Download our "Everything You Need To Know About Big Climb MPLS" Packet

General Event

  • What is Big Climb MPLS?
    • Big Climb MPLS is an exhilarating, one-of-a-kind stair-climbing event, providing an opportunity for participants to challenge themselves and climb a whole bunch of stairs. Like, 1,272 of them. 
  • When is this sweet event?
    • Saturday, February 17, 2018 
  • What tower will I be climbing?
    • Capella Tower. It’s the tall skyscraper downtown that wears the crown. (Don’t worry, you can wear a crown on event day, too.)   
  • What is the age requirement?
    • The age requirement is 8 years old. If you’ve ever tried to carry a stroller up 53 flights of stairs, you’ll understand where we’re coming from. 
  • Will I be timed?
    • You bet! You will have a timing chip on your wrist and at the start/finish you’ll swipe your wrist to check in/out. Don’t worry if you left your PR pants at home and want to casually climb to the top, you can still be timed for fun. 
  • Can my family, friends, co-workers, etc. come?
    • Of course! We suggest you form a team and do the race together! Although you might climb at different paces, you can always meet up for high fives, hugs and selfies at the finish line. If they don’t want to climb – they can always volunteer! 
    • There is also the rad option of being a Virtual Climber.  So if Aunt Mildred in Minot can’t make it, she can join the team, raise the money, earn the perks and climb in the comfort of her own home (or not climb at all). 
  • Can I participate if I can’t attend?
    • Remember that bit about Aunt Mildred?  More about Virtual Climbers found here.  
  • What if I am climbing in honor/memory/support of someone?
    • The #WhyIClimb reasons are what keep us motivated while we’re climbing.


  • I paid my registration fee. Do I have to fundraise, too?
    • For sure!  We’re climbing to kick cancer’s butt! There is a $75 fundraising minimum which is in addition to your registration fee. We do this to continue to fund innovative research and breakthrough treatments, which are helping more patients live longer, better lives every day. Participants who do not raise the minimum will not be allowed to participate in Big Climb MPLS.
  • What if I don't make my $75 minimum by the cutoff date?
    • You may still participate only if you bring in donations totaling at least $75 on event day. Online donations will continue to be accepted up to the event as well. 
  • Where do the funds I raise go?
    • Donations from the Big Climb help support the mission of LLS: To cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma, and to help improve the quality of life of patients and their families. Each day, LLS sponsored researchers come closer to our goal of finding a cure. We are currently funding research projects at the University of Minnesota and Mayo Clinic.
  • Fundraising seems scary! What the heck do I do?  
    • Take a deep breath.  You aren’t asking your mom to bail you out of jail.  You’re asking for money to help cure cancer!  Feeling a little better?  Good!  The Big Climb MPLS staff is here to help and we have some pretty great tricks up our sleeves, it’s what we do for a living so please, let us help!  
    • Email BigClimbMPLS@lls.org to talk to staff about what fundraising techniques will work for you. We want to make sure it is fun, rewarding, and worth your effort.    
  • I’ve never fundraised, who should I ask?
    • Everyone! People like to help other people and at the same time help a worthy cause. Hit up your friends, family, co-workers, your hairstylist, favorite wait staff, etc.
  • Are there fundraising tools available for me?
    • You betcha! Go to our fundraising page to find more tools.
  • I'm not comfortable with online fundraising. What can I do?  
    • You or your donors can mail checks to the LLS office (1711 Broadway Street NE, Minneapolis, MN 55413). Checks should be submitted using this form, or donors should make sure they put "Big Climb" and your name for proper crediting. Cash or check donations can also be submitted in person to the LLS office or on event day. 
  • How do I turn in cash and checks that I have collected for LLS?
    • Bring the funds you have collected to Big Climb MPLS and our volunteers will collect them at check-in. Please write your check out to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society or LLS.
    • If you prefer, you can mail your checks to: 1711 Broadway Street NE, Minneapolis, MN 55413-2638
      • **Make sure to indicate which team/individual you would like your donations to go to for proper crediting.**

