Ford invited Norway’s climbers to ascend the 47-metre OVER climbing tower, and set the fastest time to win a free, two-year lease on the vehicle. For the audacious Explore New Heights challenge – designed to celebrate the spirit of adventure and determination that drives Ford’s active lifestyle customers – the company created a special platform to support the Explorer Plug-In Hybrid at the top of the tower’s hair-raising overhang.
The project took six months of planning, including detailed investigation by engineers and architects to ensure the tower could safely support the additional weight of the platform and SUV.
Ford also worked with champion climber Martin Mobråten to create a challenging route from the ground to the vehicle that would encourage competitors to discover new limits. Tough obstacles and spectacular jumps were designed to test even the most experienced climbers.
The Explorer Plug-In Hybrid will remain in place on the OVER tower until August 27, and visitors with a good head for heights will be able to claim a free limited-edition T-shirt 1 and photo opportunity – even if they use the stairs.
Located in Lillesand, southern Norway, OVER opened in June 2021. Measuring 47 metres tall, its peak is so high that it is possible from the top to see halfway across the Skagerrak strait to neighbouring Denmark. The tower’s main structure is built from solid wood and there are 44 metres of aluminium climbing surfaces on all four sides.
For an even greater challenge, Ford worked with OVER and Martin Mobråten to extend the climbing surface beyond the observation deck to the very top of the tower – meaning finalists had to scale the full height of the tower to reach the Explorer Plug-In Hybrid and set a time.
Fourteen elite climbers competed in the short-course qualifying round, with the top six finishers taking on the final challenge. The winner was 21-year-old Leo Ketil Bøe, from Bergen, who completed the daunting climb in 3 minutes, 33 seconds to win the Explorer Plug-In Hybrid lease and a 1/100 scale, 3D-printed, replica OVER tower trophy.
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