How many stairs are in The Wall?

After I read the initial description of The Wall I got to thinking about just how many stairs would be in the staircase from ground level to the top?

I'm hoping someone with more knowledge of the average height of a staircase riser will be able to answer this question.

The book says that The Wall is 700 feet tall.

Sam squinted up at the Wall. It loomed above them, an icy cliff seven hundred feet high.

A Clash of Kings, Jon I

• Also, please note that the wall's top is roughly at one level, but the bottom's level changes with geography. So the wall per se may at various points be actually less than 700 feet. May 20, 2011 at 1:51
• True story. I wouldn't look forward to the climb at any point though.
– Ryan
May 20, 2011 at 5:15
• I'd say at least hundreds. Literally hundreds. At least. May 8, 2014 at 20:19
• In the TV adaptation we’ve only seen an elevator. There may be no stairs. Sep 1, 2014 at 21:36
• There is a foot race in the Empire State Building to the 86th floor according to Wikipedia. It goes up 1050 feet and has 1576 steps. As 700 is 2/3 of 1050, 1025 steps (2/3 of 1576) would be a good estimate. Dec 4, 2014 at 4:01

The international building code (used for commercial buildings) says that the riser (the height of each step) must be between 4 and 7 inches, though the international residential code allows up to 7 3/4".

So a totally wild guess would be anywhere from 2100 to 1083, likely on the lower end as people there would be relatively fit.

• +1. For comparison, 700 feet is the height of a fairly large skyscraper -- eg. the General Motors building in New York is 50 stories and 705 feet, and One Canada Square in Canary Wharf, London is 50 stories and 770 feet. Sep 2, 2014 at 9:15

Any answer would be purely speculation. The size of a stair could be very large or fairly small, which could vary the answer from less than 700 stairs if each stair were taller than 1 foot, and more than 700 stairs if each stair were shorter than a foot. Assuming the builders of the wall and the staircase / elevator used our standard measurements would be pure speculation.

The important number for visualizing and understanding the various aspects of the story that revolve around the wall I think is the one you mentioned, the walls height at around 700 feet.

Okay so I just measured a random stair and it was ~6 inches. At 700 feet the was each castle would have about 1400 steps. With 19 castles that makes 26600 total steps. Though as previously mentioned the topography varies so the wall could have more/less at any given point. Also most castles have been abandoned for some time so the stairs may have collapsed.

• Upvoted for being the only answer that takes the 19 castles into account! Mar 3, 2017 at 18:31