Reach For The Stairs

One of the more unique challenge events in Los Angeles (or hell pretty much anywhere) takes place tomorrow and Saturday at the Library First Interstate Bank Liberty US Bank Tower downtown. It’s not every day one gets the opportunity to climb up the 1,500 stairs of the tallest building between the Mississippi River and New Zealand… although it’s probably pretty much every day you get the opportunity not to or to not want to.

But you should. Not only because it’s rare to gain access to such a landmark in this post 9/11 world, or that it’s quite the feat to do so, but also for the good cause it benefits. The Downtown YMCA’s Stairclimb to the Top will raise your heart rate while getting you to the highest point in the city and raising needed funds that will go to support the facility’s outreach programs. And while online registration is closed, you can still sign-up the day of the event (for teams it’s October 5; individuals October 6).

If you do, plan on arriving at the Y’s courtyard (401 S. Hope Street) to register at least one hour prior to your division start time, and bring the fundraising minimum with you ($100 for indivduals; $500 for teams). And here’s a tip while waiting around outside for your readysetgo: do not — repeat do not! — psych yourself out by looking up at the top of the tower. But for a better idea of what you might expect going up inside, at right is a condensed video I made during the climb last year.

Sure, it’s noisy, stuffy, tight and warm going up, but the sense of accomplishment coupled to the view from the roof a quarter mile up off the downtown deck makes it all worthwhile.

11 thoughts on “Reach For The Stairs”

  1. I tried it once back in ’96, it was fun until the 6th floor, then it was pain all the way up.
    I have’nt done it since.

  2. David, so far I’ve not been bitten by the stairclimbing bug, and without having done any of the fundraising at this late date don’t feel like paying $100 for the privilege. I’m up for next year though. Maybe we can get a team?

  3. Well MA, that’s where the “for a good cause” comes in. With enough lead time it’s possible to raise that amount, but yeah… having to fork a hundie out of your own pocket isn’t a very good selling point.

  4. Hmmm, the Los Angeles Marathon costs about that much, but is 26.2 miles. The tower climb is a mere 1,017 feet – roughly a 1/5 of a mile. So you’re not getting the same value per mile there. Unless you wanna get more technical and calculate the coefficient of the angle of the stairways, vertical velocity and varying gravitational forces…

  5. Your distance-to-dollar logic is impeccable MA, but don’t forget the money given over to the marathon goes to pay the salaries and bonuses and for-profit whatnot expenses involved. The money for the stair climb extends the Y and its programs to underprivileged kids so you’re right: the value is not the same. It’s much greater.

  6. Will,

    You are remarkable. Simply remarkable.

    Respectfully Yours in Safety and Service,

    Brian Humphrey
    Public Service Officer
    Los Angeles Fire Department

  7. Although Team Blogging.LA did come in second in the media category of the Dragon Boat races, without proper training I don’t think we’d do the tower justice. Also, the fundraising thing.

    That said, I’d happily pledge $25 to a single rep from to do the climb…

  8. Brian you do me great honor with your kind words.

    And David, yeah I was looking ahead to next year regarding Team

    But who knows with that $25 carrot you’re dangling I may just may get going and show up at the tower tomorrow morning to see if I could beat last year’s time of 16:48. I didn’t train one bit for it last year and actually my legs are in better condition for it this year so hmmmmm I may just take you up on it!

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