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.

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Latest business news

Friday, August 28, 2015
Arina

Demystifying the process of growing companies securing funding from investors and lenders is the aim of the first event of its kind in the UK.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015
The Brew, Coffice

A co-working space in Tech City is perking up the office with a new concept space blending fast connectivity and artisan coffee on demand.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015
Computer class

New figures show, in the face of growing youth unemployment, vacancies for digital jobs is set to widen in the next year.

Sunday, August 9, 2015
Fiona McSwein

With cinema screenings, wine and cheese nights, yoga sessions in the office and increased working from home, one business is trying to show how flexible working is the future of the corporate world.

Thursday, August 6, 2015
Azimo Founders

The chief executive of a digital money transfer service, which has been recognised by the United Nations as one of the most comprehensive and best value transfer companies in the UK, has spoken about how technology is streamlining the money transfer sector.

Monday, July 27, 2015
Boddington

A leading tech boss has called for more action to get girls interested in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects at school and for Tech City to become more multicultural.

Competitions

Shop till you drop!

Home to top name brands at great prices, TK Maxx is more like a treasure hunt than a shop. Perfect for grabbing a bargain or some hidden gems, you arm yourself with a trolley and go wild.

Read more
Scones, jam and a cup of Earl Grey anyone?

Luxury boutique hotel Flemings Mayfair has recently launched The Drawing Room, London’s most stylish location for afternoon tea.

Read more
Free weekly shop? Yes please!

Win £200 to spend at Asda, one of the country’s leading supermarkets. Asda prides itself in being one of the cheapest places to shop, so you can be sure that your money will go a long way here.

Read more

London Bloggers

Tuesday, August 18, 2015
The Cuban

The Cuban is set up like an old relative’s house in a tropical country – doors thrown open in welcome.

Monday, April 13, 2015
Vintage fashion shopping is a joy in London (Photo by Graham French/BIPs/Getty Images)

In with the old, out with the new. This is the mantra of the best London vintage shoppers today, whose aesthetic of effortless chic is becoming more sought after.