Fantastic...climbing to the top of the O2!

13:00 27 June 2012

Up at the O2 pictures...we made it. Editor Colin Grainger and wife Lesley at the top of the O2 on the viewing platform.

Up at the O2 pictures...we made it. Editor Colin Grainger and wife Lesley at the top of the O2 on the viewing platform.

Archant

Intrepid climb to the top of the O2

We did it…like all those famous climbers who have felt that special something when they reached the summit they just had to conquer.

For a few moments we stood in amazement and realised…we had conquered the O2!

Looking back down at what we had just climbed up was perhaps more scary that the climb itself.

It’s probably the best place ever to ever to get a bird’s eye view of Newham and all of the Capital. It most certainly has a special something. The view is just incredible. ExCeL, the Thames Barrier at Silvertown, and all the other parts of the borough that your Newham Recorder covers daily.

My wife Lesley and I had just conquered the O2 thanks to London’s newest tourist attraction….Up at the O2.

When it was the Dome and ever since it has become the O2, I have always wondered what it would be like on the top of that landmark on our skyline. Now I know.

When we first heard about it a month ago, we decided it just had to be done.

Tickets went on sale and within ten minutes, the first day’s climbing was booked up.

But we managed to hand over our £22 each for the next day of business and got the early evening slot.

Not the best of weather on Saturday but never mind. The Graingers are made of stern stuff.

After booking in at base camp, signing the disclaimer, meeting our guide Don and having our mandatory safety film, it was into the climbing suit and harness, having first made sure you have visited the loo!

You are only allowed to take your phone to take pics, as there is no room for anything else.

It was decided that our of our group of about 16, the old gits, ie the Graingers, (my words not the guides) would bring up the rear, as the younger ones led the way.

A few adjustments and we were away. Probably the hardest bit was understanding how to operate the attachment and wheels on the harness strap as you wend your way up the walkway and handrail. But after five or ten minutes you do get the hang of it.

It was windy and as you tackle the upward slope you realise exactly what you are doing.

But Don was a diamond, so reassuring and so calming and before you know it, you are up at the top. It is a great feeling. You believe you have just been intrepid (for about 15 minutes) and the views are just stunning. North, south, east and west for all the 360 degrees of the O2 top, you just take it all in.

You viewing platform is simply great. And then they started testing what will ,from tomorrow, become, London’s next greatest attraction…the Cable car from Greenwich to Custom House.

Simply stunning.

Then it was time to begin the descent down the other side of the big dome, to Thameside at the O2. Having by now mastered the technique it was a lot easier.

And the Up at the O2 team on the ground were waving and cheering as we came down.

Then it was into the changing area, and getting out of the suits and harness was a lot easier than getting in! It was farewell to Don and our fellow climbers and into the gift shop for some souvenirs. It was here I told the team they had missed a trick.

No Up at the O2 fridge magnets! Surely a must have souvenir.

Then it was back into the 02 to replace all of the calories we had just lost with a beer and a meal, and back home to Eddie the cat and Euro 2012. Magic.

Latest Stories from SNAP.PA

Luke Evans has said the worst part of getting fit is having to give up alcohol.

Read more

Paul Thomas Anderson creates the world of a Thomas Pynchon novel.

Read more

If there’s one tax Sol Campbell doesn’t like, it’s the mansion one.

Read more

Promotions

AGA Living Subscription

Every issue of AGA Living magazine is packed full of celebrity AGA owner interviews, interior and design features, ideas to inspire your culinary imagination, mouth-watering recipes and inspirational shopping ideas.

Dojo gives you hand picked recommendations for events, places and activities in London

Tired of always hearing about some amazing event in London after its gone, missing out on the best activities? That’s where Dojo comes in.

Advanced running and training technology for beginners up to elite athletes

If you’re thinking of adding running treadmill to your fitness routine, you’re on the right track! There are several advantages to running on a treadmill versus running outdoors.

Premier Inn rolls out a new flagship high-tech hotel.

A dog’s condition has to be pretty extreme to shock Battersea, but they say Whisper is one of their worst cases ever.

There’s nothing funny about a lack of toilet paper.

TOP Stories

08:45
Do you recognise this man?

This CCTV footage shows the terrifying moments during a robbery at an internet cafe and money exchange in Tottenham High Road.

5 minutes ago
Part of the proposed new Bakerloo Line extension from Elephant & Castle to Hayes (Picture: TfL)

Plans have been released for a £3billion extension of the Bakerloo line from Elephant & Castle through south London station to Lewisham and possibly Hayes and Beckenham.

43 minutes ago
Chriss Dodd questioned the supermarket whether the poster should be in full view of the customers

Sainsbury’s was forced to apologise after a motivational poster urging staff to squeeze an extra 50p from every customer was mistakenly put in the window of its Stratford store for customers to see.

London Bloggers

Wednesday, September 17, 2014
The cast, including Josie Lawrence and Mike Myers

Simon Collins catches up with the improv impresarios, who despite being the world’s longest-running comedy show with the same cast, have lost none of the razor-sharp wit:

Monday, September 1, 2014
Do you really need an explanation for that?! (Pic by Serena Marinelli)

If you’ve ever seen an Italian movie, you would probably know how important body language is in the culture.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Don't waste any of your harvest

If you are now inundated with ripe tomatoes, juicy green beans, berries and herbs, don’t leave them to go stringy or mouldy because the freezer can go a long way to making your crops last well into winter.