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CN Tower Climb Advice

On Saturday morning I climbed the stairs of the CN Tower, as part of a charitable event for the WWF (World Wildlife Foundation).

It was actually the third time I've done it, and I found that knowledge and experience makes it a lot easier. So, if any of you are thinking about doing this in the future -- or for the sake of any Googlers -- here are some comments about the climb:

  • Get there early. The earlier you get there, the less time you will have to wait to get registered and get started. Also, the stairs will be less crowded. We met at 7:30.
  • There is usually a coat check there, so you can bring a bag and change into shorts and t-shirt. It's worth it, because it can get warm in the stairs, especially when crowded.
  • Don't expect a nice view. The stairs are concrete with no windows. The lighting is dim. They do have wildlife artwork from grade-schoolers, but that's it.
  • There are paramedics in there. And they are liars. When you get close to the top they all start telling you that you're almost there, "2 flights to go", etc. Don't believe them. There are 144 flights in the climb, plus ten more after you "finish".
  • You are allowed to bring water in a fanny pack, camelback, etc. I don't think you should bother. I preferred having my hands free.
  • Use the railings.
  • Watch out for people trying to pass you. Give way.

In previous years I was with a guy who wanted to challenge himself and get a good time. This year, I wasn't in very good shape, so I just went at a normal pace and didn't worry about it. That, combined with my knowledge of the actual number of flights meant that I had a pretty easy go. I finished in just under twenty minutes.

Afterwards, we all got to enjoy the view from up there. I normally wouldn't pay to go up, but once you're up it actually is very nice once you are up there. Especially on a sunny day like Saturday.



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