Clip ‘n Climb Ipswich… By Ross Wishart

East Anglia is the flattest region in the country so the opportunities to go climbing in our community are few and far between, so when Mark and Josh decided to bring Clip ‘n Climb to Ipswich they knew it had to be big, really big!

In fact the brand new, purpose built 13,500sqft facility is the largest of all the 215 Clip ‘n Climb centres in the world.

Clip ‘n Climb Ipswich is now fully open but before the general public got to scale its dizzy heights Action Man was given exclusive access and what a blast I had!!!

From outside the tall building is quite imposing but you only really get a sense of it’s epic size when you are stood at the bottom of one of its 42 10 metre tall challenges, the tallest Clip ‘n Climb walls in Europe! Haven’t got a head for heights? (Little secret, even Action Man suffers from a touch of vertigo) Fret not, Clip ‘n Climb’s BelayMate system, connected to your professional harness, will keep you 100% safe, it will slowly and carefully help you descend from any part of the wall and catch you in the unlikely event of a slip.

I’ll admit that it’s quite unnerving the first time you climb to the very top of a wall and then have to leap off but once the BelayMate has you, it will fill you with confidence for the rest of the session. PRO TIP: get the confidence early, climb only 6-10ft up and then jump to get used to the feeling.

You’ll arrive 30 minutes before your booking slot during in which time you’ll be fitted into your harness and given a health & safety briefing, then you’ll have an hour to climb to your heart’s content.

The time will fly by but it’s just right as by then your arm & grip strength will start to fade. Don’t worry if you didn’t get it all done, you will never get them all done within the 60 minutes, you can do some of the others on your next trip! You’re certainly spoilt for choice with a wide range of challenges from the traditional bouldering walls to themed walls, speed walls, stacks of bricks & balls all with various and adjustable levels of difficulty designed to test or aid you whatever your climbing ability.

Can you beat your time on the speed wall? Can you try a more difficult route? You’ll want to come back time and time again, with climbing set to feature in the Olympics for the first time from Tokyo 2020 onwards who knows where this hobby could lead.

There are 2 special challenges that you’ll certainly want to give a go, available for a small additional cost at the time of booking the “leap of faith” and “vertical drop slide” are the tallest of their kind in Europe.

The “leap of faith” will see you climb to almost the roof of the building and then, carefully, step onto a narrow diving board. You get an incredible view of the entire facility but your focus is on the punch bag hanging in front of you but between it and you is a 35ft drop! You can launch and hit the bag or try to grab the bag, will you take the “leap of faith”?

The “vertical drop slide” is a test of nerve and grip strength, with a firm grip of the handles you are winched up to 10 metres high where you’ll let go to an exhilarating adrenaline rush as you plummet to earth within a fraction of a second. If you really want to add to your visit then I would highly recommend these for a real spine tingling thrill.

If you would rather a more sedate spectator experience or if you need to refuel from an hectic climbing session then the in-house restaurant offers a full range of their delicious coffee and soft drinks along with an exquisite menu of snacks and freshly made to order meals.

Clip ‘n Climb Ipswich really has everything that you could ask for in an exciting and fun excursion for you and the family, I’ll certainly be back soon and I look forward to seeing you all there.

Action Man says: come on down and climb on up for a thrilling time at Ipswich’s Clip ‘n Climb!