Today was the start of stair climbing season for me. I’ve been practicing at the library at Caltech all summer, but this was my first trip downtown to climb a big building. The venue was the Mellon Bank building at 400 S. Hope St in downtown Los Angeles. It’s only 26 stories, but that’s about the same size as the building we raced in in San Diego back in June, and so I thought that this could be good practice for that event next year.
I rode the train downtown with Morgan from my office. We got signed in at the YMCA and walked across the street to the building. My first trip up the stairs was a leisurely one. I’d brought a pad and pen to make notes on the way up so I could make a map of the stairs. I didn’t time my first trip up, but I think it was about 6 minutes. At the 25th floor they had the door open and a sign directing us to the elevator for the trip down. But the stairs continued on, so we kept going up to the roof door, which was two more floors up.
On the way back down, I had a look at my notes. It was 533 steps to the 25th floor, and 580 to the roof door. Almost all of it was flights of 11 steps with right turns. This was good, since it meant that the pattern I’d worked out last spring at the Aon building would work here. So when we got to the bottom, I stashed my notepad, put on my gloves, and we headed up again.
My first timed run came in at 4:43, which works out to about 10.3 seconds per floor. I was averaging 10 seconds a floor for 56 floors at Aon practice last spring, so I think I need to get back in the swing of things. I climbed the building three more times after that, posting 5:05, 5:21, and 5:23. By the end, I was really dragging. Still, that’s not bad. The climb to the roof is an honest 26 stories, so that makes for 130 stories, 2,900 steps, and about 1,765 vertical feet.
And of course, I made a chart of the staircase: http://www.1134.org/stan/Stairs/mellon-bank-LA.pdf
We’ll be heading back there on Wednesday to do it again. And then next week, we move to the 777 Tower, which is 52 stories. Good times.