The Night Climbers of Cambridge - 'Whipplesnaith'

I inherited this book from my grandfather (or, more factually, my father inherited it, and I'm borrowing it, but that sounds far less cool). This is one of those semi-legendary books that you hear about but never see - an illustrated guide to climbing various pieces of Cambridge's crumbling stonework. How irresponsible is that?

The book was written in the '30s, just before my grandfather's time, as far as I can tell. It's an amusing mixture of stories, advice, and plain climbing instruction. Some pieces have quickly fallen out of date as the architecture has changed, while other bits seem as good now as then. Similarly, it is interesting to compare and contrasts the attitudes and fashions of Cantabrigians over the decades. The piece de resistance of the book is, I think, the King's College Chapel climb. Insane.

Posted 2005-09-25.