In which I chuck myself off a tower, 192m above the ground
I saw the SkyWalk and SkyJump when I first visited the Sky Tower. It looked cool and as someone who does not want to do a bungy, the SkyJump didn’t look as bad as it was a more controlled descent. Nevertheless, it took me until yesterday to get round to doing it, a day which started bleakly, weather-wise, but ended up being a fabulous day!
Heading into Auckland early, via a ferry ride, I was transported from driving rain to clouds but no rain in Auckland. I hadn’t booked the SkyWalk and SkyJump yet, as I wanted to make sure the weather would be ok for it. I got to the Sky Tower at about 9.30am and they said I could go on the first SkyWalk of the day at 10:15am then do my SkyJump later at 11:45am. Ok, I thought.
I was given 2 free passes to the top of the Sky Tower, as I was doing both the SkyWalk and the SkyJump and I decided to use one whilst I waited for my SkyWalk. These are the scenes that greeted me:
However, as much as I was up there for the view, I was mainly up there for the experience of walking around the Sky Tower, as 192m high. I headed back down to the ground, to wait for my SkyWalk and Brad, my guide, greeted me. There is a maximum of 6 people in any SkyWalk; I was the sole walker at 10:15am on Sunday 30th December 2012. It was especially cool as it felt like my own private tour!
First, I had a breath test, counting 1-10, to make sure that I was not utterly “gazeboed” (drunk – see Michal McIntyre, the comedian) . After passing that (phew!), Brad asked me to suit up in the sexiest little orange jumpsuit I have ever seen, especially as it was too short for me, and also gave me a rain jacket, as the weather was still unsure what it was doing. I then put the all important harness on. We headed up in the lift, and at the top watched a couple of SkyJump-ers before starting our own little walk about the Sky Tower. Doubts about that choice were already starting to creep in, but I put it to the back of my mind as we started our walk.
As I’ve already said, the weather was a bit hit and miss to start; a cloud here, then revealing the Auckland Harbour Bridge, then hiding it again. It had a really ghostly feel to it and also felt a bit more scary, as you were less sure about what was out there.
Whilst on the SkyWalk, Brad was pointing out various things to me, and we were generally having a chat about everything. He also got me to do some challenges, 192m up, so that was pretty crazy. I won’t tell you about those, I’ll just show you the video!
I hate my laugh…
Once down, I had about 15 minutes to wait before my jump. They leave a little time in between in case something takes longer on the SkyWalk (panic attacks etc!), but soon enough it was time to suit up once again, this time in a fetching blue and yellow number. Next, a more complicated harness than the SkyWalk and then a weight check. I think it’s partly to do with the jump itself, and also to make sure that they are getting the expected person up on the jump spot. So I ended up with a new kind of “tramp stamp,” (when we went out to nightclubs in Newcastle, you would more often than not get a stamp on the back of your hand, which you’d be reminded of the next day – “tramp stamp”) and I’m not ashamed of my weight as I know that’s about 4/5kg more than my actual weight 😉
Into the lift, with all the SkyTower visitors “you’ll go down quicker than us!” remarked one guy. At the top I was greeted by two very enthusiastic girls who were clearly trying to make me forget that I was about to jump off a tower. Final safety checks, an instruction to hold onto the two poles and let go after 3,2,1 and here we go [edit 5th Jan = SkyJump video should work now]:
Some screams, so what, I’m a big girl. Also, check out my face, I didn’t feel sick, but I definitely look a little green and/or absolutely freaked out at a few points!
I couldn’t stand up on landing, my legs couldn’t quite believe what my brain had just decided to make me do.
IT WAS AWESOME, AMAZING, BREATH-TAKING, THE WORKS!
I’d do it again, no doubts. Who wants to come and do it with me next time? 😉