Sunday, November 01, 2009

For the climber who "seeks new sensations on the artificial erections of man."

I don't post often on here anymore but people still come by so I thought I'd let you know of a bit of a red letter day approaching:

It's taken a while but we're within a couple of weeks of unleashing the Holy Grail of night climbing. This is the first recognised literature concerning this elite sport and is the first instalment of the exclusive literary genre documenting it. There are less than 10 copies left in the world of this 109 year-old treasure, and I'm delighted to bring this stegophilic standard-bearer back to life. Amazingly I've found a contemporary review:

'...the stegophilist will find a guide-book so lucid and complete as to compare with such classics as Ball's Alpine Guide and Haskett-Smith's Climbing in the British Isles.
- Full contemporary review

We've worked from Geoffrey Winthrop-Young's original copy - now held in the Wren Library at Trinity:

Many will notice that the picture used comes from Whipplesnaith. There are three editions of the Trinity guide - this one, a 2nd edition in 1930 and a final one in 1960. There was also a Roof-Climber's Guide to St John's. Each of these is being reproduced by Oleander in the near future and each sports a similar livery and Whipplesnaith pic. I think they look great - and hopefully so will you.

This reproduction contains the full text (including corrections by GW-Y) and two appendices of transcribed notes by the author; one set from 1902 and the other from 1948. Both shed amusing and informative light on the creation of the book, little known facts (the truth about Byron climbing the Wren Library for example) and details of his fellow climbers at the time. Read more about it over at Oleander; and obviously, the whole Night Climbers story is available on its blog.