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Buildering

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Buildering (also known as edificeering, urban climbing, structuring,
or stegophily) is a type of parkour describes the act of climbing on 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. It is often
practiced outside legal bounds, and is thus mostly undertaken at night.

Night climbing is a particular branch of buildering which has been practiced for
many years in a variety of locations such as the University of Cambridge, England.
Night climbing, as distinct from buildering, is performed mainly by
undergraduates under cover of darkness. The term "night climbing" has replaced
the older term "roof climbing".

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.[1]
Although often practised 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.

Contents

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1History
2Famous builderers
3See also
4References
5External links
5.1Locations

History[edit]

"Struck with a rash impulse," Han Qizhi, a 31-year-old shoe salesman, climbed the 88-story Jin Mao
Building barehanded.

In 1895, the great alpinist Geoffrey Winthrop Young, started to climb the roofs
of Cambridge University, England. Students had been scrambling up the
university architecture for years,[2] but Young was the first to document this
activity. He wrote and published a buildering guide to Trinity College.[3] Then in
1905, while a master at Eton College, Young produced another small volume on
buildering, spoofing mountaineering.[4]
In 1905, Harry H. Gardiner began buildering. He successfully climbed over 700
buildings in Europe and North America, usually wearing ordinary street clothes
and using no special equipment.

In 1910, George Polley started his climbing career when the owner of a clothing
store promised him a suit if he would climb to the roof of the building. He
succeeded, and went on to climb over 2,000 buildings.

During the years from 1915 to 1920, buildering in New York City reached its peak.
Before 1915, there were few skyscrapers in New York City, and after 1920, the city
authorities had legislated to outlaw buildering. During this golden era, a number
of daredevils climbed the tall buildings, but several of them fell to their deaths in
the attempt.

In 1921, a group of undergraduates from St John's College, Cambridge, published


a buildering guide to that college.[5]
In 1930, John Hurst wrote the second edition of Geoffrey Winthrop Young's
buildering guide to Trinity.[6]
In 1937, a comprehensive and lighthearted account of Cambridge night climbing
(undergraduate buildering) appeared in popular print,[7] written by Nol Howard
Symington, under the pseudonym "Whipplesnaith".
In 1947, John Ciampa scaled the exterior of the Astor Hotel in New York City.

In 1960, Richard Williams wrote the third edition of the Trinity buildering guide.
[8] Night climbing remained popular in Cambridge during these post-war years. In
1970, a book entitled "Night Climbing in Cambridge" was published under the
pseudonym "Hederatus".[9] Buildering also featured prominently in a book by F A
Reeve, published in 1977.[10]
In 1977, George Willig climbed the South Tower of the World Trade Center.

In the 1980s, Dan Goodwin scaled many of the world's tallest buildings, including
the World Trade Center , the Sears Tower, the John Hancock Center, the CN Tower,
and most recently (March 1, 2014) the Telephonica Building in Santiago, Chile
for Stan Lee's Superhumans

In the 1990s and the following decade, Alain Robert became the world's most
famous builderer by free soloing high buildings all over the globe.

In 2007, buildering in Cambridge was featured in a detective novel by Jill Paton


Walsh.[11]
Between 2007 and 2011, several books on night climbing were published by
Oleander Press, of Cambridge. In 2007, they reprinted the Whipplesnaith book.
[12] In 2009, they reprinted Geoffrey Winthrop Young's first edition of the Trinity
Guide,[13] and the St John's Guide.[14] In 2010, they reprinted John Hurst's second
edition of the Trinity Guide,[15] as well as Young's book "Wall and Roof Climbing".
[16] In 2011, they published an omnibus edition of the three Trinity guides,
[17] including an introduction by Richard Williams which reviewed the history of
night climbing in Cambridge from the 18th century to the present day. This
introduction removed the cloak of anonymity that had previously protected the
identities of the first nocturnal explorers.
From around 2008, buildering (also known as "roofing") became popular amongst
teenagers and young adults in eastern European countries including Russia and
the Ukraine. They shared footage of their achievements on video portals such
as YouTube (Mustang Wanted).

In August 2016, a young man going by the name Stephen Rogata attempted to
scale New York City's 68-storey Trump Tower using climbing gear and giant suction
cups; NYPD officers apprehended him at the 21st floor.[18]
The identification of the first recreational or professional builderer remains an
open question, but at Cambridge, Geoffrey Winthrop Young is generally regarded
as the original pioneer.

Famous builderers[edit]

Alain Robert climbing Petronas Tower 2 in March 2007. On this occasion, he was arrested at the 60th floor.

Alain Robert has achieved world-wide renown and is widely regarded as the
greatest of all builderers. In 2011, he climbed the world's tallest building, the 830-
meter Burj Khalifa tower in Dubai. On that occasion, he used a harness in
accordance with safety procedure, but most of his climbs have been free soloing.
Other well-known structures that Robert has climbed include the Empire State
Building in New York City, the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, the Sears
Tower in Chicago, the Jin Mao Tower in Shanghai, The Doha Torch in Doha, Taipei
101 in Taiwan, and each of the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He has
also climbed a number of famous landmarks, including the Eiffel Tower and
the Montparnasse Tower in France, and the Sydney Opera House in Australia.
Robert has been arrested at the top of many of the major buildings he has
climbed. He was born in France in 1962 as Robert Alain Phillipe, and is popularly
known as "the French Spider-Man" and the Human Spider.

