Over the Edge is a unique fundraiser for Make a Wish Central and South Texas. For a minimum of $1500, donors can rappel down the 38 floors of the W Austin Hotel this weekend. According to their website, Over the Edge has raised almost $450,000 through private and corporate donations.
I watched for about 90 minutes on Friday afternoon as rappellers carefully made their way down the side of the building. The ropes are set up on the northeast corner of the building. Support teams are positioned on the roof and ground, and most of Third Street is blocked off. I’d guess the average descent time was about 15 minutes, although a few people took longer than that.
I know someone who rappelled down the building yesterday. She had a general idea of what was involved due to some rock climbing experience in a gym, but had never done anything like this. She told me that she felt quite safe the entire time and was in communication with the support team through the earphones and microphone built into her helmet. Of course, the hardest part was stepping over the edge, but after that, it was a matter of concentration. During her descent, she enjoyed looking at downtown Austin as reflected in the glass windows. Would she do it again? “Definitely!”
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