Monday, 30 November 2009

The Night Climbers of Cambridge

Those pesky night climbers of Cambridge University have been at it again. This morning's Metro reports that someone has placed Santa hats on all four pinnacles of King's College Chapel, presumably after climbing the 45m 'routes'. Officials are not impressed and are hiring a steeplejack to retrieve the hats because the task is so dangerous.

As the Night Climbers blog points out, after dark ascents of the University's finest buildings has been part of the Cambridge subculture for over a 100 years, and probably a lot longer. Whipplesnaith's 1937 classic account of the sport was recently reprinted by Oleander Press, to great interest. A small review of the original book nearly made it into the Guardian Book of Mountains but was chopped at the final edit. Manchester Guardian, November 5 1937:

Oleander has also reprinted The Roof-Climbers Guide to Trinity (1900), by Geoffrey Winthrop Young. Often described as the father of modern climbing, there's a beautiful piece written by him about Eric Shipton and Bill Tilman in Those Who Dared.

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