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Sky-High Challenge: 10 things to know about HK Vertical 1000

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There’s a reason why we love superheroes; they inspire us to keep seeking challenges while helping others. On 22 and 23 November, you’ll have the chance to become the next Spider-Man with the second HK Vertical 1000, the city’s only charity abseiling event!

Organised by Outward Bound Hong Kong, the event will send you to the top of One Island East, followed by a 1,000-foot abseil. Intrigued? Read on to find out what this exciting adventure is all about.

1. You could be one of the first 12 people completing the challenge this year.
Twelve Taikoo Place office workers will have the chance to take on this extraordinary challenge on the first day of the event. “This will be the first time that we’re having a dedicated Taikoo Place Tenant Day,” says Nick Cotton, Outward Bound Hong Kong’s executive director. “So it’ll be a very exclusive experience for them.”

2. It’s time to assemble your team.
Behind every hero is a supportive team, so bring your team along and celebrate it together! “From raising funds to cheering for you during the abseil, this can be a joint experience for both you and your team,” says Cotton. To help you get your team involved, HK Vertical 1000 will set up a fundraising platform and provide materials introducing the event, as well as custom jumpsuits with company logos for adventures to wear on the big day. 

3. It’s a memorable way to kick off the festive season. 
The Taikoo Place Tenant Day will also have a Christmas theme. “The abseilers will wear a special jumpsuit that looks like Santa Claus’ outfit,” Cotton reveals. So you’ll get to deliver holiday joy like Santa does, except you’ll be climbing down a skyscraper instead of a chimney. After completing the challenge, bring your cheer squad over to The Refinery for an early Christmas party – what better way to bond than over free-flowing bubbly and canapés?

4. Find your tribe!
Expect to meet other like-minded adventurers. In the 2017 abseil, challengers included senior executives from companies like the Securities and Futures Commission, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, KPMG and Deloitte. And this year, Cheung Chau Bun Scrambling Contest champion Jason Kwok Ka-ming, long-distance runner Christy Yiu and professional climber Yau Ka Chun, will be taking part – stay tuned to find out how they are preparing for the challenge!

5. It’s set up by a team of world-class mountaineers. 
“This will be our sixth tall building abseil,” says Event Technical Director Iain Peter, who has over 30 years of mountaineering experience. His team of seven consists of experienced climbers, mountain guides and riggers, and has supported similar events such as the Descent of the Shard and The City Three Peaks Challenge in London. “One Island East presents a unique challenge as it’s very tall and steep,” says Peter. “But we have a lot of experience and we are at home in challenging locations.”

6. It’s fairly physically easy and extremely mentally challenging.
A professional training session led by Peter will teach you all the techniques needed for a safe and fun descent. On the day, you’ll first meet with a doctor to make sure you’re in good health, before you put on a jumpsuit, special shoes and are secured into your harness. “Thanks to all the preparation and training, I felt surprisingly calm when I was up there,” shares past participant Campos Cheng.

7. It’s an accessible sport to almost anyone in any age category. 
You don’t need to be fit, experienced or young to do this, but you do have to be adventurous and, according to Cotton, slightly crazy. “Gravity will be pulling you down, so it’s not very physical,” he says. “It’s more of a mental game. Overcoming the mental part of it will likely be the hardest bit.”

8. You’ll get the best bird’s-eye view of the city.
From the top of the skyscraper you can enjoy a fantastic panorama from Central to Tung Lung Chau – picture the city’s soaring skyline spread below you, with rolling green hills on one side and the shimmering harbour on the other. “But the best thing about it is that the glass reflects the view,” says Cotton. “It’s as if you’re encased in the landscape.”

9. 10-15 minutes adventure makes you never be the same again. 
It’s a long way down from the rooftop at the 69th floor, but as Cotton points out, gravity takes over, and once you find “that sweet spot on the abseil device” – a belay device to limit your speed – you will go steadily down. The descent will be split into two sections, with a mid-way station at the 36th floor to change ropes. In completing a successful abseil, confidence levels are boosted as you feel a sense of achievement.

10. You’ll be a real hero.
Heroes are heroes because they help others. With HK Verticals 1000, you’ll also be helping young people from Hong Kong while rappelling down the building like Spider-Man. “Funds raised from the event will support them to take part in our adventurous, confidence-boosting programmes,” says Cotton. “So you won’t be the only one moving out of your comfort zone – you’ll also help others step outside theirs.”

Find out more and sign up for this once-in-a-lifetime adventure here!


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