Fascinated by Urban Climbers

  • #1
fourthindiana
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I'm fascinated by several videos I've seen on the internet of this subculture of people called "urban climbers". Urban climbers will climb skyscrapers and other dangerously high objects without any safety harnesses or safety nets or any safety equipment of any kind and do all types of death defying stunts on them.



I'm especially interested in the person at 1:18 on the following video. He does a somersault on a skinny ledge hundreds of feet high and then makes big jumps from one tiny ledge to another at hundreds of feet. Are the people who do such deadly stunts on high buildings suicidal?

Are these people who do such stunts mentally ill?

________________________________________________________________________________________
P.S. Unfortunately the person at the beginning of the video clip is flipping the bird at the camera. I could not find this video clip of that particular climber anywhere else. I think everyone here will be mature enough not to take it personally though.
 

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  • #2
phinds
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Are mountain climbers mentally ill?

Are race car drivers mentally ill?

The list goes on and on
 
  • #3
fourthindiana
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Are mountain climbers mentally ill?

Are race car drivers mentally ill?

The list goes on and on


Mountain climbers and race car drivers don't hold a candle to the guy in the video I posted at 1:18. Watch it.
 
  • #4
phinds
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Mountain climbers and race car drivers don't hold a candle to the guy in the video I posted at 1:18. Watch it.
It's a matter of degree, not substance.
 
  • #5
fourthindiana
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It's a matter of degree, not substance.

That's your opinion.
 
  • #6
Drakkith
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Are the people who do such deadly stunts on high buildings suicidal?

No. A person who is suicidal generally displays a different set of behaviors than the people who are engaged in high-risk physical activities such as this.

Are these people who do such stunts mentally ill?

Probably not.
 
  • #7
Klystron
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[...]Are the people who do such deadly stunts on high buildings suicidal? Are these people who do such stunts mentally ill?
No and No.
They are (usually) young adult males, confident in their ability, inured to heights, focused in the moment, playful, lucid and intelligent though possibly lacking empathy. If placed in a park on natural stone, the activity would be considered extreme sport. The urban setting with possibility of squishing some unwitting passerby provides a sharper contrast for the participant and viewers than a natural setting. Scrambling around skyscrapers is much less expensive and much more exciting than climbing 'rock walls' at the gym or scaling "El Capitan" for the nth time.

If pressed for a term, consider Ataraxia.
 
  • #8
Klystron
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No and No.
If pressed for a term, consider Ataraxia.

I replied without watching the entire video collage. I personally see a distinction between free climbers and the machine riders. Trying to outrace trains belies underlying sociopathy IMO.

The wikipedia entry on ataraxia waxes philosophical where the simpler explanation is, simply, control of fear. When hiking in groups, I noticed most people would shy away from cliffs. A few of us would laugh and jump and slide from point to point with little fear of falling but highly concentrated on finding the correct path down and up. I enjoyed this from ~ages 14 to 30 with only a few scrapes and poison oak. We were the trail-cutters, the pathfinders; usually cautious even quiet in other ways.
 
  • #9
fourthindiana
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I replied without watching the entire video collage. I personally see a distinction between free climbers and the machine riders. Trying to outrace trains belies underlying sociopathy IMO.

Assuming nobody else was in the car trying to outrace a train other than the driver, how does trying to outrace trains belie underlying sociopathy?
 
  • #10
nuuskur
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Carefree, maybe. I think these people wouldn't be doing these things if they didn't have utter confidence in their ability, a safety rope wouldn't hurt, but maybe I'm being a wuss . Urban climbers have died doing their thang, also. I think a suicidal person would much rather call it quits than challenge him or herself.
 
  • #11
Klystron
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Assuming nobody else was in the car trying to outrace a train other than the driver, how does trying to outrace trains belie underlying sociopathy?
Well, ignoring the passengers, crew, cargo, the train itself, the future safety of the tracks, the people living on the other side of the tracks invisible to the driver, the expectation of the commuters on the roads; even the expectation of survival of the public employees tasked with keeping roads and railroad tracks safe indicates at least ignorance and indifference to others.

I personally see a grave difference between scaling heights, base jumping, sky dives, etc., where the risks are understood and minimized; and deliberately courting disaster and risking the uninformed by trashing trains. A true warrior would (at least) eschew the automobile and outrace or jump from the moving train, the latter activity common in the 19th and 20th Century. While shocking and inconveniencing other people, it only risks the life of the actor.
 
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  • #12
fourthindiana
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Well, ignoring the passengers, crew, cargo, the train itself, the future safety of the tracks, the people living on the other side of the tracks invisible to the driver, the expectation of the commuters on the roads; even the expectation of survival of the public employees tasked with keeping roads and railroad tracks safe indicates at least ignorance and indifference to others.

Apparently you need a lesson on who wins when a train crashes into a car.
 
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  • #13
nuuskur
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A completely different question whether this kind of thing is allowed or considered hooliganism or whatnot. I wouldn't want someone dangling on my skyscrapers without safety gear and a permit and potentially supervision. I'm too much of a wuss, I think .. :sorry:
 
  • #14
Klystron
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Definitely a question of moral values. I admire free divers and snorkelers, respect careful scuba and cave divers, admire the cliff divers shown in the video; despise idiots racing boats where others are safely enjoying the water.
 
  • #15
Klystron
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Apparently you need a lesson on who wins when a train crashes into a car.
This anthropomorphizes the train. No one 'wins'. Any crash or unplanned braking could derail the train engines leading to catastrophic failure. Big difference from dangling from a tall crane.

Do your own research. A train left unattended parked on a side track nearly destroyed a town in Quebec when the brakes failed or were released.
 
  • #16
PeroK
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Mountain climbers and race car drivers don't hold a candle to the guy in the video I posted at 1:18. Watch it.

Look for Ueli Steck and Eiger North Face.

These guys don't hold a candle to Ueli.

Or, Alex Honnold.
 
  • #17
Rive
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Apparently you need a lesson on who wins when a train crashes into a car.
I don't know who wins, but the train driver usually gets a few month long free ticket to a psychologist - and they do need it after a crash.

Are the people who do such deadly stunts on high buildings suicidal?

Are these people who do such stunts mentally ill?
Definitely not suicidal: that's a very different status of mind. These people has a very strong will to live - and to feel that they alive. It is just under normal conditions they don't feel it strong enough. Google up 'adrenaline addiction'. As far as I know it is not considered as illness.
 
  • #18
Ophiolite
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Apparently you need a lesson on who wins when a train crashes into a car.
Lessons are useful for all of us. In this example ten passengers on the train died after encountering a car. The car was not on the track because of daredevil drivers, but the end result of this car and train contradicts your belief. Everyone loses.
 
  • #19
DennisN
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Assuming nobody else was in the car trying to outrace a train other than the driver, how does trying to outrace trains belie underlying sociopathy?
I am not saying I necessarily agree or disagree with @Klystron here, since I haven't looked at it and I didn't know about the concept of outracing trains. But in addition to what Klystron writes in post #11 another trait of sociopathy (ASPD) is risk taking which is part of disinhibition.

When it comes to urban climbing, which I am aware of and have read a couple of sad articles about, I think it is an unnecessarily risky activity if it is done without safety gear. Too many young people have died from this trying to get the "perfect shot" for social media. In these cases, I'd say it's lethal attention seeking behavior, and very, very sad.

Edit:
Here are two articles:
and for more google for "urban climber death".
 
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