Video games have conditioned us to believe that anything yellow is probably climbable. It is our duty as gamers to attempt to climb yellow things, whether in games or in reality. This is how we can be certain that anyone who tries to climb Mount Everest is a chump. If the good dragon Bahamut wanted us to climb Everest, he would have pissed all over it with his glorious golden flow. (Even platinum dragons need to hydrate.) For those inclined to climb all over reality, here is an extensive list of objects that you can probably climb in real life (though if you injure yourself doing so or die in some epic fashion, we will remind your next of kin that this is a satire site.)
Old faithful. The child’s mobile playground. The ole stinky shuttle. If you were a child who didn’t try to climb on top of a moving school bus while throwing homemade spears at passing cars, are you even a gamer? In terms of climbability this baby was built for thrills. In 7th grade, Joey Pinkerton rode bus 37 all the way from his house to Lizzie Maxon’s, pretending to be the Silver Surfer the entire time. The cops pulled over the bus on the way to Brian Shelton’s place, and beat the bus driver savagely with those metal baton things. It was crazy.
McDonald’s Golden Arches
They grease up the poles to these bad boys with all the leftover film from the teenage employee’s faces, so you might need a jetpack to get up into climbing range, but when you’re doing Fortnite dances on top of the Golden Arches, you’re basically the gamer equivalent of Jesus. Well, Jesus before he got canceled for his beta behavior of simping for Mary Magdalene. Gamers are complicated! And not very bright. That being said, I think you could use one of those leather tree-hugging belts to fix the black signpost to your nutsack and then use magnets or some such to get up the rest of the way.
F.S. Industries Fixed Steel Ladder with Walk Thru Cage
This one’s a no-brainer. If you’ve ever seen a bright yellow ladder with a walk thru cage, you’ve probably compulsively leapt onto it like a crack-addled lemur. This babies hang off the side of red brick buildings with the same temptation factor of Bugs Bunny dressed as a sexy lady pulling up his dress to reveal his shapely gams. Don’t worry, gamers; it is wholly human to be aroused while climbing the Fixed Steel Ladder with Walk Thru Cage from F.S. Industries, one of the industry LEADERS on making arousing walk thru cage ladders. As gamers it is our duty to flood their contact inboxes with compliments about the inherently sexual nature of their fixed and unfixed ladders. But even if you love ladders platonically like some Amish prude, this bad boy will make you want to climb on up and sing “Sante Fe” like a Newsie.
Playground Spinny Slide
These bastards have taunted gamer-kind for too long. Their slippery nature made them cruel pranksters in our youths, and as adults, our cumbersome, uncoordinated, ungainly bodies make them something of a Hellraiser puzzle cube for the middle-aged. Rather than splitting you open and filling you with fishing hooks like in the movies, the body horror here will be you getting your contorted, back-aching, chubby flesh imprisoned in the curvatures of the spinny slide while neighbor kids crowd around and mock you. Climbing the exterior is child’s play, but climbing up from the base to the interior as Bahamut intended is its own brutal hellscape. I pray to the Platinum Dragon that you survive this encounter and that you aren’t caged within one like Frank Reynolds when he got stuck in that climbing equipment on Sunny.
Yellow Insulators on Electric Fence
Ahh, the vertical minefield. These are great testers for climbing operatives looking to take their game to the next level. The goal here should be obvious, unless you’re a masochist or weren’t paying attention in science class. You want to strengthen your index and middle finger to the point where you can successfully grip and hoist yourself via the yellow insulator prongs WITHOUT, and I repeat, WITHOUT touching the electric fence to which they are attached. If you touch the electric fence, you will be shocked. I have to repeat this because some gamers think they will get shock powers and become Electro and get inexplicably hotter between movies. False. This is not the case. You will shoot blood out your nostrils and your testicles will explode, just like Timmy in Jurassic Park. I know some of you are into that, but please, if you are interested in being an Escalationist you have to take this seriously.
Very Tall Woman in Sundress
Gamers, you need to get consent before doing this. In many ways it is the Holy Grail of our entire enterprise. Some climbers have even met their wives, au pairs, and wet nurses this way. However, if you attempt to climb a very tall woman in a sundress without her consent, you will be arrested or at the very least publicly shamed on social media and beaten within an inch of your life. Again, some of you may be very into this, as my Threads mentions have indicated, but in general this is ill-advised behavior. I am not in the business of posting your bail, no matter how much you beg. Anyway, onto the main event. To get the achievement for this climb on the Escalationist website you need to get written consent from the woman that she will not assist you in any way, even if you fall and she instinctively tries to scoop and cradle your bum because to her you seem like a struggling infant chimpanzee. You must scale the woman from top to bottom, using only your own wits and the climbing winches, belay gloves, or crash pads at your disposal. Otherwise there will ever be an asterisk by your name.
