ADVENTURE: Striving for Upward Mobility

At 6 a.m. one day last week a pleasant young man with a neatly trimmed brown beard approached the twin 110-story towers of the World Trade Center in lower Manhattan. He was wearing heavy hiking boots, and on his back was a burnt-orange pack containing a long coil of bright blue nylon rope. A curious window washer asked the stranger what he was planning to do. "I'm taking a walk," he said casually. And then he proceeded to: straight up.

Averaging about two minutes a floor, George Willig, 27, climbed steadily up the northeast corner of the great south tower. He...

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