fi‘i V J!

The ADVENTURE CENTRE at Ratho recently opened its world-class indoor climbing arena and some exhilarating rides. Financial troubles have thrown its future into doubt, but for the moment it’s business as usual. Nick Barley tells the story behind the centre, while Susannah McMicking and James Smart describe the high-flying rides.

16 THE LIST 18 Mar—1 Apr 2004

l. l have to die. lid like to do it by falling onto

something. rather than having something falling

on me. That's one of the strange resolutions I made when I was stuck in a Boeing 7-17 whose tyres had burst dttring take off. as we circled over the Rocky Mountains. jettisoning fuel and preparing ourselves for a crash landing.

Happily. I didn’t meet my heroic death by l'alling onto the runway of Denver airport that day. but the same resolution t‘lashes back into my head when we‘re at the new Adventure (‘entre in Ratho. As I prepare to jump off the side of a six—stot'cy building in the name of fun. it's a strangely reassuring idea. Stepping into the void. a quote from at Don l)el.illo swims into my mind: ‘Shouldn't death he a swan dive'."

For the people who are running this £25m leisure facility however. death » or any l’orm ol injury whatsoever is strictly oil the agenda. It‘s much more dangerous to drive down the street. they insist. Here. the ambition is to entice ordinary people into doing extraordinary things with all the strict sal‘ety considerations that this entails. Ratho’s serious intent is clear: it‘s the National (‘entre for Rock