Friday, January 25, 2019

Adventure 2/50 : Climbing the Space Needle

Every year the company I work for holds a "Day of Difference" as part of their global sales meeting. Last year all the employees split up to do community service projects around Seattle, but this year we decided to come together to raise $50,000 for for the anti-domestic-violence educational charity, One Love.

Employees reached out to friends and family and asked them to sponsor them ... and those of us who raised at least $250 were eligible to CLIMB THE SPACE NEEDLE!!!!

All the employees met at the Chihuly Garden and Glass, where we met for a company photo. I got there a bit early and took some gorgeous photos in the garden. I had been there by day, but never in the dark!

It also gave me a chance to admire the Needle in the foggy morning:

Hmm.... from down here, that looks pretty darn tall... it's 848 steps, to be precise, from the bottom to the top....

After the company photo, and with surprisingly little advance notice, those of us who were climbing set off towards the base of the Needle.

In through the gift shop (of course!), into a nondescript door, and suddenly we were climbing.

Much of the next 10 minutes really just looked like this:

a tight, triangular stairwell, going up and up, around and around, with the occasional pause to snap a picture:

The stairwells are open to the elements, with chainlink fencing "enclosing" it. Because it was drizzly and breezy, the stairs were wet -- making me extra glad to be climbing up rather than heading down.

The views of the city -- and the support structure of the Needle itself -- were pretty great, through. Look, there's the tunnel entrance by those yellow exhaust pipes.

And here's the sound and the under-renovation Key Arena from a spot close to the top -- see the curve of the support?

I didn't really know what to expect -- would I struggle? Would I make it? Would I have to stop halfway up? But all of a sudden we were at the top!

And, of course, it was foggy!!! It was still pretty great to be up on the new, very glassy, outdoor observation deck. On a clear day, this is going to be spectacular!

After some high-fiving of other climbers, I headed down to the lower level, or what used to be where the restaurant was. The Space Needle's website states that they're developing "a new dining concept", but why hide the new, amazing glass floor under tables and chairs?

Oh, yeah, about that glass floor...

it's pretty amazing to see the ground waaaaay down beneath you ... as well as the stairwell we climbed up!

My favorite moment was spotting the cog that helps turn this level of the Needle -- though with the ongoing (but 95% complete!) renovation, the top of the Needle isn't rotating currently.

Is it any surprise that the organizers had a difficult time getting all of us off the top of the Needle and back to the Westin for the rest of the day's events?

Really fun morning, and quite an adventure. Also -- huge thanks to my sponsors, including Suz and Rebecca! Thanks for helping make this happen.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! That glass floor would not be my favorite though, a little too much information!