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A climber ascends a bridge using aid climbing techniques
"Struck with a rash impulse", a 31-year old shoe salesman climbed the 88 story Jin Mao Building barehanded.

Buildering (also known as urban climbing, structuring, or stegophily) is the act of climbing on (usually) the outside of buildings and other artificial structures. The word "buildering" is a portmanteau combining the word "building" with the climbing term "bouldering".

If done without ropes or protection far off the ground, buildering may be dangerous and is often practiced outside legal bounds, and is thus mostly undertaken at night-time. Adepts of buildering who are seen climbing on buildings without authorization are regularly met by police forces upon completing their exploit. Spectacular acts of buildering, such as free soloing skyscrapers, are usually accomplished by lone, experienced climbers, sometimes attracting large crowds of passers-by and media attention. These remain relatively rare.

Buildering can also take a form more akin to bouldering, which tends towards ascending or traversing shorter sections of buildings and structures. While still generally frowned upon by property owners, some, such as the University of Colorado at Boulder, and Tufts University turn a blind eye towards the practice in many locations.[original research?]

Although often done as a solo sport, buildering has also become a popular group activity. As in more traditional rock climbing, routes are established and graded for difficulty.


[edit] History

Although students had been scrambling up the architecture of Cambridge University for years,[1] the great alpinist, Geoffrey Winthrop Young, while a student there in the 1890s, engaged in "roof climbing" and wrote and published a buildering guide to one of the colleges,[2] which may be the first documentation of the activity restricted to a particular environment. Later, Young produced another small volume on buildering, spoofing mountaineering.[3] In the 1930s a somewhat more serious, though still light-hearted, account of Cambridge undergraduate buildering appeared in popular print.[4] As to identifying the first recreational or professional builderer - that remains an open question, for even at Cambridge, "...the lack of written records makes a history of past roof-climbing impossible".[4] Night climbing remained popular after the war, as documented in a book by "Hederatus" published in 1970[5], and features prominently in the detective story The Bad Quarto by Jill Paton Walsh[6].

[edit] Famous urban climbers

[edit] See also

[edit] References

  1. ^ Geoffrey Winthrop Young: Poet, educator, mountaineer by Alan Hankinson, (1995), Hodder & Stoughton, London
  2. ^ The Roof Climber's Guide to Trinity(1900)
  3. ^ Wall and Roof Climbing (1905)
  4. ^ a b The Night Climbers of Cambridge by Whipplesnaith (1937), Chatto & Windus Ltd, London
  5. ^ Cambridge nightclimbing, by "Hederatus" (1970), Chatto & Windus Ltd, London
  6. ^ Book review by Harriet Devine, accessed 1 April 2009

[edit] External links

[edit] Locations

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