Tuesday 16 Oct, 2012

On Top Of The World: Climbing Toronto’s CN Tower

Last week, I did the CN Tower EdgeWalk in Toronto and it was amazing! It was also terrifying (in a good way). It’s absolutely worth doing, so if you aren’t afraid of heights, you should definitely check it out.

If you haven’t heard of the EdgeWalk, it’s a hands-free walk around the roof of the CN Tower restaurant (the round part close to the top). The CN Tower is one of the tallest structures in the world – I was walking 1,168 feet above the ground!

As you can see, it’s really, really high up.

The whole experience takes about an hour and half. You start out at “base camp” where they provide you with a special walk suit that you wear over your clothes. If you are going out during colder weather, they give you a hat, gloves and another jacket. The only things you’re allowed to bring are glasses or sunglasses, but these need to be attached to a lanyard that is hooked on to your suit.

Even though I was really, really high up, I felt completely safe. The staff are really thorough and check your equipment numerous times before you go up (I lost count at 7 checks). According to our guide, the day we went was one of the clearest she had seen. We had a great view of Lake Ontario, Toronto and the GTA, and even the skylines of Burlington and Niagara Falls. The walk itself is only about 30 minutes, but you kind of lose track of time and it feels much longer.

Your guide encourages you to do some activities while you’re up there, both individually and as a group. The first activity is apparently the “easiest” – you step your toes off the edge of the platform. I had to go first, and it really wasn’t as simple as it sounds! Next, we had to face the tower and walk backwards to the edge, using our harness as a seat. Once our heels were off the edge, we were told to straighten our legs and lean back. We were supposed to let go of our harness and put our arms out to the side, but I was too scared so I just held on. Lastly, we had to walk our toes to the end of the platform and lean forward, with only our rope holding us in place. This was the hardest for me, and I mostly just looked down instead of leaning.

One of the best parts was how quickly our group felt comfortable with each other, even though we were complete strangers. It’s such an exhilarating experience that you can’t help feeling like everyone there is your best friend. We were all pretty friendly after we finished our walk and had a good time laughing at our pictures and pretending we hadn’t been scared. The whole experience was amazing and I highly recommend it!

Here are some photos from our EdgeWalk:

After having our equipment checked and checked (and checked some more), we were ready to go up.

 

This is my mom – she wasn’t scared at all!

 

Leaning over Lake Ontario.
I had a hard time with this one, you can see how much further back I am than everyone else.

 

Hanging out over downtown Toronto.

 

Here is my attempt at giving a thumbs-up without letting go of the rope.

 

I finally agreed to let go (it didn’t last long…)

 

I was still too scared to let go, so I just ruined the picture instead.

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For more information about the CN Tower EdgeWalk, check out their website!

Flickr photo via alexindigo