What is the memorial stair climb?

The stair climb is an untimed walk aimed at using physical activity to remember the events and people of September 11th. The route is designed to equate to 110 stories, the height of the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers. At Red Rocks Amphitheatre the route begins in the upper south parking lot, ascends the south ramp, and takes participants around nine counter-clockwise laps in the amphitheatre.

What are the goals of the event?

The focus of the event will always be remembrance. The mood will be positive as we honor the people and events of September 11th 2001 with each step. Red Rocks Amphitheatre is a most fitting venue for reflection and we encourage all who participate to occasionally pause, take in the surroundings, think of sacrifices that have been made, and see how today we have come together.
Just as our nation came together after 9-11, we need to continue to come together as a community. We as firefighters serve our community daily in providing emergency response. We view this as another opportunity to serve you by providing a means for you to bring your family and friends together.
Donations to 9-11 related charities are in steep decline. Time and distance from the tragedy combined with a poor economy has taxed these organizations. As you can see through the link to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, support is decreasing while the need continues to increase. It is also our goal to establish the memorial stair climb as an annual event to provide continued, consistent support to this charity for years to come.

Who attended the memorial stair climb?

September 11th 2001 affected us all. It became clear in our planning and communication that this would be an opportunity to share this annual firefighter event with our community. About two weeks prior to the event we decided to open it to the public. Over that next two weeks, with nothing more than word of mouth, 300 additional registrations were submitted by men and women outside of the fire service. All armed forces branches were represented, including Colorado State Patrol, teachers, students, pilots, flight attendants, and Urban Search and Rescue Teams. Even a family from New York City who lost their loved one and hero on 9-11-01, Lt. Kevin Dowdell of FDNY Rescue Company 4, participated in the climb.

What time does the event start?

September 11th at 8:46 am we have participants gather together at the starting point (8:46 EST the first plane hit the north tower). We give a brief speech about the event and the route. We thank all for their attendance and we observe a moment of silence. At 9:02 am (9:02 EST south tower hit by second plane) we have the Colorado Emerald Society Pipes and Drum Band play Amazing Grace and the climb begins.

Is the number of participants in the event capped?

At this time, we have no maximum on the number of people that can participate in the event. We are fortunate to have a venue that was designed to accommodate a lot of people. Spread the word and help us to achieve one of our goals: the symbolic number of 2001 participants!

Who can participate? Are children welcome?

Participation is open to all age groups. Children are welcome, but strollers/joggers are prohibited on the stairs due to the close proximity of other climbers. We encourage the use of child carriers (back-packs or infant slings). Children under the age of 12 need to be supervised by an adult and should remain in close proximity to their guardian.

Is it a race?

No. The event is not timed and is designed as an opportunity to reflect and remember, while at the same time, getting one heck of a workout. But you choose your own pace and your own goals. Some firefighters ascend with full bunkers and high-rise packs, others climb hand-in-hand with their families. Citizens range from running to walking to taking their time and soaking in the scope of the event.

What should I bring on the day of the event?

A comfortable and supportive pair of shoes. The necessary clothing for a typical Colorado September day (temps from 45-90, winds, rain, snow, etc.). Sunblock. Water (hydration is key). Your friends. And a camera.