Visiting Clip n Climb at Jump Street Chelmsford (as an Adult!)
Back in 2008, I was a certified high ropes/climbing instructor. It’s always something I’ve enjoyed. Jump Street in Chelmsford is a trampoline park that is also home to a ‘Clip n Climb’ location! There are over 280 Clip n Climb centres around the world. Essex has a couple, including a smaller location at Namco Funscape in Braintree.
The Clip n Climb at Jump Street Chelmsford has 29 different climbing walls/obstacles and 3 extreme challenges. Each wall has a unique design. Some are easy, some are more challenging. I think being very bright and colourful, they attract a younger audience, however, they are most definitely suitable for adults too!
I was happy to just climb the walls the regular way. I found that some were already challenging enough without needing to make them any more complicated! Many of the walls have a challenge board at the bottom. So if you feel like making it a little bit more difficult, you can choose challenges that have ‘point’ values. This way if you are part of a group you could have a competition to see who gets the most points!
For example, on the ‘Face to Face’ wall the challenges are:
Easy – Level 1: Use any holds (10 points)
Medium – Level 2: Use green holds (15 points)
Hard – Level 3: Use purple holds (20 points)
Some had time challenges, others had ones to see if you were able to climb only using your arms etc. A couple of obstacles also allow you to race by climbing at the same time. The ‘Face to Face’ one is GREAT for this as the wall is perspex, as you can see each other through a window-like wall! The ‘Astroballs’ can be climbed by 3 people at once (I found this one tough, I needed longer legs!). Two people can also race on the climbing net structure side-by-side.
All the walls have red buttons that you can hit when you get to the top, just so you can feel like you have succeeded by reaching it!
Extreme Challenge Package
You can pay a little extra to do an Extreme Challenge Package. This includes the standard walls (plus the cargo net and the rope ladder) plus a combination of the 3 extreme challenges. ‘Stairway To Heaven’ is a spiral staircase reaching 7 metres, that looks like something pulled from Super Mario! ‘Leap Of Faith’ is a platform that you jump off and attempt to grab a punching bag or a trapeze bar. The Vertical Drop Slide pulls you up to a height of 8 metres but you are free to let go whenever you feel comfortable!
Unfortunately, the ‘Leap of Faith’ and the ‘Vertical Drop Slide’ were closed during my visit. These 2 also have a height requirement of 1.2m, so not all children may be big enough to go on these.
The ‘Stairway To Heaven’ was one of my favourite obstacles at Clip n Climb Chelmsford. The higher you get, the more wobbly the pillars become! One of the challenges is to climb the whole staircase without using your hands. I found it really hard to pull myself up onto the last pillar, as you have no choice but to do it without hands!
How It Works At Clip n Climb Chelmsford
The time slot gives you around 55 minutes of climb time. Sessions start from £12.95. You have to sit through a quick safety video and are then given a harness. We didn’t have time to do all of the walls within our time slot but it is quite physically demanding! By the end of the session we were getting pretty tired!
Clip n Climb uses an auto-belay system which I found weird getting used to. Many of the climbing places I have been to have static lines or a human belay system. These methods usually limit the amount of slack that there is in the line. With the auto-belay system, it does take a certain amount of slack, but if you slip it doesn’t hold you! It lowers you back to the ground. This makes the walls a little more challenging because you do have to rely on your strength and ability!
There is a little bit of waiting around as you have to be attached and disconnected to each wall by one of the workers. You have to stand at the bottom of the obstacle with your hand up and eventually someone comes round.
Clip n Climb is separate from the Jump Street trampoline park area, so you can’t just go between the two sections. There are a few lockers in the Clip n Climb briefing room that are free to use and are accessed with a 4 digit code that you create. Otherwise, you can take belongings into the climb area but obviously you have to leave them on the ground, you can’t climb with them!
There are vending machines and a small cafe with pizzas and burgers. I’d suggest taking a bottle of water with you as it is thirsty work! It’s recommended to use the toilets before and after the climb time slot, just so you don’t have to keep taking the harnesses on and off.
Jump Street has a second location in Colchester but it doesn’t have a Clip n Climb.