Buildering... anyone do it?

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The Lone Ranger

Safety is paramount!
Staff member
Since climbing began buildering has always been a part of it even in areas close to the crags, I climbed on the Henry Price building in Leeds a lot in the 80's.

The antics of the Cambridge climbers trying to get up all the spires are fairly well known, there's even a book. First video footage I can think of is from the 80's, it's a classic called Stone Monkey and has a couple of brief clips of Jonny Dawes climbing a bridge abutment and a bus stop.

The viaduct in New Mills has now been bolted to allow sports climbing to take place on the abutments, a lot of climbing in areas away from natural rock have established climbs on bridges, viaducts, and retaining walls, some are actually quite good.

The strangest place I have buildered is on a huge WW2 concrete bunker in Berlin, it has been bolted by local climbers and the climbs follow the bullet and shrapnel scars on the concrete walls. This old building built into a crag near me is probably my closest now Chew Valley Bouldering | Flickr - Photo Sharing!.

Long may buildering remain, some classic problems out there :)


Staff member
Oct 19, 2005
Crabapple Cove
Better than paying to climb up bright coloured plastic pegs at a climbing wall.

Good videos, nice that they show the working out, the fails, etc - rather than just making an 'aren't we wonderful!' film.

The Lone Ranger

Safety is paramount!
Staff member
I suppose buildering was the predecessor to the modern climbing wall, most climbing walls built in the 80's were just made out of bricks some stepped out more than others, as well as the ones with bits of rock cast into breeze blocks and the odd concrete feature,. If you were lucky they were situated indoors, but this sometimes wasn't great! The climbing wall at Stalybridge (SIDS) had a leaky roof, so if it was raining outside it would also rain inside :) . How much they have changed over the years to give you the modern climbing and bouldering venues, often in old mills or once derelict buildings.

Enough of indoor walls, here's a link to some buildering venues and locations if you can be bothered looking through the threads, as with exploring some are utter shite, but utter shite is sometimes better than nothing at all unless there is a good pub, selling real ales, with a buxom bar maid and an open fire :D

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Huddersfield Tourist Information Board
Regular User
Jun 14, 2011
Done this a fair bit now. Twice in the last week. A fair few rooftops I've put on here are external climbs. Part of the process of this hobby now for me.

Edit: for anyone interested, these were all external climbs...

The Chambers, Manchester

Queensgate Market Hall, Huddersfield

A couple in Keighley

Huddersfield Town Stadium

New Street rooftop, Huddersfield

Industrial Co-Operative Society, Huddersfield

George Hotel, Huddersfield

Contact Theatre and AMC Rooftops, Manchester

Also, Urbis and G-MEX in Manchester... awaiting film to be developed, and I'll stick them up. Naturally, the extent and difficulty varies with each one... I am not a natural climber by any means, I don't go bouldering or anything... but it's given me a new, refreshing outlook on rooftopping in the city... a new challenge... and is certainly more interesting than the 'get past concierge / get in lift/staircase / go out of hatch' approach to rooftopping.
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28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Mar 11, 2011
I only wish I was fit enough to be able to pull off shit like this. If I tried I'd just end up pulling a muscle or putting my back out.
I do a fair bit around Sheffield. We've gone to indoor places now the weather's crap, but as soon as it's good again we'll be outdoors. You'd be welcome to come out sometime if you want to. Bouldering that is, going to keep my eyes open for some concrete routes.