Saturday, 28 November 2009

Night Climbers to the Four

This week saw a fair amount of activity by Cambridge's favourite secret club. Santa hats have been appearing on various parts of the University's architecture - most notably on all four pinnacles of King's College Chapel as pictured (pic thanks to avaragado, click through for more and follow him on Twitter.) The Santa hat deluge is a pretty regular occurrence at this time of year; followers of this column will know that the Night Climbers have been a part of Cambridge subculture for over a hundred years definitely, and probably a lot longer (on Gunning's Balcony, St John's College, there's an inscription carved by pen-knife: PETRUS GUNNING ELIENSIS, HUJUS COLL : ALUMNUS Feb: 19th, 1734).

Those interested can read a free pdf on the history of Night Climbing below (and on the Oleander website.)

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

The History of Night Climbing in Cambridge

Anyone wanting to know the history of this exclusive sport in Cambridge and how and when all the various different books and editions of the night climbing titles came to be is highly recommended to read Richard Williams' piece:

Richard was the author of the 3rd edition of The Night-Climber's Guide to Trinity in 1960 - the title responsible for the resurgence of enthusiasm the sport experienced in that decade. He recently gave a talk on the subject to the Cambridge Society in Melbourne, where he has lived for many years, and this is the transcript of that presentation. His edition of the Guide is being re-published by Oleander in the new year.

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

The Holy Grail is here!

The original night-climbing text is now in stock. The Roof-Climber's Guide to Trinity, written in 1900 by Geoffrey Winthrop-Young and the inspiration for Whipplesnaith's Night Climbers of Cambridge is here, available once more. We're very excited to see it - eventually - back in print!!
Check out a review written on publication in 1900 over here.

Read more about it below and get your own copy here.

Thursday, 29 October 2009

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

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:

But have created a new cover of course:

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.

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Another View

Check out this stencil image inspired by a Night Climbers shot -

it's from Joe Iurato and you can see more of his great work over at his website. I think you'll love it!

Sunday, 14 June 2009

On the Tube

I've put a vid of Whipplesnaith pics up on YouTube - Mainly because I had a couple of hours to spare and thought it would be fun. Obviously I stole the soundtrack so I'll have to take it down or change it to something free... Anyway, enjoy:

Sunday, 24 May 2009

Follow and Scale the Soaring Heights...

...of Twitter!

Thought it might be fun to give ol' Whipplesnaith a voice to the present so you can now get daily updates from 1937. Just click here or on the image above and soon get you'll a slice of stegophilic wisdom to cheer you up every day.

Saturday, 23 May 2009

New Review from The Guardian

" all the above quotes amply demonstrate, the book is also worth reading simply because of the excellence of its prose. It enables even those who – like me – prefer to use the stairs to get to the top of buildings to experience some of the vertiginous pleasure of night climbing; the serene beauty of a moonlit ascent of Kings College chapel, the joy of mastering a well-secured drainpipe, and the wonder of watching the dawn rise over the roofs of Cambridge. It is, in short, a book as wonderful as it is weird" Read the whole piece here.

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

4500 Celebration

Just to let you know that to celebrate the sale of the 4500th copy of our favourite book - without a chain bookstore I may add - Oleander has a May discount of 20% going on so pack up your troubles in your old kit bag and head on over for a cheap copy of NCoC. Still, I reckon if a chain did take it on we'd be looking at 45,000 soon enough.

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Check These Out!

How good are these?!? I think they're fantastic! They're spray-paint renditions of a couple of the more famous of the NCoC images and have been created by Joe Iurato of Urban Climber magazine. Here's what he said about how he produces them:

“...aside from what I do at the mag, I'm also an artist (more of the street art variety) and have been recently asked to do a few nice shows. Well, I was just invited to do a major group exhibition in Berlin, and I wanted to use some of the photos from Night Climbers of Cambridge to base my spray painted canvasses on. Typically I take an image and recreate it by cutting and stenciling, with spray paint, several layers - until the image begins to form, and appears close to realistic. I am so inspired by that book and its images that I'd love to use some for this show.”

So judging by these tiny .jpegs I should imagine the show will be a huge success. Best of luck to you Joe! And, of course, thanks for spreading the Whipplesnaith word!