On Friday, 77 people will stand on the edge of Hotel Murano’s roof and muster enough courage to step off and rappel 245 feet to the ground.
They will put their trust into a pair of thin ropes as they take part in an extreme fundraiser for Tacoma/Pierce County Habitat for Humanity. The Habitat Challenge has raised more than $108,000 this year. The event also hopes to raise awareness about the need for affordable housing in Pierce County.
From the top participants get a pretty good view of Tacoma from atop the city’s second tallest building (Wells Fargo Plaza is almost 100 feet taller). “Tacoma is really beautiful,” Krystle Edwards told The News Tribune after she rappelled last year. “I was looking around and thinking, ‘Wow, I really love Tacoma.’”
The event is staged by Nova Scotia-based Over The Edge, a company that stages similar urban rappelling events around the world to help charities raise money.
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While participants sign waivers that say death and injury are a possibility, the instructors who train each participants assure them that both are very unlikely. When a News Tribune writer participated in 2016, his instructor said getting hurt was “impossible.” That didn’t keep the writer’s legs from quivering a bit as he first leaned back over the 24-story drop.
Visitors can view the rappelling fundraisers from various spots around Tacoma, including the courtyard at the base of the hotel. The first participants are scheduled to rappel at 8:30 a.m. with the final group expected to start at 5 p.m.