A lot of these are yellow. I’m not sure exactly why, other than for the climbing factor, and damn if they don’t serve fine post-climb food for getting your protein fill. Reliably most Mexican restaurants are single-story buildings with mission style exteriors for thematic purposes. Like most restaurants they will typically have a wheely dumpster out back you can use as the first step of your ascent. At that point it’s just the simple matter of using that upper body strength to lift yourself onto the roof and start dancing. Remember: the dance should be planned in advance, and you should bring a camera stand that can accommodate the best view. It’s also wise to have a friend (if possible) film from the parking lot below and shout something like, “Hey everybody! That handsome man is doing something memorable!” This will be enough to assemble a small crowd, assuming you are doing this during peak dining hours. This is one of the easier climbs on the list, so if you’re looking for simple showboating, you might find this appetizer muy delicioso.
Tellus Nursery School
WARNING: This is one of the more problematic ascents on our list for the reasons I will enumerate now. One: the striated nature of the building’s admittedly remarkable construction will cause stomach-curdling vertigo during the climb. Two: you will undoubtedly be called a “pervers,” which is the Swedish word for pervert. The building has many windows and because of its primary non-climbing function, chances are you will be a very sweaty person breathing heavily and staring into a room filled with toddlers and one furious woman. Three: this will require a trip to Stockholm, and that may be cost-prohibitive depending on your location and personal financial situation. If you’re okay with those factors, this is easily one of the most brag-worthy climbs due to its inherent challenge and the fact that the building makes for fantastic photographs, even if it kind of sucks.
No gamer can gaze upon the cube houses in Rotterdam and not envision Nathan Drake leaping from cube to cube like a mountain goat. These tantalizingly modern architectural oddities seem to be begging to be climbed, even if their height alone makes them daunting. The sharp edges provide ample opportunities to dangle and stage your own photogenic Cliffhanger moment. Imagine leaping from the cubes to the tram running underneath them.Then after screaming and gripping your crushed bones, looking to the shocked crowd and thinking, “Yeah, I just did that. Wait’ll the boys online hear about this one.” Again this may be cost-prohibitive, but if you’ve already been banned from Sweden, why not give The Netherlands a go?
Sunray Woodcraft Construction Headquarters
Just look at this thing. It looks like a Hitman level! There are so many layered cubes, grippable surfaces, and places to parkour that you could probably stage your own Mission: Impossible sequel up here. Not only is it yellow, demanding to be climbed, it is a building with the beauty and awe-inspiring joy of a children’s playplace. When I die I want to be buried climbing this building, even though my lawyer says that is neither affordable or physically possible. Whatever! Did the architects think about what was possible when they designed this heavenly object? Likely not. Oh, also it’s in Singapore, so you might need to bum a ride over there.
Housing for the Fishermen of Tyre
Rounding out our world tour is this incredible building, standing somewhere between the indie game Fez and a Disney resort. It literally looks like they designed it to have hoppable platforms. I’m in awe of this thing, and if I ever make it to Lebanon, I’m going to jump from window box to window box like a space kangaroo. Hell, I’ll even lick the walls, though based on the fact that everyone who lives there is a fisherman, something tells me this place does not taste as good as it looks. (I imagine it tastes like Nilla Wafers.)
Due to the trees’ relatively short stature and layered bark, this may seem like a climb for babies, and yes, that is exactly what I’m suggesting. Many of my fellow Escalationists are having children these days, which makes sense as climbing is a sign of great virility. If you’re looking for baby’s first climb, look no further. Though the baby’s flesh may be ripped and torn by the banana bark, or the baby may just not understand what the enterprise is all about and lay weeping at the foot of the tree, no baby can resist the monkey-like joy of gripping the ripened banana by the bunch. I suggest throwing your infant at the bunch of bananas, and letting nature take its course.
Eastern Orthodox Church
I don’t know what these people believe, but it clearly involves a lot of gilded edges, bulbous domes, and climbable crosses, so in a way this might just be the one true faith. The exteriors of these churches keep all the yellow climb-y bits at the top, and the rounded boob-like structures at the apex of each spire seem like they might be an ascendant’s last scramble. I’d recommend going inside and treating all the embellishments, weird gilded gates, and pictures of dead saints like stepping stones on your rise to glory. This is a great way of playing Assassin’s Creed in real life, especially if you pretend the angry bearded priests throwing communion cubes are Templars!
While posing the same slender pole issues as the Mickey D’s sign, traffic lights make for exciting game-like climbs. The classic yellow ones tend to be in heavily populated metropolitan areas, making daylight climbs all the more thrilling and risky. Though your immediate impulse may be to try to ascend and descend as quickly as possible, perhaps launching yourself onto a passing semi or school bus for extra flavor, the Escalationist Achievement for traffic lights specifically requires the climber to treat the color-changes on the light as scripture, meaning you can’t move on red, you can only climb slowly on yellow, and it’s all systems go on green. Turning traffic lights into climbable minigames will bring some joy to your everyday life, and the people of the city will no doubt appreciate your extra commitment to traffic laws. But with those laws in mind, please avoid the obvious temptation of hanging dong over the lights when you’re at the apex of the climb. I know from experience this can be a distraction to drivers.
