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Pamela Hirneisen, 37, catches her breath as she begins to rappel from the 32nd floor of the Westin Bonaventure Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. She admits to being afraid of heights and nearly chickened out because "having the faith to lean backward was really, really hard to overcome." She and other participants in the second annual Over the Edge event were raising money for L.A.-area Scouting programs.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times

Friends and family members yell words of encouragement to participants rappelling down the side of the Westin Bonaventure Hotel.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times

On a crystal clear morning, Annie Goto, 40, rappels down the Westin Bonaventure. She later said about the moment she leaned back, 32 floors above the street, "I'm now officially scared!"

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times

A Boy Scout leader watches a tiny speck of a person rappel down the glass face of the left tower of the Westin Bonaventure Hotel. For the thrilling chance to learn and perform the stunt, each of about 100 participants raised at least $1,500 in support of Scouting programs.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times

A lone figure rappels down one of the glass towers of the Westin Bonaventure Hotel, part of the second annual Over the Edge fundraiser for Scouting programs.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times

Thirty-two floors above Figueroa Street, Pamela Hirneisen wears paper booties over her shoes to avoid scuffing the hotel windows on her way down.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times

Pamela Hirneisen smiles as she inches her way down from the 32d floor of the Westin Bonaventure. She said she did it to help raise money for the Boy Scouts and "to face my fears [of heights]. I'm not afraid anymore!"

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times

An Over the Edge participant gets a good look at the neighboring US Bank Tower.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times

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Over the Edge fundraisers rappel down Westin Bonaventure Hotel

More than 100 people rappelled from the 32nd floor of the Westin Bonaventure Hotel during the second annual Over the Edge fundraiser for Los Angeles-area Scouting programs. Each descent took about 15 minutes. The participants raised nearly $200,000.

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