Watch: Take on gravity-defying peaks at Clymb Abu Dhabi
Whether it’s inside the skydive chamber, or halfway up the Himalayan climb wall, Clymb Abu Dhabi, lets you wage your own personal war on gravity…
What’s On took a trip to Yas Mall’s popular adventure hub, Clymb – which boasts a pair of record-breaking active attractions.
On the third floor, we found the world’s biggest indoor skydiving chamber. The monster wind tunnel is 32 metre high and nearly ten meters in diameter.
Positioned below the flight chamber, are 16 high power fans – able to give us, lumbering land-dwelling sapiens, the gift of flight.
Before entering the chamber, skydivers must gear-up and go through a safety briefing where they’re introduced to optimal flying postures. After graduating from skydive school, the instructor leads you into the chamber where, one by one, you prepare to break physics.
For those not wishing or able to take part – there’s a birds-eye spectating perch available at Altitude Cafe.
A basic package gets you two flights, which last a minute each (although it feels much longer). The sensation is not really one of falling, more one of ‘freedom’ or what we imagine surfing into a gnarly typhoon would feel like. It’s good old, unapologetic, heart-thumping, double-chin-flapping, ear-to-ear smile levels of fun.
But the real magic of the activity became clear when we saw our instructor take a spin in the thunderdrome. Watching the skill, artistry and speed of a master of this indoor sport is exhilarating. The room may have started with 16 fans, but finished with a lot more.
After we applied far more grip chalk to our hands than was necessary, we took on the climbing activity.
It ain’t about how fast you get there, it ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side, ‘the climb’ aspect of Clymb offers engaging physical and strategic challenges to all skill levels.
Beginners can start off, rope-free, traversing across floor-height ‘boulders.’ There are walls too, equipped with slow-release pulleys, that let you descend in graceful (optional) slow-mo after scrambling up a sheer face like the frantic spider monkey you were born to be.
The beginner package includes all of your kit, as well as supervision from instructors.
Those feeling a little braver can take on intermediate or advanced walls, where routes up the artificial cliff-face are a little tougher. You’ll be pitted against uneven surfaces and finger-testing overhangs.
Just like the skydiving, it’s great entertainment, especially if you go in a group with your more competitive friends. We used muscles that hadn’t been tested in years, muscles that made themselves very apparent the next day.
We can easily see how this might become a favourite new hobby.
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For expert climbers, The Summyt awaits. This dizzying 141 foot (43 metre) high Everest-botherer is another World Record holder. It’s the world’s tallest indoor climbing wall, because of course it is.
It’s a peak so high in fact, we wouldn’t be surprised if there were snow at the top. There isn’t of course. It’s all indoors. Needless to say, it was a flat ‘nope’ for us. Maybe next time.
Our verdict: As an active outing, Clymb is tough to surmount. It’s not the sort of thing you would want to try and squeeze into your work lunch hour or post-brunch, even the entry-level activities are physically demanding but they are all deeply gratifying. Get the best out of it by heading down with a bunch of mates, go on, share this link in the group WhatsApp now. In case you’ve forgotten the name, *Miley Cyrus voice* it’s the Clymb.
Clymb, Yas Mall (by Ferrari World entrance), Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, Sunday to Thursday 11am to 10pm, Friday and Saturday noon to 11pm, basic flight package Dhs235, basic climb package Dhs120 for 60 minutes. Tel: (600) 511115, clymbabudhabi.com
Images: What’s On