A rare, ever-moving challenge map for the climber, yellow billboards are eye-catching beauties designed to get your heart racing. Their placement is unpredictable, and their message is inconsistent, but the end-result is always clear. Billboards were made to be climbed, and are a fantastic place to get high. Even for those of you uninterested in climbing, there’s something so relaxing about scaling the billboard rungs and packing a bowl atop the metal ledge. You really want to do this at night so you can gaze out at the stars and wonder what aliens might be climbing. Just be sure if you’re using this as a photo-op, be selective when it comes to the billboard in question. Nothing ruins a climber’s selfie like an ad for a Free Herpes Check. Unless you’re concerned that you have herpes, in which case it’s actually a boon.
Audi S3 at Stacked Parking Lot
Stacked parking lots are designed to be climbed, but with a dearth of yellow cars available in 2023, you really have to scout around for talent. When you see that python yellow Audi S3 perched atop the other lesser cars, it’s like a beacon of hope in this decaying world. Simply use the metal girders for grips and the side view mirrors of non-yellow cars as footholds before ascending to greatness. It’s customary (although a bit meme-y) to take tasteful underwear photos while atop the Audi, and we do have an extensive gallery (3,202 posts and growing) of Escalationists showing off their physiques respectfully on the hoods. One part of the meme that a lot of frustrated climbers forget, mainly because of the ease of the climb is that you want to work up a sweat, maybe by doing a few burpees prior to the climb, so you can get the trademark assprint sweat on the windshield for that last great photo.
Hot Air Balloon
The hot air balloon operators make it extensively clear that they do not want you climbing the exterior of the balloon while it is mid-flight, but if that were really the case, why are so many hot air balloons bright yellow? They probably have to say that for liability purposes. I’d recommend concealing a large amount of glue either inside yourself or on the underside of the balloon basket, then when the balloon has reached a reasonable height (the higher the better) handcuff the operator to the basket so he can’t interfere with the sick-ass stunt you’re about to do. Strip down so that you have maximum skin showing, eject the glue from your posterior, uncork it and slap it all over yourself. Then glue some suction cups to your palms as back-up (and for that Ethan Hunt swagger). This works best with a GoPro attached to your head since you’ll be all sticky and your friends in the basket will be at an odd angle, not to mention busy putting the chokehold on the operator. Then simply swing yourself up via the flame rigging and begin your upside-down-to-vertical ascent. The upside-down part is hardest, but when you’re flossing atop the balloon like a mighty gryphon, it’ll all be worth it! (NOTE: Watch out for Geese.)
House with Pesticide Tent
This climb is advanced for a few reasons. The tarp covering the house makes it slick and a bit more difficult to see the grip points, and of course the Escalationist Achievement for this climb makes things an absolute bear. They call this baby Wolverine vs. Poison Boy on our forums, specifically because a majority of our community members use blade mounted wrists for this climb. And I know what you’re thinking: wouldn’t blades rip open the tent, thus exposing the climber to the deadly gasses within? Exactly. Part of this challenge is surviving the poison sprays that you are inflicting on yourself. No one has successfully completed it yet, but once Denny Lewis gets out of the hospital, you better believe he’s going right back up on the tent.
Everyone’s always asking me if I have climbed the Pyramids, and I say no, I’ve never left Pennsylvania. Most of these climbs I’m just speculating on, much like the other climbers on the forums. We’re what you call Future Escalationists, insofar as our strategies are based off of what we assume will happen rather than any practical knowledge. Seeing as anyone reading this is a gamer, you’ll fully agree that pretending you’ve done something is in many ways superior to actually doing it. That being said: fuck the Pyramids. They are just big triangles with salted Pringles ridges on the side. Anyone could climb those. The real challenge is climbing The Sphynx! In order to do so you must answer its ancient riddles, then find and reaffix its nose to its face. This is as close as you may ever get to playing a D&D dungeon in real life, so you bet your ass when my house arrest ends I am going to climb that sexy lady cat like its Vaporeon IRL!
Skyrush Coaster, Hersheypark
Climbing this one during operation hours is what got me arrested. The judge says I am supposed to dissuade people from following my so-called “stupid obsession” with climbing yellow things, especially twisting tracks that rise to 200 feet in the air (hubba hubba). Trust me when I say this: if you’re a Pennsylvania resident, you’ve already lusted after the climbability of this bad boy. And yeah, maybe it’s bad form to climb it during operating hours when cars are still going down the track, and yeah, maybe that single mother did get pretty badly injured when she flew out of the car due to the sudden stoppage caused by my sexy dancing at the bottom of the first hill, but is that really a me problem? Or is it more of a “Hersheypark didn’t foresee this very obvious and inevitable circumstance and is now trying to pass the buck that their restraints need work” problem? I’ll let you and the literal judge be the judge, but if anyone ever completes this climb and does the Britney Spears “Toxic” dance on Skyrush in my honor, I’ll buy you a Coke.