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High ropes

This is any adventure course where users are attached to ropes at a height above the ground, often up to 40 feet high, with various exercises that allow individuals to physically challenge themselves. High ropes courses are normally used in conjunction with climbing ropes, safety harnesses, helmets and other equipment more commonly associated with rock climbing. They can either be of the pole variety or tree-based.

Each participant can face his or her own level of challenge (even assisting others at 0ft from the ground!) They are able to try things they never would have thought themselves capable of doing in a safe, supportive and learning environment. It develops trust, self-confidence, teamwork and leadership skills. It is also test of balance and skill, relying on support from friends to complete the course. High ropes elements can be personal and/or team based challenges and usually involve some degree of perceived risk. It is also good fun!

Usually only found at campsites or outdoor activity centres as specialist qualified staff are required to ensure the safety of the young people. Activities that are akin but at a lower level are confidence courses, assault courses and crate climbing.

How to run/provide high ropes

There are 2 ways of running High ropes in Scouting. These are:

  1. Scout-led activity - running high ropes yourself or using someone else in Scouting

  2. Externally-led activity - running high ropes using an external provider

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