CN Tower Climb for the WWF – Complete!

Every year, a few times a year, people have the opportunity to climb or race the 1776 steps to the top of the CN Tower. On Saturday, it was finally my turn to do it. I managed to raise just under $500 for the WWF (though, feel free to add more!) and climbed to the very top with surprisingly little grumbling.

CN Tower

I arrived at around 8:30, the tower and surrounding area were full of people and bustling with energy. Some people had already finished the climb (registration started at 6am!) as I was arriving, and it got me wondering if anyone ever did it more than once in a day (perhaps next year will be the year to find out and do it myself?)

CN Tower Climb for the World Wildlife Fund

It’s kind of chaotic and there was a lot of pre climb walking around back and forth and outside, but eventually you get to the base of the tower, and it’s showtime. I found it strange and unfortunate that we couldn’t take mp3 players up with us. For me the difference between a good run and a phenomenal run is good music. Oh well, c’est la vie. I’m sure they have their reasons for this “no hands” policy, but I’m not a fan of it.

Happily, I had a friend there to do the climb with me. And since both of us are fans of vibram fivefingers, we got to answer questions, and hear hushed whispers of “look at her feet.” at the event.

CN Tower Climb for the World Wildlife Fund

Cute children’s drawings of encouragement line the inside of the stairwell at every new floor. And seriously, they were appreciated (by me). While 15% of the time I laughed derisively as the posters that said things like “you’re almost there!” when I knew those kids and their adorable little panda drawings were lying to me (floor 30 does not equal halfway at all darn it), they were mostly cute enough to make me forget that my lungs were saying “stop the madness already.”

My favourites were the pictures of turtles saying “Slow and Steady Wins the Race” (and there were a few of those) though the picture of the sad snow leopards saying “Please Don’t Let Us Die” might win the award for more inspiring (or depressing?).

Recreation of a Poster I saw at the CN Tower Climb.
Just imagine this picture, but drawn by children with acrylic paint, with big sad eyed snow leopards, then you’d have the full picture.
Original Image used under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 from Sibylle Stofer

Overall, it was an amazing experience and I hope to repeat it next year to support the great work of the WWF and to challenge myself to beat this years record. Earlier this month I claimed I would start training for it, but in all honesty, I just stepped up my efforts running and weight training, but not really stairs climbing at all. I’m great at running up 10 flights of stairs at a time because of the many many times I’ve done it at the office, anything more than that… gets a little tough. I have a better idea of what I need to do for next year. If you are interested Martyn Wong has some great suggestions on how to prepare for the climb.

CN Tower Climb for the World Wildlife Fund

On the bright side, I got to meet the WWF Panda, so I’m pretty thrilled.

Thank you to the WWF for all the work they do and their great volunteers, the CN Tower staff for making things go reasonably smoothly, and all the awesome people that sponsored me on this climb! You’ll be getting your thank you cards in the mail very very soon!

5 Responses

  1. Congrats on your climb! What was you time to complete?
    I wanted to comment on the no MP3 players. I climbed at approx. 7:30 am and politely asked to pass climbers all the way to the top. One girl did not hear me even though I asked 3 times and tapped her on the back. We were both on the left trying to pass. She was walking not running. If MP3 players were allowed it would be impossible to hear others asking politely to pass. I love music in my ears too but do appreciate the no MP3 player rule as a good thing for all!
    Hope to see you on the stairs next year. I will sing for you!

    • Thanks! My time was a glorious 30 minutes.

      I definitely understand the MP3 rule, but I feel as though it just comes down to generally being conscious of other people. I kept to the right the entire time I climbed, especially since I was totally aware that I was moving at a slower pace than other folks!

      I’ll be back next time for sure! 🙂

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