Climbing news of the bizarre

by Tom Markiewicz on May 4, 2005

This was just too strange not to post. Climbing a mountain of Chinese buns… I just wish I could find a picture of this online.

Think of it as rock climbing, except on a mountain of Chinese buns.

Hong Kong is relaunching the annual bun-snatching tradition on suburban Cheung Chau island after a 26-year break. Officials called off the ritual of climbing up a tower of buns after one tower collapsed in 1978, injuring 100 people.

The official 46-foot bun-climbing tower, 10-feet in diameter, is buttressed by a concrete foundation designed by government architects and supported by a steel frame.

Bun-snatching competitors are trained by the Hong Kong Mountaineering Union. Padding is installed at the bottom of the bun tower. The result: modern rock climbing meets Hong Kong tradition. On Sunday, bun snatchers with ropes attached to their bodies scrambled up the scaffolding ?? free of buns for now ?? in a preliminary competition. The 12 who reached the top of the tower fastest qualified for the final.

In the final May 16 ?? which coincides with Cheung Chau’s “bun festival,” featuring a parade of traditional floats ?? competitors must grab as many buns as possible from a designated area of the tower within a given time.

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