Night Climbing the unknown explorations

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Found this in the Internet Archives

This slim volume, the first edition of which was published in 1906, was written as a kind of take off on the
Late Victorian "Climbing Guides" that were popular amongst the participants in the new sport of mountaineering.

While done slightly tongue 'n cheek it does cover most of the great climbs in the labyrinth of neo-gothic spires and neo-classical domes of Trinity College, Cambridge.

What is fascinating to me is that many of the people who climbed here, clandestine as it was, turned out later, if they survived the war, to be amongst the great mountaineers that pioneered routes in the Himalayas including Mt Everest.

Here is a sample of the style:

New Court
Very little has been let fall here. The low roof on the kitchen side of the entrance to Nevile's Court can be reached by a pipe whenever the herbaceous border and creeper do not run too wild. From this roof a firm pipe , well clear of the wall, runs right up to the roof, but it is unseasonably swept by avalanches of plaster.
The New Guest Room Traverse
The square of lead roofing between, and rather below the southeastern corner of the Nevile's Court roof, and the Kitchens plateau, harbours the kitchen ventilator, and is the starting point of a short and sensational climb. Proceeding to the corner of this roofing which is nearest to the kitchen and looks across upon Bishop's Hostel, a narrow brick string course running across the kitchen wall will be observed. The feet once upon it a stretch is made to the right, and the right hand at its full extent can grasp a small projecting lead pipe. The left hand relinquishes the parapet of the lead roofing and the hands are changed on the minute horizontal pipe. A vertical rain pipe can now just be reached with the disengaged right hand and we shuffle along our string course, squeezing behind a pair of telephone wires which descend we know not whence to arrive we know not where. Once on the far side of the pipe another long stretch of the right hand brings the vertical edge of a window moulding within finger-reach, and a somewhat relieved climber can sit upon the window ledge and take breath. From this point the climber must either make an entry into the room, or return the way he came. A first attempt at this amusing climb may be safeguarded by a rope from the Kitchen roof above.
The Hostel
A fine brick chimney (O) lies between the wing of the Hostel nearest to New Court, and the main block along the Lane. It has for its exit, if desired, the staircase window of E staircase. The low kitc
hen roofs can be attained on the Hostel side by a double pipe in the recess behind the Lane Tower of New Court; and from thence various first floor windows. But further exploration of the Kitchen Range is eminently desirable
Check it out  here.
The Roof-Climber's Guide to Trinity

This blog has lots more interesting Night Climbing exploits:
Night Climbing in Cambridge

Keep your sightglass full, your firebox trimmed and your water iced.


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