Sunday, December 4, 2011

Buildering is your strange cousin

Buildering: The act of climbing buildings when there either aren't any rocks around or you've already sent everything.

My somewhat unfortunate confession is that I actually got into climbing via buildering. At the time I may have told you that I was free running or doing some parkour, but I don't think you can call it that unless you can do a flip. Much to my disappointment, I can't. Back when I went to Lee University, my friend JP and I would run around downtown Chattanoga outfitted in mostly black apparel with some sort of running shoes like total badasses (not). Then we'd find the coolest looking building (meaning the easiest to climb) and climb to the top of them!

                                                                 (Parkour at its finest)

Parking garages, *aquariums, old auto repair shops, no one was safe. Getting onto the roof was our greatest goal and we accomplished it quite frequently. But of course that was all before I knew what it was like to climb on real rocks (or even plastic ones for that matter). So I guess why I'm writing this post is that I'm curious as to what Buildering really means to the climbing community, if anything. I've read on some climbing blogs that buildering is a late night drunken escapade for when you left the bar and are still feeling strong. I've heard other people say that only rocks are for climbing.

To me, buildering is like the idiot cousin of rock climbing. He's there at all the family reunions, even though you usually don't acknowledge him. He may be good for a laugh every now and again, but you definitely don't want to spend the whole day with him. His mom probably hates your mom for stealing her casserole recipe in '92.

You basically steer clear of this guy because he's not as fun as all your other friends and you're really not sure you have much in common until...

Everyone at the family reunion has passed out. Your adventurous and wily grandpa (trad climbing) is asleep because he's getting up early to go hike. Your wild younger brother (bouldering) is sitting in the kitchen watching videos and updating his blog while filing his fingers and chugging pbr. Your fun aunt (sport climbing) is laughing at him from the living room while watching braveheart. Your little sister (deep water soloing) is talking to boys because she never climbs. And for some strange reason, your crazy cousin is standing by the door with that crazy look in his eye and you just can't say no to an adventure.

That's kind of how buildering came into existence, or at least that's my theory. What do you think, got any crazy stories of climbing some buildings?! 

*We once climbed all the way up the back staircase of the aquarium to the butterfly room by climbing a water pipe to get over the gate which blocked the stairs. Then we heard security open the door and we ran like James Litz trying to escape a Sportscenter interview.

                                       This kind of buildering is actually pretty sweet

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