Cambridge Underground 1983 pp 31-32
SOME REFERENCES TO CAMBRIDGE NIGHT CLIMBING
Let not thy voice be heard among us,
lest angry Fellows run
upon thee ... Judges XVIII 25
Night climbing seems to be a tradition peculiar to Cambridge - although
there is an article in Oxford and Cambridge Mountaineering 1922 about the
sport at "the other place", it never really caught on there. It all started
back in the 1890's with the school inspired by Geoffrey Winthrop Young,
although he would have it that "it is of enormous antiquity, possessing
extensive history and a literature which includes the greatest prose and
verse writers of all ages."
From these early beginnings flowered the golden age of the 1920's and 30's
- but there then seems to have been a lull until a reawakening of interest in
the '60's, which has continued to the present day. Because of the nature of
the sport, references are fairly rare and generally written anonymously; this
article tries to bring a few of them together for the assistance of future
stegophilists. All the publications listed are available in the University
- The Roof Climbers Guide to Trinity
Geoffrey Winthrop Young (1876 - 1958)
"Containing a practical description of all routes"
W. P. Spalding Cambridge 1899
- The book that started it all. Apparently a second edition was published
in the 1930's (reviewed Cambridge Mountaineering 1932) but this isn't in the
- The Night Climbers Guide to Trinity
Weatherhead Cambridge 1960
- This is the third edition and is extensively rewritten with many new
routes (and fewer Greek quotes).
- Wall and Roof Climbing
by the author of "The roof Climbers Guide to Trinity"
Spottiswode, Eton College 1905
- A theoretical approach, with chapters on building styles, drainpipes etc.
Also a large number of literary references and an extremely useful appendage
on haystack climbing.
- Roof climbers guide to St. John's
- Some of the easiest routes in St. John's. Marks the beginning of the
- Alpine Sports in Cambridge
"Messrs. Robinson & Jones"
- 5 consecutive articles in the Cambridge Review. April 25 - May 23 1924.
Lots of detailed routes - mainly in John's with lots of excitement. Well
worth tracking down.
- A Novel Climb in Cambridge
"Nocturne" (same writer as Robinson & Jones)
Rucsack Club Journal 1926 pp 401 - 405.
- The first ascent of' St John's Chapel Tower
- The Night Climbers of Cambridge
"Whipplesnaith" (Noel Howard Symington)
Chatto and Windus London Oct. 1937
- The Bible, with all the classic routes. The second edition (Nov. 1937)
contains a rearranged selection of photographs, and the missing diagram
explaining the escape from Marks and Spencers. There was a 1952 reprint, but
this is not in the U.L.
- Cambridge Night Climbing
Chatto and Windus London 1970
- Very useful on the more modern routes.
- Varsity Rags and Hoaxes
F. A. Reeve
Oleander Press Cambridge 1977
- Short section on nightclimbing.
- Cambridge Mountaineering (Journal of the C.U. Mountaineering Club)
- Naturally there are many articles in the issues, most of them anonymous.
- Climbing in Cambridge - an essay and some incidents
1921 pp84 - 89
- Contains useful references to the New Museum and Downing Sites. partially
reprinted in 1981 p 11.
- A First Impression
1962 pp 26-29
- St. John's Chapel
1963 pp 35-36
- King's Chapel
- A Night Time Escape
1968 pp 38-40
- East face University Press
- Start the New Year Right
1969 pp 40-41
- St. John's Chapel
- Strachey Tower- Newnham and Beehive Route - Darwin
1969 p 64
- Babbage Lecture Theatre
1976 p 70
- Because It's There
1979 pp 17-21
- First Ascent University Library Tower.
- Bridge of Sighs
1980 p 41
Index to Cambridge Underground
Table of Contents for Cambridge Underground 1983
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