Legal and Illegal Urban Climbing: Key Points for Professionals and Hobbyists to Consider

Urban climbing is also known as bewildering and structuring, among other things. While it is considered to be an extreme sport today, urban climbing had a more utilitarian start; an origin that still holds just as much validity today. Construction workers in particular were the first to engage in the activity, alongside painters and window cleaners.

Of course, to them, it’s not a sport at all, but a job hazard that they must undertake with the utmost precautions. With both enthusiastic urban climbers and professional workers in mind, we are now going to briefly focus on three key points that every elevation worker and urban climber must consider well.

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Urban Climbing

Key Points for Professionals and Hobbyists to Consider when Urban Climbing

Never Ignore Safety Equipment

Unfortunately, every year we hear about construction workers and even hobbyists falling to their deaths, despite there being adequate safety equipment available for everyone today. This is still happening because of the following reasons, primarily:

  • The injured or deceased did not have adequate fall protection, either due to personal or managerial negligence
  • The fall protection came off because it was not secured properly by the individual
  • The fall protection equipment was of sub-par quality, and it failed them at the worst possible time
  • They did not check to confirm if their safety equipment was up to the task ahead
  • Illegal urban climbers pushed or even hosed to their falls

Whether you are an experienced construction worker, an expert window cleaner, or a veteran urban climber by hobby, never think that you are above using proper safety equipment, each and every time.

Consider the Legality of Your Actions

In most states and across most nations, recreational buildering is not a legal activity, barring special cases where the urban climber has secured special permissions. Therefore, if you are not a professional with the necessary permits to work around skyscrapers, take special care to both understand the legalities of your actions, and the possible repercussions, if you get caught. In general, the two laws broken by a non-professional urban climber are:

  1. Trespassing
  2. Reckless endangerment of one’s own life

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Consider the Dangers of Your Action

Although it may not seem like it, there have been multiple cases where lives of urban climbers without the necessary permissions have been jeopardized after being chased/pushed/hosed, so consider that possibility well before taking on any such endeavors without the legal permissions necessary. Even without external forces working against him, the legendary Chinese urban climber, Wu Yongning fell to his death from 60-stories up back in 2017. It just goes to show that those who venture without fall protection, whether he is a professional or a hobbyist, are always at risk of a tragic death.

Training is an essential part of climbing buildings, whatever your purpose may be. Hobbyists should consider at least getting a proper course or two in rock climbing first, before even considering urban climbing. As for the professionals, their training should be thorough and complete regarding the safety equipment, the exact work that they will be doing at an elevated height, and an adequate understanding of the equipment and tools they will be using.

Last Updated on September 25, 2023

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