This way to the top of the world

I figure a CN Tower Edge Walk merits a blog post, so here we go 🙂

My very thoughtful parents got me the Edge Climb as a birthday gift in March, and yesterday I got a chance to use it and do the walk! It was an awesome experience… I really wasn’t too nervous about it and didn’t give it a lot thought on the ground – it’s one of those things where I logic it out.

For example, they can’t afford to let me die. Not good for business. Being in Canada helps too – I know we’ve got pretty strict safety standards. I’ve never heard of a problem with this particular activity, and as I was getting suited up my confidence was only reenforced.

I was actually really impressed with the number of checks they did for us – far more than when I went skydiving actually, so… lol take that as you will. Had to start by signing my life away – huge waiver, etc, etc – nothing unexpected for something like this, and then we’re led into the Base Camp!!! Whee!!!!

So first of all – you can’t take anything up there with you, period. Everything comes off, watches, jewelry, etc – you get a full pat down, metal detector sweep, you blow into a breathalyzer, and they do all sorts of other checks. You need actual shoes with laces, if you don’t have them they’ll lend you a pair. You can have glasses on, but they will stay on your face the entire time – they don’t come off or go up. Girls need their hair tied up, no hair clips etc.

Pretty simple, but takes a few minutes to go through it.

All your stuff goes into a locker, then you get yourself suited up. Once you’re suited up – basically a big onesie, they strap you into a harness. Here’s where their safety checks started to impress me – three separate people checked each bit of the harness to make sure it was fastened, they checked our shoes to make sure they were tight, everything – it was pretty intense!

Eventually all that was done, and they radio for our own private elevator (which is kinda cool in itself) to take us to “level 5” (hah). This is the only point in the entire thing that I actually felt a bit nervous – just watching through the windows of the elevator to see how high up we were going. It’s a bit of a “gulp” moment.

We get up, and step out – big security door, ID badge, fingerprint etc, apparently they don’t like the idea of just anyone going outside of the tower 😛 we meet the guy who will be observing us from the inside, and who will help get us attached to the building!

First there’s a bit of a reorg… because I usually manage to shove myself to the front of just about any line if I’m excited I’m first, but they decided this wouldn’t work. It was actually pretty smart the way they did it… there was one girl who was pretty clearly nervous, so they put her right in the middle, another girl who was slightly nervous so she got put in the very front, and then I got put in the back, where I was told if anyone started to turn around to give them a light push in the other direction lol, so apparently they thought I wasn’t going anywhere.

Anyway that happens then they attach our harnesses to the giant steel thing at the top – there’s two of them, one for the guide so she can go back and forth between us, and then one for us. There’s two separate ropes that get attached – the first one is attached to our front, and there’s some slack on that one, then there’s the one attached to our back, and that’s similar to a seatbelt – any sudden movement and it locks, and not too much slack.

CNTowerEdgeWalk-36AND WE’RE OFF!!!!!

It’s a little crazy stepping out, and… well… there’s nothing there lol. It’s the edge! You look over and you see Toronto – it was actually a super clear day which was really nice, so we could see quite far. For the first few minutes you’re pretty timid, but the whole thing is designed to boost your confidence, and get even the most timid person to become comfortable!

The guide talks about how much weight the harnesses can hold (a full grown elephant + the seven of us), demonstrates for us a bit, and then starts the activities!

First thing first – toes over Toronto. Exactly as it sounds… walk up to the edge, and put your toes over Toronto. That second step up was a doozie lol. I was first for this one, so it was fun – took me a second to move my foot lol, but great once you do. Talk about a view.

Everyone does that, then we keep walking… basically on every side of the tower we stop and do something different. Next, we’re leaning back… so we sit down, then walk ourselves back, and straighten our legs so our heels are on the edge and we’re leaning back over Toronto! Glad that rope is pretty strong, cause without it, I wouldn’t be here 😉

Next up of course, we take the logical step – leaning FORWARDS! Step up to the second line before the edge, push out, lean forwards with the rope leaning against your shoulder. Probably the most freaky one for me… there’s NOTHING IN FRONT OF YOU!!!!! EEK!

Everyone did it, and by now confidence is generally increasing. Lindsay (our guide) is taking video as we go, which is really cool to watch now.

CNTowerEdgeWalk-30On the last side we’re basically taking pictures – everyone is leaning back and she’s taking some great (awesome) pictures of us just having fun. We sing happy birthday to someone whose birthday it was that day, we actually WALK along the edge, which we hadn’t done yet… one foot in front of the other lol, and then that’s it! We were outside for 36 minutes.

Back in we get our harnesses released, radio for a pickup elevator to grab us, and we’re on the ground. They all clap as you go up the elevator and when you come down, which is a nice touch. We get back into the room, get our onesies off and pickup our stuff, then go check out the video and pictures!

The video is included, along with a certificate and one picture. If you want all the pictures, you need to pay $20 (or $25 for USB), which I thought was a bit tacky, but whatever – I wanted all the pictures, and of course I wanted them in a digital format.

The ticket entitles you to go up the tower as well, which you can do anytime over the next three days. You get a priority ride up, you get to go to the Skypod, and yeah.. that was cool. Overall fantastic experience, I’d recommend it for anyone – if you’re afraid of heights, this will be GOOD for you – just do it! I was super impressed with everyone there, just a great team, and a really cool thing to do.

CNTowerEdgeWalk-27They actually do weddings up there, they have a proposal up there almost every week, it’s crazy. Very very very cool thing to do.

All the pictures are on my Facebook, and I’ve uploaded the raw video files to YouTube, and just cut together my own iMovie version which I’m uploading soon (now posted below). So this is my third kind of wild thing I think… Skydiving in Prague, the Sydney Bridge Climb, and now this! Let’s see how many I can get through 😉

What’s next??!!