Posted by: gardner310 | June 11, 2014

World Cruise, Sydney Bridge Climb!

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It looked like rain and I was worried I would not be able to climb the Sydney Harbor bridge, something I’ve been looking forward to for 2 years. I booked my time for 1:55pm and fortunately the skies cleared for the climb. I can’t say I was nervous but I was concerned for my knees so I wrapped the worst one and headed to town.

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Th Bridge Climb organization is nothing if not organized. After checking in while waiting for your time to climb you are in the retail store area where the souvenirs run from key chains to hand puppets to boomerangs and clothing items. When the time comes, you head into the dressing area where you strip down and put on a jumpsuit provided by Bridge Climb. Wrists and ankles are velcroed shut for safety. Headsets are provided so you can hear the guide no matter where you are in line (maximum of 10 per group). You are given a special belt with a tether line and lots of hooks for various accessories depending on the weather. Very cool- you get a free Bridge Climb hat to keep.

BridgeClimb Sydney Twilight Climb
After a practice climb up the straight ladder section, we head out through the specially built tunnel to start the climb. Most of the climb is gradual on steps that are short and closely spaced but there are 4 sets of ladders that straight up climbs. If you can managed them you are good to go. In total there are about 1439 steps so your knees can feel it by the time you are down, be warned. You are on the bridge for about 2 hours due to the photo stops and tethered the entire time so there is no danger. It is one solid construction so there is no swaying as some people think. You are not permitted to take your own camera so the guide does the photography which they sell you at the bottom. There were 4 of us from the ship so we bought one package for $99.00, got the flash drive with 23 shots and split the cost. That turned out to be a good deal.

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The view is spectacular, out over the harbor, Circular Quay and the Opera House. The history of the construction of the bridge is quite interesting. I learned the fact that very few people were killed building the bridge, way less than any other bridge in the same era, just 16 died and some of those were at the quarry, not the ridge itself. One guy survived a fall by being a diver and realizing that if he could enter the water feet first or head first he could survive. He got himself into position and survived with just a few broken ribs. He was back at work 13 days later up on the girders with no safety equipment. The Sydney bridge was modeled on New York’s Hell’s Gate Bridge.

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As Nike promotes, “Just Do It!” if you are in Sydney and you have half a day.

 


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