In the 1980s, Dan Goodwin, aka SpiderDan, aka Skyscraperman, in advocacy for
high-rise firefighting and rescue, scaled many of the world's tallest buildings and
structures including the Sears Tower, the John Hancock Center, the North Tower of
the World Trade Center, the Parque Central Complex in Caracas, Venezuela, and
the CN Tower in Toronto, Canada. In 2010, Goodwin, now a stage four cancer
survivor, scaled San Francisco, California's sixty-storey Millennium Tower to call
attention to the fire department's inability to conduct rescue operations in the
upper floors of skyscrapers.

At least six builderers became known as "The Human Fly", all from the United
States, as follows:

George Willig, who climbed the South Tower of the World Trade Center in 1977.
Like Alain Robert, he was also known as "Spider-Man", after the comic hero who
was first published by Marvel in 1962.
John Ciampa, who climbed between 1942 and 1952. He was a stuntman and
entertainer, and was also known as the "Flying Phantom" and the "Brooklyn
Tarzan".
James A Dearing, who scaled the Rutherford County Courthouse in 1923, but fell
to his death after completing the climb. His stage name was Roy Royce.
Harry F Young, who was hired in 1923 to climb the Hotel Martinique in New York
City, to promote the silent movie "Safety Last!". He lost his grip on the ascent,
and fell nine stories to his death.
George Polley, who climbed between 1910 and 1920. He died at the age of 29
from a brain tumour.
Harry Gardiner, who climbed over 700 buildings in the United States and Europe
between 1905 and 1918, usually wearing street clothes and tennis shoes, with no
climbing equipment.
In the 1930s, Whipplesnaith (Nol Symington) climbed many buildings in
Cambridge, England.

See also[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Urban climbing.

Alain Robert
BASE jumping
Urban exploration
Night climbing in Cambridge
Doorways in the Sand
Parkour
Safety Last!
The Night Climbers of Cambridge
"Assassin's Creed"

References[edit]
1. Jump up^ Halloween on the Hill Jumble

2. Jump up^ Geoffrey Winthrop Young: Poet, educator, mountaineer (1995), by Alan Hankinson, published by
Hodder & Stoughton, London

3. Jump up^ The Roof Climber's Guide to Trinity (1900), written by Geoffrey Winthrop Young, published
anonymously, W P Spalding, Cambridge, England

4. Jump up^ Wall and Roof Climbing (1905), written by Geoffrey Winthrop Young, published anonymously,
Spottiswoode & Co., Eton College, England

5. Jump up^ The Roof Climber's Guide to St Johns (1921), written by a group of students including Hartley,
Grag and Darlington, under the pseudonym "A. Climber", Metcalfe & Co., Cambridge, England.
6. Jump up^ The Roof Climber's Guide to Trinity, 2nd edition (1930), written by John Hurst, published
anonymously, W P Spalding, Cambridge, England

7. Jump up^ The Night Climbers of Cambridge (1937), written by Nol Howard Symington under the
pseudonym "Whipplesnaith" , Chatto & Windus Ltd, London

8. Jump up^ The Night Climber's Guide to Trinity, 3rd edition (1960), written by Richard Williams, published
anonymously, Weatherhead Ltd, Cambridge, England

9. Jump up^ Cambridge nightclimbing (1970), written under the pseudonym "Hederatus", Chatto & Windus Ltd,
London

10.Jump up^ Varsity Rags and Hoaxes (1977), written by F A Reeve, published by Oleander Press, Cambridge,
England

11.Jump up^ The Bad Quarto (2007), written by Jill Paton Walsh, published by Hodder and Stoughton, London
12.Jump up^ The Night Climbers of Cambridge (reprinted 2007), written by Nol Howard Symington under the
pseudonym "Whipplesnaith", Oleander Press, Cambridge, England

13.Jump up^ The Roof Climber's Guide to Trinity (reprinted 2007), written by Geoffrey Winthrop Young,
published anonymously, Oleander Press, Cambridge, England

14.Jump up^ The Roof Climber's Guide to St Johns (reprinted 2009), written by a group of students including
Hartley, Grag and Darlington, published anonymously, Oleander Press, Cambridge, England.

15.Jump up^ The Roof Climber's Guide to Trinity, 2nd edition (reprinted 2010), written by John Hurst, published
anonymously, Oleander Press, Cambridge, England.

16.Jump up^ Wall and Roof Climbing (reprinted 2010), written by Geoffrey Winthrop Young, published
anonymously, Oleander Press, Cambridge, England.

17.Jump up^ The Roof-Climber's Guide to Trinity, Omnibus Edition (2011), Oleander Press, Cambridge, England.
18.Jump up^ Dentico, Michael J. (10 Aug 2016). "Trump Tower Climber Stephen Rogata Captured By NYPD After
Reaching 21st Floor". Inquisitr. Retrieved 10 Aug 2016.

External links[edit]
Alain Robert Official website
BBC announces Ascent of the Arche de la Defence
Buildering.net
Buildering.ru A directory of buildering spots
FreakClimbing Buildering Gallery

Locations[edit]
Cambridge University, England
Denmark
Germany
Rotterdam, Netherlands videos
Milan, Italy - Street Boulder Contest
Oxford University, England
Vancouver, Canada 5th Annual UBC Buildering Contest
University of California, Berkeley
Buildering in Montral

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