JAMES ISLAND, SC (WCSC) - Tucked along Folly Road stands the attention-grabbing sight of nearly two dozen giant tower poles tied together by a spider web of ropes and wires.
"People have been driving by going, 'What is that?'," says Hugh Corcoran, Co-Founder of Wild Blue Ropes. "We've had a lot of people stop by and say, 'What are you guys doing?' Because a lot a people haven't seen one of these courses before."
The course Corcoran is constantly fielding questions about is the 25-foot tall adventure ropes and challenge course at Wild Blue Ropes, James Island's newest outdoors attraction.
Offering four different difficulty levels, Wild Blue throws its thrill-seekers into heavy duty harnesses and sends them off on a "create your own" adventure. The three-story course offers over 70 course elements and obstacles, each color-coded with ski slope-inspired difficulty signage: green for the easiest, blue for moderate, and black for most difficult.
After signing a release form, guests receive a helmet, get locked into a heavy-duty harness, and are instructed on how to use the magnetic dual carabiner system used to keep participants from becoming victims. The system ensures that at least one carabiner is always locked to a safety wire, only becoming unlocked after the second carabiner clicks into a magnetic "tweezler", locking it in place.
From there, guests can go as far as their whits take them.
"I started on blue, and I didn't know when I was going to get back here, so I had to head up to the black course as soon as I could," said Carter Dandridge, one of the many guests to hit the course Tuesday afternoon during a special pre-opening day event. "It was a little scary, but it's kind of like a playground for adults."
Corcoran says the idea for Wild Blue Ropes came from a mix of previous experiences with rope courses and a passion for creating something active that anyone can do regardless of skill level, age, or need.
"I have a son with cerebral palsy and a daughter with learning differences, and it means a lot," Corcoran explained. "Watching my son go up on the course, and when he's finished he feels just like you or I do. It's the best feeling in the world, watching him smile."
It is with that in mind, along with experiences from Co-Owners Gary Ladd and Ron Hite, that Wild Blue became a certified B-Corporation in the state of South Carolina.
"We formed a B-Corp which is for benefit, so you have to give back socially or environmentally, and we are giving back. Our focus groups are special needs, wounded warriors and under-privileged groups," said Corcoran.
Though intimidating from a distance - okay, still a bit intimidating while making your way up to the third level - the course offers a little something for everyone, including the chance to conquer your fears.
"Even if you're scared of heights, you can just go slowly, begin to crawl to the top, but it's worth it," said Dandridge after successfully navigating the massive structure. "It's such a rush. I haven't felt this much fun since I was a kid."
Wild Blue Ropes, located at 1595 Highland Avenue beside Heart Woodfire Kitchen, will open its gates to the public Friday, May 23, with the course being open from Noon to 8 p.m. All day passes for the adventure ropes course is $49 for adults and $39 for children 12 and under. There is also a "safe roller" course for the little ones for $19.