Today was the first practice session at the Wells Fargo building in downtown Los Angeles. This is the traditional final training staircase before the U.S. Bank stair climb at the end of September. Last month, we were practicing at the 777 Tower, which was a nice building. But because we’d never climbed it before, I couldn’t compare my times from last year.
Tonight, I had tow main goals. First was to do a run for speed up the building, just to get to know the stairs again. And second, I was going to walk up slowly, taking measurements and counting steps so I could make a chart.
When I started up, I quickly found that the staircase is very consistent. It’s a 10/11 configuration with right turns all the way up. The only variation was at the beginning and the end. So I was able to adapt my stepping pattern from the Columbia Center climb. Then the only challenge was paying attention enough to remember to change which leg was leading every five floors. I’d made up a split time card, aiming to be at the top in 9 minutes, but by the time I got to 30, I was a little behind schedule. In the end, I heaved up onto the landing on 55 in 9:28. Not terrible, but not especially good. I think I was distracted.
The second time up, I brought my tape measure and notepad. I’d seen another guy taking notes on the way up the first time, so I guess the idea is taking root. The steps average 7 3/8 inches tall, and there are 1,126 of them to get to the 55th floor. The chart is here:
Now I can work out precise split times for next week. I can also work out how to do the last two floors and not get caught on the wrong foot for the turns. And now I know exactly where the three murals are on the between-floor landings near the top.
It was a good outing.