Climb of the Cursed - Up at the O2 - London
New for this Halloween at the O2 Dome is a spooky overlay of the climbing experience - Up at the O2. The publicity blurb says that this is a terrifying live action event promising horrifying scenes and blood curdling screams. So, on a mild winter’s night we headed down to see for ourselves.The first thing you notice on arrival is how high The Dome actually is. We stood for a while watching the group ahead of us disappear into the darkness looking like tiny little ants climbing over an upturned bowl. Soon they had disappeared over the apex and we could only guess as to what was facing them at the summit.
The Up at the O2 experience portrays the dome itself like a mountain and before starting we sit down to watch a news report detailing a brief history of the mountain, the various ascents and more importantly some survivor footage from a very cold looking mountaineer. Something seems to have happened at the summit and we were needed to go and assist Of course before we could go anywhere we have to be fully kitted out in climbing boots, overalls and a harness. Safety is a key aspect, and everything is checked rigorously before we head up the stairs to the starting platform (with an impressive blast of a powerful smoke machine which left some of the group gasping!)
And then onto the climb itself. It's one of the more unusual things we have done but it is amazing how quickly you ascend to a height where London looks small beneath you. The pathway is bouncy like a trampoline and it takes a while to get used to the harness mechanism that needs to be held in a certain position at all times. Our guide was on hand to help and as we got higher and higher the drop off the pathway to the ground got longer and longer.
As we finally reached the summit we could see a snow filled camping scene with a couple of bloody tents and a raging (fake snow) blizzard around us. At this point it was time to unharness ourselves and take in the incredible views from the top. London lay sprawled out beneath us as our guide pointed out various famous sites around the capital.
Suddenly, an actor appeared which startled several members of our group. This was the only survivor from the experience and he had a chilling take to tell about what had happened to his team. The actor was extremely convincing and managed to make a couple of people jump with the way he presented his story. Therefore when there was a sudden “panic” to get off the mountain as something was coming, several of the group hurried to get harnessed up and start the descent. As we headed down we could hear the survivor’s voice echoing behind us as he succumbed to whatever mystery was involved.
The climb down felt exceptionally steep compared to the climb up and due to the concentration required to step down, nothing more is said of the story. Once back on solid ground (over an hour since we first set off) there are a few gruesome discoveries to be made before we headed back into base camp. At this point we were expecting one final part to the story, either a real scare, or a creature attack – just something to leave everyone running into the safety of the base camp. As it was – all we had was a changing room followed by the gift shop.
The lack of the final conclusion was disappointing and in fact we still don't know what attacked the team. Poster boards ask people to speculate and the possible culprits range from the obvious through to the ridiculous. We understand that they want people to make their own minds up but we think the show would have sat better with a final reveal to wrap up the whole experience. Saying that we really enjoyed the walk itself and would have been happy to pay the price for that experience without the scary storytelling. As it is – the Climb of the Cursed is no different in price to the standard walk (there is a small premium for after dark tours) so if you have ever fancied going up the dome then it’s a no-brainer to do it at Halloween!
For more info including dates and prices - check out the O2 website
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