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In New York City, You Can Climb Up the Exterior of a 1,200-Foot Skyscraper | Frommer's Eli Parry/Edge

In New York City, You Can Climb Up the Exterior of a 1,200-Foot Skyscraper

The cityscape of New York is a breathtaking sight.

But to see it from the most elevated spots, Manhattan's five observation decks will charge you around $40 a pop. Consequently, most tourists opt for the experience only once during the course of their visits.

That has set off a kind of arms race among the skyscrapers competing to be the go-to observation deck.  

Earlier this month, the newest entrant, SUMMIT One Vanderbilt, opened to much acclaim for its experiential tango with the vista.

Now, the second-youngest competitor, Edge at Hudson Yards, has attempted to steal the younger tower's thunder by offering the highest outdoor skyscraper climb on the planet.

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Dubbed City Climb, the spine-tingling aerial adventure launches on Tuesday, November 9.   

The 1,271-foot apex of the building is the goal. To get there, small groups will be led by a guide up a series of stairs and platforms on the exterior of the structure (see below).

City Climb by The Edge(Credit: Edge)

The climb is accomplished in the open air. A trolley-and-harness system connects each intrepid climber to the facade. (That will hopefully prevent any accidents or fatal jumps—a tragic problem at Hudson Yards' other climbable structure, the Vessel).

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To participate, visitors must be 13 years of age or older, must weigh between 65 and 310 pounds, and must be between 4 feet, 9 inches, and 6 feet, 7 inches, in height.

All participants must undergo a training course before heading outdoors. Guests must be strong enough to climb 370 steps.

This will not be an experience for avid photographers—participants won't be allowed to carry cameras (too dangerous for those on the street below should any devices be dropped).

Instead, visitors can pay for the pics snapped by guides. That charge will be on top of the $185 fee for the experience.

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Right now, you can also get a video of your ascent, but there's no word on how long that offer will last. You can also have your buddies stand on the Edge observation deck and take photos from there (for $36 per person).

As at the somewhat similar Sky Walk in Auckland, New Zealand, City Climb participants will be given jumpsuits to wear and tethers to secure glasses and sunglasses.

Climbers will also have to take Breathalyzer tests to make sure they're sober before heading out. At the apex, guests are encouraged to lean over the edge, putting their trust in their harnesses. Yikes!

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Has Edge taken the lead in the observation deck wars? It's going to be interesting to see what the others come up with to top it. Pun intended. 

For more information or to make a reservation, go to City Climb's website.

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