Don’t look down: Bedford man abseils down Empire State Building in first for charity

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Peter Henrickson about to abseil 900ft down the Empire State Buidling for charity Outward Bound. Image: The Outward Bound Trust

A Bedford man has braved fog, heights and dodgy street meat to abseil 900 feet down New York City’s iconic Empire State Building in the ‘Big Rappel’ the first charity event of its kind.

Pete Henrickson, his brother Dean, and twenty other brave Outward Bound supporters made the brave descent alongside Thirty Seconds to Mars frontman, Jared Leto – cheered on by Outward Bound Trustee, Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrice.

The event raised an incredible £2.4 million between all those taking part, which will shared between Outward Bound in the UK and other international Outward Bound partners around the globe.

“Awesome, truly mind-blowing,” said Peter when asked how the abseil was.

“This sort of activity epitomises what Outward Bound are about, opening your mind to challenges most people would never dare dream and pushing your own limits and surprising yourself with what can be achieved.

“Was I scared? Of course I was, but the confidence given to me by the instructors, coupled with the adrenalin flowing from all the other participants gets you through.

“Outward Bound is so important, not just to me, but to the thousands of young people it helps every year to achieve potential they never knew they had.”

(l-r) Bedford man, Peter Henrickson and his brother Dean in New York before the charity Empire State Building abseil. Image- The Outward Bound Trust
(l-r) Bedford man, Peter Henrickson and his brother Dean in New York before the charity Empire State Building abseil. Image: The Outward Bound Trust

Outward Bound

Princess Beatrice who was also present during the rappel to support the charity and its brave fundraisers, added: “Bringing young people out of their comfort zones and supporting them to achieve something they never thought possible is what Outward Bound is all about.

“I am so happy to offer my support as a Trustee and I am a great admirer of Outward Bound and all they stand for – these participants really are an inspiration.”

Jared Leto, who is also a trustee of the charity, kicked off the Big Rappel, which spans nearly 900 feet from the building’s iconic spire down to the 30th floor.

“Recently, I climbed up the fin of the Empire State Building to announce Thirty Seconds to Mars’ world tour and now as the tour begins, I’m excited to head the opposite direction and rappel down to shine a light on the incredible work of Outward Bound,” he said.

“I’ve always admired Outward Bound and how they inspire people around the globe to transform their lives through adventure, challenge, experience, and discovery.”

Outward Bound is a worldwide educational and charitable network whose mission is to change young people’s lives through challenge, learning, and adventure.

Rock star Jared Leto also took park in the charity event. Image: Roy Rochlin/Getty Images for Empire State Realty Trust
Rock star Jared Leto also took park in the charity event. Image: Roy Rochlin/Getty Images for Empire State Realty Trust

Martin Davidson, Outward Bound CEO, said: “It is awesome to put on this event at the Empire State Building.

“Outward Bound has been supporting young people to push through and challenge themselves for the last 85 years, and the participants of the Big Rappel will be showing that appetite for adventure in abundance!

“In the UK, Outward Bound inspires thousands of young people every year to achieve something they never thought possible by taking them from inner-city environments into our national parks where they experience the extraordinary and learn what they are truly capable of.

“It’s so great to see the rappelers in action – they really are an inspiration!”