Because I am a glutton for punishment and full of so much concentrated Grade-A Awesome, I have decided to climb the CN Tower for the second time in my *cough* young *cough* life1.
Crazy, I know!
The CN Tower climb occurs several times each and every year. Those that climb it do so in order to raise money for some charity or another. For me, that charity of choice is the WWF. Funds raised during this particular climb will be used to fight the effects of climate change. According to the WWF website, this involves a 5 point strategy:
- Protect fragile ecosystems,
- Educate for real change,
- Ensure industry plays its part,
- Influence government on behalf of all Canadians, and
- Help nature survive some inevitable warming.
Clearly this work is necessary, as we are already seeing the effects of climate change. One only has to open a newspaper to see further reports of bizarre-o weather, endangered species, loss of habitat, environmental disasters, pollution, and the like. It can all be a bit overwhelming really, but thankfully the WWF exists to help fight the good fight.
So what does climbing the tower entail? Specifically, one volunteers to climb the 1776 stairs (or 144 flights) that ascend from the base of the tower to the observation deck. The air inside is stagnate, dry, and stale, and there are no windows to view the city as you climb. The stairs are metal, and you can see through them to the stairs below as there are no risers. I learned quickly that I shouldn’t look through these, as it makes me dizzy. Anyway, the environment in the stairwell is hell on the lungs, and the climb is clearly hell on the legs. But it’s also an amazing adventure, and for a good cause. And when you are done, you get a shiny new shirt that sports your climb time so that the entire world might know that you conquered the tower. Plus, how many people can say they’ve actually climbed the steps to the top of the CN Tower?
The first and only time that I participated in this event was back in the old-time-y days of 2005. While it was hell, and I was cursing myself and whomever came up with the notion that climbing the CN Tower would be fun, I ended up loving it. I clocked in at 19 minutes and 26 seconds, which I was uber happy with given that the average person takes 30 to 40 minutes to complete the task. My time wasn’t anywhere close to the record of less than 8 minutes according to the interwebs, but still not too shabby for a first timer.
And now I find myself registered to do the climb again. So, in just over a month (April 14th to be exact) I will be heading to Toronto to take on the tower. For this climb I have two goals:
- I aim to break the 19 minute mark (or die a horrible death due to the world’s first ever case of spontaneous lung combustion). I’m in far better shape now than I was when last I climbed, so I think it should be possible. Truth be told, I hope to kick my previous climb-time square in the junk. Square. In. The. Junk.
- I aim to raise $1776 for the cause – $1 per stair that I have to climb.
Clearly item #1 is completely up to me. However, I need help satisfying item #2. And that, dear reader, is where you come in. I would love you long time, repeatedly, and forever if you would find it in your heart to sponsor my march up the tower. All you have to do is click on this link to visit my personal sponsor page, click sponsor me, fill in all the necessary details, and then select an amount to donate to the cause. All major credit cards are accepted. If you wish to donate but don’t feel comfortable doing it online, just email me and I can come to you (or perhaps arrange some sort of snail mail thing). Anything you can contribute would be very much appreciated.
And of course, I’ll keep you posted on both goals.
Wish me luck!
1 You may recall that the CN Tower climb is item #82 on my Not-So-Bucket-List list.