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Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Guest Post: SkyWild Ropes Course at the Greensboro Science Center

 Ropes Course at the Greensboro Science Center 

We were privileged to be included in the friends and family day at SkyWild before the grand opening on May 2. I’ve never been on a ropes course or zip lining so I really wasn’t sure what to expect. It was amazing!

My husband said it was the closest he could come to being a kid on playground and I have to agree. It was challenging but not necessarily in the way I was expecting. Many of the elements and obstacles were more about problem solving and balance than they were about strength and physical fitness. Sometimes the hardest part was figuring out whether to grab or step first.

SkyWild Ropes Course at Greensboro Science Center

It is on the pricey side at $46, but they offer a lot of discount options. Your ticket covers two hours so just think of it as $20 an hour. I know there are other courses in the area but I love, love, love that this one is the shade! The day we went it began to rain but it wasn’t that bad because of the trees. (They don’t close for rain, just lightning.) You’re climbing right beside all the animal enclosures and you’re under a thick tree canopy almost the entire time. It was really fun to be pulling yourself across on a surfboard while looking down into the tiger enclosure (no, it’s not close enough for you to fall in). 

If you’re wondering if you are in good enough shape to complete the course, don’t worry; there’s always a way to “cheat.” For instance, there is one stretch with monkey bars. I do not have the upper body strength for that distance but there is a second option to walk a tight rope instead. I also saw a few people who felt stuck on some of the most difficult elements and they simply sat down in their harness and pulled themselves across zip line style.

The harness goes around your waist and legs just like a zip line harness but it also comes up over your shoulders. You are clipped into a tether at the front near your waist. The tether is attached to a cable running just above you through the ropes course. If you were to fall, your bottom would stop where your knee or calf had been when you were standing. There are some zip line sections and you simply sit down and slide across (or, my personal favorite, you slide down a short slide off the side of a tall platform at the start of the zip line). At first, the harness is a pain but by the end I was comfortable with it. They say to wear harness appropriate clothing. I highly recommend against wearing jeans! A few guys in our group wore jeans and were not very comfortable. Athletic or yoga pants worked much better. Ladies, you will want to take out your earrings too (or put in a simple stud). The helmet strap comes down right under the ear so anything dangling will be uncomfortable. 

Remember you can’t have anything in your pockets so I strongly recommend leaving everything in your car or at home. They have “lockers” but it’s just a plastic bucket with a lid and lock hanging on a fence. It’s fine for holding your wallet or keys but it’s not going to hold a lot. If it’s raining or a hot day, you probably won’t want to leave your phone in it either.

All in all it was a great day. The staff was very friendly and helpful. The courses were challenging but still fun. With three different difficulty levels and multiple paths per level, it’s easy to pick and choose which elements you want to try and which you want to avoid. We can’t wait to go back!

Visit http://greensboroscience.org for more information on the Greensboro Science Center
Visit http://www.skywild.org for more information on SkyWild

Review submitted by Leslie Wannamaker, a local mom of two. Leslie is a highly qualified, certified instructor offering tutorial to students 8th grade-college in Language Arts, SAT/ACT prep, study skills, and more. Visit her pages at https://plus.google.com/+MrsWannamakersTutorialGreensboro and https://www.facebook.com/wannamakerstutorial

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