NLP and The High Ropes

NLP and the High Ropes course

The High Ropes Challenge has been included on all our NLP certification courses since 1999. It’s primarily made up of one-person activities in which each person has the opportunity to take part in what is, for most people, a very unfamiliar experience i.e. climbing trees in a forest!

The learning points from the high ropes session are many and these are explored and discussed both during the High Ropes session and, in particular, in an extensive review when we arrive back in the Lodge. 

Participation in the High Ropes course is, of course, optional.  As with everything we do on our NLP courses it is based on the principle of challenge by choice. This means that each person makes their own choices on what they do – and everyone supports everyone else’s choices

The High Ropes session is exciting and fun – and can be a bit scary when you’re actually climbing.  The session is also an excellent opportunity to stretch yourself. And because we always run the session near the end of a course so it’s a great time to really stretch yourself – and to use your new NLP skills to prove to yourself that you can achieve more than you believe possible.

What‘s it like climbing?

You’re standing in a pine wood. The ground is slightly springy because of decades of fallen pine needles. You and your friends from the course have kitted up with helmets and safety equipment.  And you look up at the tall straight Scott Pines among which the Ropes Course has been built.

Most of the activities involve climbing the tree using the metal rungs embedded into it. You are completely safe from falling since you have a safety rope attached to your harness. Yet that doesn’t quite register for most climbers – it’s still scary.

Just how high? 

And the top of the activity is about 10 metres or 30′ above the ground. That’s just over the height of two double-decker buses, stacked one on top of the other.  A Routemaster bus (see image) is 4.38 metres high.


NLP Core Skills details and dates

Scary? Yes, at first

For most people the High Ropes session is initially quite scary; fear of heights is very widespread. But, by the time you get to the Ropes you you will have learned lots of NLP tips for managing your thoughts and feelings – and for feelings more comfortable doing things like this. Which is the purpose of the Ropes course, after all.The High Ropes course - most activities are the height of two double-decker buses

You make all the decisions…

Nothing is compulsory on our courses – especially on our outdoor sessions. This is one central principle which runs through everything we do is Challenge by Choice. This means that you choose the what you do. You choose how far you go with it.

Not only do you choose but everyone else unquestioningly accepts and supports your choice. Simple. Pressure-free.

Why include the High Ropes in an NLP course?

So why do it? Because it’s fun – and because it may well provide you with enduring proof that there’s a lot more to you than you thought there was!

  • How do I deal with unfamiliar situations?
  • Do I handle stress by being supportive of myself — or by giving myself a hard time?
  • To what extent do I allow my assumptions, about other people’s expectations of me, to influence my performance?
  • when other people are climbing do I support them — or do I become so wrapped up in my own preparation from my own session that I ignore them?
  • to what extent do I live within my Comfort zone — and to what extent do I stay fresh by exploring the Stretch zone in my daily life?

Which activities do we include on NLP Core Skills?

The High Catwalk is one of the activities we use on the High Ropes at NLP Core Skills – we also include a number of other activities which may include the Incline Logs, the Multi Vine, and the Trapeze Jump and sometimes the Crate Stack challenge.

What about the weather?

Which activities are included on a particular course will be influenced by weather, available time, safety (an activity may be withdrawn for safety inspection of maintenance). 

We aim to include High Ropes on every course but safety factors include the weather; winds above a certain strength and lightning make the High Ropes unsafe. Where possible we will aim re-schedule a cancelled session.

That said it’s a very slight possibility – we have only had to cancel one High Ropes session in about 140 courses over the past 16 years of running our NLP Core Skills programme – and in this case participants were invited to come along and take part in a High Ropes on any subsequent course which suited them.


See also our Low Ropes page