You’re standing on a perfectly safe platform. Everything inside you is saying stay where you are. Everyone else around you is saying ‘go for it’.
Your heart is racing, your palms are starting to feel a bit sweaty. You go through the instructions again. You check your gear one last time. For the sixth time in as many minutes you ask your instructor ‘have you got me?’ You take a deep breath and against all logic, you step backwards off that perfectly safe platform.
Welcome to the sport of abseiling.
Scary as it sounds, abseiling is one of the great adventures that thousands of students enjoy every year at The Great Aussie Bush Camp.
Some fast facts:
- Abseiling is also known as ‘rapelling’
- It was invented in 1879 by a French mountaineer and guide called Jean Esteril Charlet
- Thanks to high-tech advancements and safety requirements, it’s a lot safer than it was in 1879
- You can do it yourself at the Great Aussie bush camp on two different towers ranging in height from 5m to 12m
And just because it’s safer than it was in 1879, doesn’t mean it isn’t radical! Standing atop one of our abseiling walls and taking that first backward step over the edge is one of the greatest challenges for many of our visiting students and teachers.
The key part of the descent actually takes place before you begin, when students are given careful instruction and fully kitted out with a helmet, harness and gloves. Only then, and after a final double-checking of ropes, knots and gear, and with encouragement from our team, is it time to take the plunge.
Completing an abseil is a fun way to overcome a fear of heights, gain new skills and get an adrenalin rush that will stay with you long after your Great Aussie Bush Camp adventure is over.