Fun on a Friday Morning – Ariel Leadership Development Park

2 07 2012
The group is ready to take on The Odyssey

We were ready to take on The Odyssey

This past Friday a group of guys from Ariel celebrated the last day our kids are in school and Gan by going to the Ariel Leadership Development Park (פארק אתגרים) for a guys day out.

The Odyssey - Ariel Leadership Park

The Odyssey

The Park is designed for groups, usually work groups or families, to learn to work together, rely on each other and basically to bond as a group. It looks like a jungle gym for adults.

There are many different structures and things to do at the LDP, our group braved The Odyssey, I’m guessing it’s around 50 feet off the ground, there are two levels – the upper level, and then the really high level. We were divided into 2 groups of six. The group I was in went up to the really high level.

The Rope Ladder, going up the The Odyssey

It begins

Our journey started on a simple rope ladder; once we reached the top of the Odyssey we had our “Lobster Claws,” or safety belts, strapped to cables above our heads.  Our guide, Shlomo, explained the rules to us. We had to get to next platform, which was 20 feet or so in front of us, walking on a cable wire. There were 3 lanes which we could walk on, and three rows of cables above us, each row having 2 people connected it by their safety belt. In front of us were 7 wooden beams hanging from a cable, our entire team had to grab a hold of the beam before we could move on.  There was nothing to hold onto for balance, except our friends, and the wooden beams (once we reached them). There was nothing

Taking the fiorst step, The odyssey, Ariel

Nothing was more terrifying than that first step onto the ropes

more terrifying than taking that first step off the nice solid platform, onto the wobbly cable wire, with no safety net underneath. We discussed our plan of action, figured out how we would maneuver, remember, since we were attached to different rows of cables, it’s not like we could just go from cable to cable, every step had to be coordinated with the other guys.

After we managed to get to the other side Shlomo presented us with out next challenge, once again we had to cross another 20-30 feet of cable wire, this time we were set up so that there were 3 people on each side, and 2 ropes coming down from the cable, through a pulley. Each side had to hold onto a piece of the rope, manage to get across. The trick here was there were several knots in the ropes, Shlomo said that if one of the knots touches the base of the pulley he’d knock everybody down, so we had to manage how hard we pulled on the ropes, and keep a level balance.  The closer we got to the end, the farther apart our two sides got, and we had to adjust our walking strategy on the fly. Again, we survived and passed the course with flying colors.

Step 1 Grab the beams - The odyssey

The first two guys reach the wooden beams

The third section was a little easier, all 6 of us sat on a bench and had to pull the bench, buy grabbing ropes and get to the other side. At first it was a breeze, but towards the end, the bench got stuck, and we had to readjust our weight, I was elected to stand up, move to the back of the bench and crouch down over the rope while pulling it, as if I was water skiing. I did as I was told, the bench flew forward and I fell backwards. It was not a comfortable fall, but boy was I glad that the harness held!

A view from the top of The Odyysey

A peek at what the other group was doing

The fourth and final level on The Odyssey was to again cross about 10-30 feet, but this time we had to stand on a platform maybe 1 square foot.

All set to go on the Odyssey

You see those little squares way up in the sky, we had to balance 6 people on each square

To be clear, I mean that all 6 of us had to stand on this wobbly little platform without falling. Once everyone got on the platform, we had to, one at a time, get to the next platform, and maneuver around so everyone can get on. Again, the closer we got to the end, the more wobbly the platforms became. Twice, most of the group fell while we were trying to move around on the platform so the next guy could get on. The rule was you couldn’t walk on the cables like in previous challenges; you had to basically stretch your leg as far as possible and with the help of the other guys, get onto the platform.

Getting off The Odyysey required a zip line

Taking a zip-line off The Odyssey

When we were done with that, we got to go down with a zip line which was cool.

The last activity we did was the swing. Here we got strapped to a harness again, and the other guys pulled a rope, which raised the swinger in the air. When the swinger was as high as he wanted, he yelled stop, the rope team stopped pulling and the swinger let go off a rope he was holding that kept

Swinging at Ariel Leadership Park

Swinging

him up, and basically sent him into a free fall and he started swinging around. It was very cool.

 

 

To look at the full photo album click here

Here are some video we were able to take

Here is a video of Yitzie getting off the Odyssey on the Omega

Here is Shauli going up (and down) on the swing.

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