A Climbers Guide to the University Range
(aka A Guide to Buildering on the University of Washington
Building climbing, or "buildering", has had a
long history at the UW. A long time ago there was a guide book to ascents
that had been completed. In 1972, Thomas Brown and Jerry Walsh revised
that guide into what is a more complete "book" that encompases
most buildings on campus. The only copy of the more recent guide is a
photo copy located in the Special Collection of Allen Library which, as
far as most climbers are concerned, is a bit inconvienient. Thus the idea
to put that information into this website came, along with the opportunity
to update the old guide with new constructions and add pictures of selected
The descriptions here come directly from the 1972 guide.
If you would like to submit a new "route" or crag, email me
From the 1972 Guide...
As mentioned in the original guide, building climbing and the original
guide was looked upon as some sort of joke. It has recently developed
into a recognized sport and a local renaissance is currently underway.
Some route descriptions were borrowed from the earlier guide, some were
eyeballed from the ground or partway up and these descriptions followed
by two capital letters in parentheses were done by people known to the
author and the descriptions are probably right.
The primary techniques that are involved in building climbing are mantelling
and chimney stemming. To a lesser degree, liebacking, jamming, thrutching
and even face climbing are involved. As most of the climbs involve a series
of mantles or some such technique, rating the climbs became a matter of
hair-splitting, so I simplified the rating system to this:
- E - denoting easy, as implied, not too difficult or demanding.
- H - denoting hard, also like it sounds, hard either in
difficulty or in terms of demanding or both.
- ND-E or -H means that the route hasn't been done
recently, so as to determine the authenticity of the route description,
and that the degree of difficulty has been estimated as easy/hard.
There is some danger of police interfereance associated with this activity
and the appropriate precattions should be taken to guard against discovery.
Some time was spent in attempting to determine what the reaction of the
fuss would be if an encounter should take place. The response of the University's
finest ranged from a request to "come down before you hurt yourself"
to citation and report for a first offense and expulsion from the 'U'
for a second. The latter policy is the one offered most often.
*** DISCLAIMER ***
By reading the information on this web site you implicitly take full responsibility
for what you do with it, and implicitly release the author of these pages
from any and all liability! Buildering is generally not considered to
be legal by Campus Police, and you will pay the consequences if you are
caught by them attempting any of these routes. These pages are for informational