Tied To Humber Bridge, Hull (002)
As you drive down the A55 into Hull it's pretty hard not to notice the beautiful and iconic Humber Bridge. Just driving past this mammoth structure leaves you in awe of its beauty, and it's a true testament to its creators. The bridge stands 156 metres tall and has a clearance of 35 metres over land at the Hull side, that gives 35 metres to play with.
Almost immediately after we started our challenge Tied To 111 different locations we decided to make the Humber Bridge part of the event ; and it didn't disappoint.
Arriving At The Bridge
When we set off to Hull, we started the day with almost clear skies and a mild temperature, unfortunately this wasn't to last. Almost immediately upon arriving at our destination it started to rain - something we're familiar with in the North of England. But the rain didn't put us off, it's just a bit of water after all, and gazing at the bridge only pushed us to continue.
Getting Set up
After parking our car in the free car park underneath the bridge we don our harnesses and equipment and then we made our way to the bridge. To reduce the risk of being caught we decided to prep ourselves prior to climbing the bridge, so that we could abseil and descend as quickly as possible. We must have sounded like Morris-men while walking up to the bridge with all of our equipment hanging on our harnesses!
Once at the location we worked quickly, first we checked to see if the path was clear and then we tied three climbing slings to the largest support cables to make the anchor. Attaching two carabiners to the slings, throwing the rope to the ground below and then attaching the rope to the anchor point we were ready to go. Using a trusty figure of eight to regulate the descent and after adding a Prusik to our line, we slowly climbed the fence and carefully positioned ourselves on the ledge.
Once on the ledge, we kneeled down to the bottom (the remaining platform before the drop) and slowly eased past the bottom of the bridge's structure to ensure we wouldn't slip or drop unexpectedly. Past this point we had only the ground beneath, which was still some 35 metres below. Lowering through the air was amazing, the wind slowly blew us around in circles, giving us a great 360 degree view.
From tying on to the bridge to landing on terra firma it took a little over 5 minutes, with the actual descent only lasting 30 seconds. Although we could have abseiled quicker, the 30 seconds was still not enough to take in the view and feel the experience of being tied to the Humber Bridge.
It might surprise you but there's actually quite a lot of planning that goes into each of the Tied To 111 events. It's important to know the structure's height, points to be tied to, security details and so on. After multiple visits to the bridge and noting the many cameras and the location of the Humber Bridge Board, we assumed it was inevitable that we would attract some attention and would possibly have to explain ourselves afterwards. To our surprise we only explained ourselves to the small group of cyclists, who were more than happy to pass by almost uninterrupted.
An awesome day, even if somewhat wet.