Stan’s Obligatory Blog

Happy Thanksgiving

1/29/2013

Yup. You guessed it… more stairs

Filed under: — stan @ 9:29 pm

Tonight was the ‘Kickoff Party‘ for the Lung Association’s Fight For Air stair climb. They had food, videos, speakers, and a news crew at the Aon building downtown, and they had the staircase open for us to practice on, from the ground floor up to 55. So, of course, all the usual suspects were there.

I knew there would be a pretty good turnout tonight, so I brought my Serious Camera to take some pictures. I’d gotten some good photos at last year’s event, and I knew that I’d be able to get better ones this time with the more serious camera. Still, I wanted to do one run for speed at the start, although it turned out to be pretty hard to climb fast while carrying the Serious Camera Bag. It ended up taking me 10:18, which is on the slow side. But when I got to the top, I was able to take a nice picture of the sunset, so it wasn’t all bad.

With the first climb out of the way, I went back down and started up a second time. I wanted to set up to take pictures looking down the stair shaft from the 44th floor. The middle section of stair 6 in the building is a single staircase from 24 to 44, and the two sides are about two feet apart, so you can look over the side and see straight down 20 floors. That’s about 250 feet, and it’s far enough that the stairs seem to just fade off into infinity. I knew this would make for some dramatic pictures.

George started up the stairs for the second time at the same time I did. He was wearing his 40-pound weight vest, and I was carrying my camera bag and tripod. So I was able to get ahead of him and set up on the last flight just below 44 to take pictures. And the image of him climbing the infinite staircase with the weight vest is much like a classic self-mortification ritual.

A couple minutes later, Lisa came up, and she was moving fast. And right after she passed by, a group of people came up, so I got a picture of them all coming up the staircase. As they passed by, they said that the prize raffle was going to be held soon back down in the lobby. So I packed up my camera gear and climbed the rest of the way to 55 so I could get the elevator back to the lobby.

Sadly, I didn’t get any prizes in the raffle this year. But it was still fun to hang around in the lobby and visit with everyone. I’d brought along yet another batch of my award-winning cookies to hand out and tell the story to all the people I know from this event who I haven’t seen since last spring.

After the raffle, we all headed back for the stairs again. There was a camera guy from Channel 2 there, and he wanted to get some video of people climbing the stairs. I told him that he should see if he could get the guards to take him up to 43 so he could shoot the infinite staircase. And when I got up there, he was there with one of the guards. So he shot some video looking down the stair shaft, and then shot a bunch of people as they went by. I think he got some good action scenes.

Once the last person had gone by, I packed up my camera again, and finished the climb up to 55. Then I changed and headed for home. It was a fun evening.

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