Home » Recreation and Sports » Extreme Sports

Everything Is Climbable--The Art Of Buildering In Texas

Aug 17, 2007
While it's thought of more as a daredevil event than a sport, buildering -- also known as urban climbing, structuring, or stegophily -- is the act of climbing on the outside of buildings and other artificial structures. The word "buildering" combines the word "building" with the climbing term "bouldering".

It's not a sport for everyone. In fact, buildering has a small cult following. The most famous practioner of this ultra-extreme sport is Alain Robert, popularly known as "the real-life Spiderman." Robert has climbed the Empire State Building in New York, the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, the Sears Tower in Chicago and the Petronas Towers (twice) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, among others, all done without using any climbing equipment or protection.

Other famous urban climbers include: Dan Goodwin, aka Spider Dan, who climbed the Sears Tower in Chicago in 1981; George Willig who climbed the World Trade Center; Harry and Simon Westaway, who climbed Big Ben, the Palace of Westminster's clock tower, in London as an anti-war protest for Greenpeace; Harry Gardiner, known as the Human Fly, who was the first recorded urban climber; and George Polley, also known as the Human Fly, who took up buildering in the 1910s.

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

The biggest draw of buildering is also its biggest drawback: Buildering almost always is illegal, so you should check to make sure it is not before you try it in Texas or anywhere else. And it won't win you any popularity contests. Cops don't like you; landlords don't like you; most people think you're, at best, unusual and, at worst, crazy.

The general public considers climbing on buildings shocking and irresponsible behavior. The first and most important rule is: Watch your butt. You alone are responsible for your actions. You have to be young enough to enjoy currying the disdain of passersby or not care about your reputation. You have to get up early or steal out into the night. The most important key to successful buildering is, "Go in fast and get out."

Buildering can also take a form closer to bouldering, where climbers tend to ascend and/or traverse shorter sections of buildings and structures. While still generally frowned upon by property owners, some turn a blind eye towards the practice in many locations. Although it's often done as a solo sport, buildering has also become a popular group activity. As in more traditional rock climbing, routes on structures are established and graded for difficulty.

Lesser known forms of urban climbing can be observed in demonstrations, as a means of protest, or at some public events such as street parades or concerts, where people frequently climb on sign posts and other small structures.

Unlike other fringe sports like skateboarding, most urban climbers doubt that buildering will ever crack into the mainstream. The problem is that many climbers find the sport is a little "too dangerous" for mass appeal. And buildering is more about the skill than the image and the huge risks involved make it less than appealing. For decades, buildering has existed under the radar and its popularity remains on university hubs, all of which seems to suggest intrinsic limits to its popularity.

As is the case in rock climbing, the trick in urban climbing is to find the perfect holds with the right overall body positioning and adequate balance. But the difficulty in climbing buildings is that the uniformity and evenness of the exterior make it difficult to find the grooves for holds. It is like a physical puzzle that can only be solved through ingenuity, persistence and foolhardiness. Buildering is both a lifestyle and a philosophy of taming the modern landscape.

While ultra-extreme sports such as urban climbing or buildering may help you develop great physical stamina and mental discipline, it is dangerous and must only be attempted by experienced climbing professionals. If you're a young individual who's drawn to this sport, make sure you're in the best shape both mentally and physically.
About the Author
Pat Carpenter writes for Precedent Insurance Company. Precedent puts a new spin on health insurance. Learn more at Precedent.com
Rating:
Please Rate:
(Average: Not rated)
Views: 190
Print Email Report Share
Article Categories
    • Artists
    • Gambling
    • Humanities
    • Humor
    • Movies
    • Music
    • Photography
    • Tattoos
    • Television
    • Classic Cars
    • Motorcycles
    • Recreational Vehicles
    • SUVs
    • Trucks
    • Vans
    • Branding
    • Business Opportunities
    • Careers and Jobs
    • Corporate
    • Customer Service
    • Direct Mail
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Ethics
    • Financing
    • Franchising
    • Home-Based Business
    • Human Resources
    • Import and Export
    • Leadership
    • Management
    • Market Research
    • Marketing and Advertising
    • Negotiation
    • Network Marketing
    • Networking
    • Organizational
    • Presentation
    • Project Management
    • Public Relations
    • Small Business
    • Strategic Planning
    • Team Building
    • Telemarketing
    • Training
    • Data Recovery
    • Databases
    • Games
    • Hardware
    • Networks
    • Operating Systems
    • Programming
    • Security
    • Software
    • Spyware and Viruses
    • Ask an Expert
    • College and University
    • Home Schooling
    • K-12
    • Languages
    • Online Education
    • Psychology
    • Accounting
    • Credit
    • Currency Trading
    • Debt Consolidation
    • Insurance
    • Investing
    • Leasing
    • Loans
    • Mortgage
    • Mutual Funds
    • Personal Finance
    • Stock Market
    • Structured Settlements
    • Taxes
    • Wealth Building
    • Coffee
    • Cooking
    • Gourmet
    • Recipes
    • Wine and Spirits
    • Acne
    • Aerobics
    • Alternative Medicine
    • Beauty
    • Cancer
    • Cosmetics
    • Depression
    • Diabetes
    • Diseases and Conditions
    • Fitness Equipment
    • Fitness
    • Hair Loss
    • Heart Disease
    • Medicine
    • Men's Health
    • Muscle Building
    • Nutrition
    • Skin Care
    • Supplements and Vitamins
    • Weight Loss
    • Women's Health
    • Yoga
    • Arts and Crafts
    • Babies
    • Collecting
    • Elderly Care
    • Genealogy
    • Hobbies
    • Parenting
    • Pets
    • Pregnancy
    • Woodworking
    • Feng Shui
    • Gardening
    • Home Appliances
    • Home Security
    • Interior Design
    • Landscaping
    • Affiliate Programs
    • Article Marketing
    • Auctions
    • Audio
    • Banner Advertising
    • Blogging
    • Broadband
    • Domain Names
    • E-Books
    • E-Commerce
    • Email Marketing
    • Ezines and Newsletters
    • Forums
    • Internet Marketing
    • Link Popularity
    • Pay-Per-Click
    • Podcasting
    • RSS
    • Search Engine Marketing
    • Search Engine Optimization
    • Security
    • Social Media
    • Spam
    • Video
    • Viral Marketing
    • Web Design
    • Web Development
    • Web Hosting
    • Copyright
    • Cyber Law
    • Intellectual Property
    • National, State, Local
    • Patents
    • Regulatory Compliance
    • Trademarks
    • Buying
    • Selling
    • Dating
    • Divorce
    • Marriage
    • Weddings
    • Astrology
    • Buddhism
    • Christianity
    • Faith
    • Hinduism
    • Islam
    • Judaism
    • Meditation
    • Metaphysical
    • New Age
    • Cable and Satellite TV
    • Cell Phones
    • Communication
    • Gadgets and Gizmos
    • GPS
    • Satellite Radio
    • Video Conferencing
    • VoIP
    • Addictions
    • Coaching
    • Goal Setting
    • Motivational
    • Stress Management
    • Time Management
    • Clothing
    • Electronics
    • Fashion
    • Gifts
    • Jewelry
    • Causes and Organizations
    • Environment
    • History
    • Holidays
    • Men's Issues
    • Nature
    • Philosophy
    • Politics
    • Women's Issues
    • World Affairs
    • Air Travel
    • Camping
    • Cruises
    • Destinations
    • Outdoors
    • Article Writing
    • Book Reviews
    • Copywriting
    • Fiction
    • Non-Fiction
    • Poetry
    • Quotes
    • Screenplay
    • Tools and Resources