These Guys Climb Buildings and See the City from a Different Perspective

Thanks to our friends at TribalTourist.com, we got in touch with a story we love. Based in Seattle, these group of young folks, most of them in their early 20’s, have a passion for heights. They are called Partners in Climb. And what do they do? They climb structures, buildings, walls, and why not, they do rock climbing as well. The organization’s founder was raised in something of an adventurous family, partaking in outdoor rock climbing even before his 5th birthday.

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The pictures that come out as a result of their adventures are breathtaking. They not only love the adrenaline that implies this kind of not-so-legal activity, but also procure pictures that give great aesthetic pleasure. The photography is authentic, no photoshop or fake photos but a few image quality adjustments. If you are wondering why these guys climb buildings, we got to ask them some questions and here you have the answers.

How did you get started?

Partners in Climb, in its formation, was something of an ideological crusade. Today’s media bombards society with a litany of ways in which we’re inadequate. No matter what, you’re not attractive enough, not rich enough, not cultured enough, not smart enough, and even not happy enough. Businesses launch massive campaigns intended to cultivate negative self-worth and convert it into monetary profits. Such ideology is what Partners in Climb stands against. If someone can have the time of his life dressed as a chicken on top of a high-rise, then why should you allow anyone to question what you’re doing? The message here is to embrace your quirks, be who you are, be fearless, be unapologetic, and never let anyone tell you you’re not good enough. 

Take aforementioned defiant mentality, throw in a love for art, couple that with a sense of adventure add in a silly knack for the dramatic, and what results is Partners in Climb.

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When you climb, are you given permission for doing so?

No, explicit permission for the majority of the climbs undertaken by Partners in Climb would be near impossible to procure. However, the organization maintains amiable relations with site owners by obeying the credo ‘Leave No Trace.’ To be clear, climbers never damage nor steal the property they encounter during climbs. The organization understands that the longevity of this type of pursuit depends on both responsible and sustainable actions.

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What have been some of your biggest challenges?

Gravity is a big one. Then there’s avoiding bloodthirsty security goons, and teaching ourselves the ins and outs of nighttime photography. Seattle’s rainy weather is far from advantageous both for photography and climbing. Dangling one’s feet over a 650-foot drop is a cinch, but you’d have more luck sneezing with your eyes open than convincing anyone to climb in a tepid downpour. By far the most important challenge members of Partners in Climb face is the protection of their real-life identities. Not to avoid being hunted down by the authorities, but so their parents don’t find out.

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Do you have daytime jobs?

There’s quite the spectrum of occupations among group members. Mostly ‘student’ type jobs in the food industry but we also have a skydiving instructor, a couple kids who grew up working on farms, and even a semi-pro bull rider.

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What do you look for when you do a climb, is it height or difficulty for example?

There is definitely variance from climber to climber, which is part of what makes Partners in Climb so great – the variety. Some climbers are daredevils looking for sheer jaw-dropping altitude, others are more architecturally appreciative and care more about capturing a truly aesthetic shot, yet others choose particular sites out of personal significance (“I saw my first Major League Baseball game in that stadium, lets hit it.”)

Can you describe the sensation that produces in you once you have reached the top?

There’s no single way to describe the way it feels to reach the top of a skyscraper, a crane, or any other landmark. Mostly sore. But hey, “nothing worth doing in life is easy” right? Wrong, clearly whoever came up with that quote never binged watched Netflix. Jokes aside, “summiting” is an overpoweringly charged experience. There’s the euphoria accompanying reaching one’s goal. There’s the sense of wonder experienced when you see the world in an entirely new way. Viewing the urban jungle below, with the beautiful mess of Seattleites each going about their lives has a way of compelling the mind to think of the unanswerable questions and immense bounty within our lives. More than anything, you wish to share the moment with those you care about.

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It’s obviously a dangerous habit, how do you prepare before climbing?

Precisely. All potential climbs are surveyed by one or more experienced group member at least a day in advance to the climb. Both safety and security risks are investigated during these scouting missions. Experienced members are also in charge of ensuring that no climber engages in activities beyond his or her means, for safety equipment is seldom used.

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Do you plan to hit other cities?

Absolutely! Starting in June we’re planning a circuit with focal points in Portland, Los Angeles, Austin, New York, and Toronto. We’d say the sky is the limit, but that’s not really true anymore. Lot’s of plans for 2015 but you’ll have to wait and see 😉


Follow Partner in Climb’s adventures on Instagram and although the pictures are amazing, we recommend not to try this at home!

Hayo Magazine
Hayo Magazine

An indie coffee table–style magazine for travelers curious about arts and culture. To contribute, submit your article pitch to info@hayo.co

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