared with those at Altitude44. This often removes the ‘fear factor’, because the safety harness is partially weight-bearing throughout the obstacle. There’s no sense of jeopardy. If your grip fails, you simply sit more heavily in the harness. In contrast, at Altitude44, the safety line was never pulled taught, and didn’t get in the way – we were almost unaware of its existence, which served to really focus the mind!
- Staff. Enthusiastic, engaged, helpful and real advocates for the set-up. Rather than mindlessly facilitating a sausage-machine of punters, they were genuinely part of the experience. The recruitment had clearly been as well-executed as the design.
As you can tell, I liked it and thanks again for letting us take part!