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11/09/2008

The Coathanger Climb, Harbour Bridge, Sydney


These two photos were taken in Sydney, Australia, and are showing Harbour Bridge, a steel arch bridge across Sydney Harbour that carries rail, vehicular and pedestrian traffic between the Sydney central business district (CBD) and the North Shore. The dramatic view of the bridge, the harbour, and the nearby Opera House is an iconic image of both Sydney and Australia. The bridge is locally nicknamed The Coathanger because of its arch-based design, although this usage is less prevalent than it once was.
The bridge was designed and built by Dorman Long and Co Ltd and was the city's tallest structure until 1967. It is the world's widest long-span bridge and its tallest steel arch bridge, measuring 134 metres from top to water level. It is also the fourth-longest spanning-arch bridge in the world.


The south-east pylon served for many years as a lookout and tourist attraction for Sydney, containing a number of telescopes and antiquated arcade games which operated on pennies, long after that currency had gone out of circulation. The pylon has recently been renovated and returned to its tourist function.
Since 1998, BridgeClimb has made it possible for tourists to climb the southern half of the bridge. Tours run throughout the day, from dawn to dusk, and are only cancelled for electrical storms or high wind. Night climbs are also available. Groups of climbers are provided with protective clothing appropriate to the prevailing weather conditions and are given an orientation briefing before climbing. During the climb, attendees are secured to the bridge by a wire lifeline. Each climb begins on the eastern side of the bridge and ascends to the top. At the summit, the group crosses to the western side of the arch for the descent. Each climb is a three-and-a-half-hour experience.
In December 2006, BridgeClimb launched an alternative to climbing the upper arches of the bridge. The Discovery Climb allows climbers to ascend the lower chord of the bridge and view its internal structure. From the apex of the lower chord, climbers ascend a massive staircase to a platform at the summit.
The cost for the climbing excursion is from $179 to $295 AUS and there are some restrictions in place. Visitors are not allowed to carry a camera or any other personal gear. Climbers are required to pass through a metal detector and take a breath-test for alcohol. However, the authority in charge takes photos which are available to those who undertake the climb.


All you want to know about the climb please visit the BridgeClimb website.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Clicking on the thumbnail to view LARGER is a must to see the details of the people climbing ! Pretty amazing (and certainly scary!). Well done, Sophie