Event Day Logistics 

  • Will I receive a Big Climb MPLS t-shirt?
    • You betcha! It will be waiting for you at the check-in table on event day.
  • What is my assigned start time?
    • Start times will be emailed out the Wednesday before Big Climb MPLS. There won’t be mail carrier pigeons, but we’ll also post on the website, Facebook, and Twitter.
  • When should I arrive?
    • Please plan to arrive at least 30 minutes prior to your start time to allow time to check-in. Or arrive way earlier and enjoy the pre-climb fun & get stretched out.
  • Where should I park?
    • Free parking will be available at Capella Tower. The Capella Tower Parking Ramp is off of Seventh Street (westbound) between Third Avenue and Second Avenue. We have a limited number of parking spaces available so please try to carpool or take the Light Rail if you can.
  • Can I get to Big Climb via light rail?
    • Yes. The Nicollet stop is located one block north of Capella Tower on Fifth Street.
  • What do I bring?
    • Your climbing shoes! We strongly encourage climbers to limit the number of personal belongings you bring to the event. Capella Tower Security will search all bags, coats and jackets upon arrival.
  • What should I wear?
    • Feel free to make it fun! We like team t-shirts, tutus, sweatbands, crazy socks, etc. Just know that it can get a tad bit chilly in the stairwells.
  • Will water and/or restrooms be available during the climb?
    • Yes. Bathrooms and a water fountain will be available on the main floor. There are specific floors along the way will be designated water/bathroom stops.
  • Where is everything located in Capella Tower? 

Stair Climbing Questions 

  • How many steps are there?
    • We definitely didn’t count, but some smarty-pants at Capella Tower said there are 1,272 to the top floor, which everyone will climb!
      • (If you decide do it twice, there’s 1,235 in the second stairwell.. which means you’ll be climbing over 2k steps and uhm, wowza!) 
  • How long does it take to complete Big Climb MPLS?
    • A: Each climber’s time will vary, depending on your fitness level and how long you hang out at the water stops along the way. However, the average climber who is walking will take 10-20 minutes to climb 53 floors. If you're planning to do the 105 floors – go you!!!
  • How will climbing 105 floors work?
    • You will climb 53 floors to the top, ride the elevator down to the second floor/skyway level, go out and to the left twice, enter a second stairwell, and climb back to the top for a total of 105 floors. You will only be timed when you are in the stairwell and not on the decent.
  • Why the heck do I get the hack?
    • The common assumption is that the air quality in the stairwell is less than ideal, with dust and/or stale air cited as the likely offenders. The fact is, it has nothing to do with the air in the stairwell and everything to do with your airway. If you get the hack, either slow down so you don’t breath as hard, wear a mask, or grab a cough drop at the finish line.
  • How does the timing work?
    • Upon check-in you will get a timing chip. When you cross the start line you’ll make sure your chip swipes by the timer (don’t worry – we have volunteers to help you!). 
    • You will only be timed while climbing in the staircases. Participants climbing 105 floors will not be timed on the elevator down or walking to second staircase. 
  • How will I know how fast I have climbed?
    • Preliminary times will be available to you throughout the morning at the finish line. (Please note: we’re not sure how “the cloud” works but we do know that because the building is really tall it takes several minutes for your time to show up at the computer near the finish line celebrations. So grab a bloody and check your time after the sweat dries a little.) We’ll also send you an email with your final time and will post everything online. 

Awards & Incentives 

  • What racing awards will be awarded?
    • We think everyone deserves an award for helping us cure cancer and climbing a really tall building. But we’ve narrowed it down and awards will be presented to:
  • What are the incentives for fundraising?
    • They are awesome and you’re going to want to be equally as awesome and raise lots of money for a good cause to earn them! Check them out here. 
      • Top fundraising team
      • Top fundraising individual
      • Fastest male/female - 53 and 105 floors

Do you have a question that isn't frequently asked?

Email us at BigClimbMPLS@LLS.org or call 612-259-4501.