Today was the first practice climb at the 777 Tower in downtown Los Angeles. This is a pretty big building, with 52 floors plus a penthouse. It’s actually a little bit taller than the Wells Fargo building that we will be practicing in come September. This is part of the practice series organized by the downtown YMCA in preparation for the U.S. Bank Tower stair climb at the end of September.
I went downtown with Nick and Morgan from the office. I brought my notepad.
We rode the train downtown, and when we got to the building, we got signed in and ready to go. My first time up, I went slowly, taking notes along the way. The building has stamped steel stairs, seven inches high. They are all stamped steel, except for floors 33-43, where the stairs are concrete. That was odd, and I figured it would make a good landmark.
The building has a 13th floor.
It’s almost all right turns, and most floors are 23 steps, divided up in a 12/11 configuration. This is good. I can treat 12/11 as if it were 12/12, and then it makes for a nice smooth 12 steps per floor to climb it. If I start right foot first, I will hit every landing with my left foot, which is perfect for a one-step pivot turn. And I don’t have to waste any steps on the landings. The only downside is that the pattern is not perfectly balanced. The right leg is doing about 9% more work than the left. But in practice, I’ve found that that difference isn’t too noticeable.
The practice climb was only up to floor 50. The door was open there, and one of the YMCA guys was standing there directing us out to the hall.
When we got to the top, we found the elevator to come back down. I put away my notepad, put on my gloves, and I was ready to make a run for it. I started out, and Nick was tailing me up the stairs. We got all the way to about 20 before he fell off the pace. This was unfortunate, since at that point, I found it hard to maintain the pace, too. Still, I managed to keep going, and even put on a little extra at the end. At the top, I did the traditional face-plant on the 50th floor landing. When I looked at my watch, I had 8:49. I’d hoped for a bit faster than that, but really didn’t know what to expect.
After catching my breath, I noticed that there was nobody hanging around the 50th floor landing. So I walked up the remaining four flights to the roof door. I counted the steps, and also took pictures so I could add the final bit to my stair chart for the building. Turns out it’s exactly 100 steps from the 50th floor landing to the roof door. Added to the 1,138 to get to 50, the building had a total of 1,238 steps.
It was a nice outing, and now I’m ready to make the stair chart for the building, which should help for planning split times for next time.
The chart is here: http://www.1134.org/stan/Stairs/777tower-la-stairs-chart.pdf