The Team Challenge Course


Over the 35+ years that On The Edge has worked with leaders, teams, and organizations worldwide, we have built a reputation for leading highly impactful 'ropes' courses, also known as the Team Challenge Course. 

The Team Challenge Course consists of a series of Low and High Events (read on to see what we mean!). These events challenge participants with varying levels of difficulty, confronting many with challenging situations. As such, the Team Challenge Course offers participants the chance to step out of their comfort zones and "go for it" in an experiential, action-oriented way.

Team Building Events

Introductory Team Building Events safely and effectively impart key team and leadership concepts. On The Edge recommends these events for leaders, teams, and organizations curious about how guided activities can impact their cultural dynamics and overall teamwork.

We often use the following activities with new clients because they offer the right level of challenge while delivering key learnings. In other words, you could view these Team Building Events as simulated problem-solving activities. We can conduct these events anywhere with teams of all sizes and they will still communicate key points effectively.


The Skyscraper activity emphasizes trust, strategy, planning, and playing to win as key learning opportunities. Teams must build the tallest possible "skyscraper" using provided materials within a limited timeframe. We plant an unknown saboteur in each team, and the group must effectively handle this challenge to succeed. 

Electric Wires

The Electric Wires is a fun event that demands innovation, communication, and collaboration among all team members. The team must collaborate to solve the challenge of helping each member navigate through two parallel ropes suspended four and six feet off the ground without touching the "electric wires".

Electric Maze

The Electric Maze highlights the importance of breaking out of old paradigms and fostering an environment that encourages innovation, strategic planning, and communication. In this event, the team must guide all members through the Electric Maze within a set time limit. 

The event occurs on a large battery-powered carpet covered with a grid of squares. Each square either beeps or remains silent based on a preset path unknown to the team. 

The team must quickly find a path across the Electric Maze that does not trigger beeps. Simultaneously, another team on the opposite side of the maze attempts to navigate their way across. This situation emphasizes the risks of adversarial approaches and the benefits of collaborating with other teams to achieve a shared goal. Ultimately, both teams need to cooperate to discover a path that connects both sides through the Electric Maze.

Group Juggle

The Group Juggle event demonstrates the importance of thinking outside the box when a new paradigm shifts the game for an organization or an industry. This event demands innovation and creativity in problem-solving. 

Teams form a circle and sequentially toss numbered tennis balls in a pattern across the circle. They face the challenge of completing the pattern more quickly within given parameters. As the activity progresses, the paradigm shifts multiple times, requiring the team to adapt and succeed in a constantly changing context.

Blindfolded Team Square

The Blindfolded Team Square activity emphasizes the importance of aligning on a clear vision, common strategy, or strategic plan for a team. It also highlights the necessity of clarity in communication during strategic planning. The team faces the challenge of forming a perfect square using a piece of rope while all team members wear blindfolds. Although it appears simple, completing the Blindfolded Team Square successfully demands leadership and innovation.

Low Events

Low Events simulate various team and business challenges, putting participants in the necessary headspace to tackle the more challenging High Events. These Low Events build the team's trust and confidence, creating a foundation of support.

Although these activities generally involve lower stakes, they still demand focus and communication to ensure a positive experience for everyone and to integrate support and trust into the team dynamic. On the other hand, as the perceived risk and challenge of the events increase, so does the potential impact.

The Trust Fall

We have discovered that a high level of trust and support is a critical element of any high-performing team. The Trust Fall, a simple but effective event, imparts the importance of trust, focus, and support within a team. In this event, participants climb the rungs of a ladder until they are about 6 feet off the ground. Then, with their backs turned to their team, they let go of the ladder and "freefall," only to be caught by the extended arms of their supportive teammates. The team then safely lowers them to the ground, where we celebrate their trust and commitment to the team.

Many teams will discuss trust hypothetically all day. However, the concept becomes very real when a participant stands at the top of the Trust Fall ladder, attempting to let go and fall back into their teammates' arms. For teams with existing trust issues, this event can lead to major breakthroughs in trust and support.

The Retrieval

The Retrieval is a problem-solving event that demands a high level of strategic thinking, communication, leadership, and teamwork. This inclusive event challenges a team to use all the strengths and talents of their members to complete an urgent mission. To retrieve an item from a pit of “toxic lava,” the team employs critical thinking and real-time collaboration to overcome unprecedented obstacles and unify to achieve their goal before time runs out.

The X-Rope

The X-Rope requires communication, collaboration, and true partnership between team members. Two team members must actively help each other to simultaneously cross from one side of the X-rope to the other. To accomplish this task, they need to listen actively and think collaboratively. In other words, the team members must partner together and assist each other in addressing the challenge at hand.

The Spider Web

The Spider Web is a problem-solving activity that demands high levels of communication, collaboration, leadership, and team support. The team must leverage the strengths and talents of every member to safely cross from one side of the Spider Web to the other without any team member touching the web structure. If a team member touches the web while crossing, they must return to the starting side, and the opening they used to cross becomes inactive.

Each time a team member successfully passes through an opening in the Spider Web, that opening can no longer be used by others to cross to the other side. Therefore, it becomes critical to strategize which team members will pass through each opening, knowing that the number of available openings will diminish. As the openings narrow down, employing strategy and smart utilization of resources becomes critical for the team to successfully achieve their goal. 

High Events

As the name suggests, On The Edge’s High Events generally occur high above the ground. A belay team and an On The Edge facilitator ensure participants' safety by holding their safety lines throughout the events. All High Events require full-body harnesses, helmets, double safety ropes, and multiple redundant safety systems to guarantee that participants remain 100% safe during the entire the event.

Even though participants are 100% safe and supported during the High Events, those with a fear of heights or a resistance to physical risk-taking may find these challenges fairly difficult and often need ample team support and encouragement to overcome their mental barriers. However, we find that the intense nature of the High Events offers substantial opportunities for breakthrough and transformation. 

Although these events might seem physically demanding, they occur in a safe, supportive environment where anyone, regardless of fitness level, can successfully complete the challenge. Often, participants surprise themselves by successfully completing these events, regardless of athletic ability or strength. Moreover, participants who embrace these challenges and push beyond their perceived limits gain newfound confidence and a sense of accomplishment.

Each event engages the entire team, focusing all attention on the participant(s) as they actively navigate the event. When participants are safely brought back to the ground, it is heartening to witness the team cheer and celebrate their success in the event. We have observed how High Events transform teams and create lasting breakthroughs for individuals. 


In the Zipline event, participants walk to the edge of a cliff or platform and attach themselves to two pulleys located above their head. They then jump off the cliff or platform, sliding down two cables to the landing below. This event is very exhilarating and vividly illustrates the concept of really "going for it" in life.

The Pole

Participants climb a 30-foot pole (yikes, that’s three stories high!) and try to stand on top of a small platform the size of a dinner plate. With the team’s coaching and cheering encouraging them, they manage to take the final step and stand atop the pole. Once standing, the participant turns 180 degrees to face a suspended trapeze. The participant then leaps out and tries to grab the trapeze, symbolizing the commitment needed to overcome the challenges and barriers to success in their life. Regardless of whether they grab the bar, the belayer team instantly catches the participant with supported safety lines and slowly lowers them to the ground.

The High Vs

The High Vs event explores the challenges of commitment, trust, and effective communication in a relationship or partnership. Geared in full-body harnesses and secured to two safety lines, participants climb 30 feet up a tree with a partner. The pair then stands on two separate cables (forming a "V") and holds onto each other for balance. They move away from the tree, walking along the cables which increasingly diverge. This separation forces the partners to rely more on each other and commit to the partnership. Eventually, the participants get too far apart and fall, but their safety lines catch them and they are slowly lowered to the ground. Once on the ground, the whole team comes up to celebrate the success of their team members.

The Wall

The Wall event allows the team to experience the true power and potential of alignment, commitment, utilization of resources, and synergy. The team must collaborate to lift all their members up and over a 14-foot tall wall. This challenge requires teams to deploy all their resources, strategies, and strength to ensure everyone gets over the top and leaves no one behind. The inspiration and celebration that occur when the team successfully completes this event are magnificent.

Climbing Tower

The Climbing Tower event highlights the crucial role of teamwork in action. Three climbers, connected by a three-foot tether, attempt to climb a wall using simulated rock climbing handholds. Their task is to carry an open cup of water (the product) up the wall and deliver it to the bucket at the top (the customer’s loading dock) without spilling any water (to avoid quality defects). 

To increase the challenge (and realism), one climber in the trio wears a blindfold. This obstacle represents employees in the workplace who lack information, are unaware of ongoing processes, or are metaphorically left in the dark. For success, the trio must support each other in climbing and transporting the “product,” while the rest of their team on the ground assists by coaching the participants, particularly the blindfolded teammate, to use the most efficient route to the top. This event underscores the importance of helping each other reach the top and achieve collective success.

The Edge

Participants embark on a brief "vision quest" walk in silence to the top of a cliff overlooking a scenic vista. After arriving, they strap into two safety lines and walk to the edge of the cliff, supported and coached by an On The Edge facilitator. The facilitator guides them as they lean out over the edge, up to 45 degrees. As participants challenge themselves to lean further out, they experience the barriers that keep them from being on their "edge" and confront the fears that hold them back in life and work. Afterwards, they sit alone and journal about the personal insights gained from this event.

Impact of the Team Challenge Course

Although these events – both high and low – may sound scary or challenging for many, On The Edge has discovered that learning by doing and proactively confronting fears can lead to significant breakthroughs and confidence building. In a classroom setting, we introduce many concepts around good leadership, supporting each other, and “going for it” in all areas of life. These learnings become significantly more tangible and impactful when participants experience these concepts through the powerful setting of the Team Challenge Course.

When facing significant obstacles in their lives, many past participants of the Team Challenge Course reflect on key experiences and successes from the high events (such as standing on top of the Pole, leaning out over the Edge, and trusting their partner on the High V’s). Reflecting on these experiences gives them the courage to “go for it” in their work life, leading to further breakthroughs, growth, and success long after the Team Challenge Course has concluded.