"Once a warrior very angry Seized his grandmother, and threw her Up into the sky at midnight"
With the Guide-book in our pocket and high expectation in our hearts we go to Trinity, the aristocrat of the college climbing-grounds. King's can offer some more severe climbing, St. John's has strong counter attractions in the New Tower and the Bridge of Sighs, the Old Library is a safer romping-ground, but Trinity heads the list. It has everything in its favour. It is more extensive than other colleges, and offers every variety of easy and difficult climbing test. The roof-hiker can wander over many furlongs of roof-tops, alone with his thoughts in an empty world, so near and yet so far from the world of sleeping men below. The climber can take his choice of pipe or pinnacle, or shear face of solid stone, for the pipes are secure, and the stone sound. He finds spice in the continual round of the night-porter, passing through every court once every quarter of an hour. Or if he be philosophically minded, he can select a quiet spot, hidden from all eyes, where he can brood over the world below and dream of things to come. No one will disturb him.
Arriving outside the Great Gate as we come from St. John's Street or King's Parade, we savour our first anticipatory thrill. It is like seeing the first snow when one goes to Austria, or the tops of the distant Coolins when one motors to Skye. Seen from the ground, the Great Gate is impressive, rising squarely to a height of sixty feet. Half-way uop the front fare sits King Henry VIII, looking a bit crumbly and holding a gold baton.
A certain climber records that he made a half-hearted attempt to reach the seated monarch, and although he failed he considers it to be perfectly possible. The stone-work on this front face is not safe, unlike the rest of the college, and this makes the ascent unwise as well as severe.
King Henry has probably been reached from the ground several times in the past. The story goes that when the renovators put some scaffolding up the front face, they found the baton to be the leg of a kitchen chair, gilded over. What enterprising man removed the original baton, we do not know. Whether it was a cat-burglar hoping to melt it down for profit, or whether it is guarded as a trophy by a former roof-climber, we cannot tell. But it must have caused many a secret chuckle to the man who effected the substitution.
We cannot climb the Great Gate from the front, so we must tackle it from the side. There are drain-pipes within reach both on the north and on the south, and the roof could be reached by either. The pipes on the north are considerably harder, because they keep close to the wall, so we choose the south.
Surmounting a very broad wall via a window-ledge, we find the pipes, two or three of them, round to the left of the Great Gate. At least one of them is well away from the wall, and in a few feet we are level with the roof, which consists of sloping tiles.
Getting on to this looks difficult, but is quite easy. Round to the right, the vertical wall of the corner turret cuts up through the roof at an angle of forty-five degrees to the gutter. As one edges round this corner one feels more secure, although there is no hand-hold. Lying down, one can reach the lower end of a short drain-pipe, and pull up between two gabled windows on to the edge of the roof.
With an almost inevitable clatter of loose tiles we can go down to the battlement-walk on the far side. Or, if it be a dark night when silhouettes are blurred, we can straddle along the ridge until we reach the red brick wall of the tower. The pipe is now on our left.
It is an easy pipe, set in an obtuse angle of the wall, whose brick is rough and prevents the feet from slipping. A wire- rope lightning conductor runs down by the pipe and feels safe, but should not be used. There is plenty of room behind the pipe.
As seen from the photograph, the pipe stops well short of the top. A square-cut drainage hole just above the bowl provides a firm finger-hold, although one has to feel inwards for about a foot until one finds it. With the left fore-arm inside this, one can stretch up for the next three or four feet until one reaches the battlement of the tower, The four corner turrets can each be climbed by a short pipe, but they are quite difficult.
The whole climb is very similar to the St. John's Main Gate; the second pitch is harder and the first pitch easier than their counterparts.
From here, if the climber be making a circuit of the Great Court, he can go down the north side by a similar pipe, If he would do this circuit, he must have a companion and a short length of rope, or he will not be able to manage it. To get on to the chapel, the human ladder must be used. For this, one climber supports the other on his shoulders. He then stretches his arms upwards, and keeps the upper man's feet from slipping as he goes up. The rope enables him to follow.
If the circuit of Great Court is not being made, it is best to descend on the south side. The descent is also easy, and we are back at roof-level surprised at the simplicity of the climb. The Guide sighs over this, but consoles itself as follows: "Old age creeps upon every pipe, and will upon this one in its turn. Then climbers will be forced to use illegal methods --- God forbid the firing of rockets or cross-bows, but perhaps the throw- ing of balls of string from side to side --- in order to make their peak; or else give up the Great Court circuit and sigh for the good days of old." Old age is a long time creeping; the pipe is still as good as new.
In photographing the Great Gate, we had an exciting half- hour. It was half-past seven in the evening, and several people were walking about in the Great Court. This meant that the flash was bound to be seen, but that the party had a better chance of mingling with the common herd if any porter should see thew. In the dead of night men on nefarious business feel very conspicuous; in the evening, if they are sufficiently hard- boiled, they can talk and joke with their pursuers, unknown and unsuspected (Burglars, please note.) It is the unexpected that has the best chance of success.
Immediatety after the flash, the man with the reflector and the second climber hurried along the battlements, and in through a gabled window farther along. The camera-maa waited for No. 1, who arrived as a porter arrived on the ground immediately beneath. The log-book records the incident:
"Looking over the battlements, N. C. and I saw a porter running along below, so there was no time to spare. A man on whose window I had playfully tapped put out his head and said `Miaw'. The porter looked up, ten yards to the right, but did not see us.
"We popped into the room of the man who had maiwed, and found him entertaining half a dozen friends. We had a glass of sherry and explained the situation, promising him a copy of the photo for some magazine. Twice the door opened, and twice I thought we were sunk. We left.
"N. C. now went out of tha window on the landing and turned left. This saved me. A porter saw him, as it later transpired, and went along to the room which he entered. And I, walking boldly down the stairs and out towards the fountain, met no one. Had we both walked out, the porter would have been on to us.
"By unbelievable good fortune, there were two doors to the room which he entered. N. C., believing himself fairly safe, was just closing one door when the other opened. He just closed his own door in time, and heard the voice of a porter asking if anyone had climbed in through the window. He hurried out into the court, met me by the fountain and said, `They're after me'. Rather abruptly, I told him I did not know him, and while he went towards King Edward's Tower walked out of the Great Gate, meeting no one. The porters were all out looking for us.
"As no one was actually chasing N. C., he was all right, climbing out by ..." But that would be telling.
"The man into whose rooms N. C. and I climbed was closely interrogated by the porters. They insisted that they had seen someone climb out of his room. This he stoutly denied; it was the landing next to his room.
"Alec and O'Hara, first away, are to be congratulated on their courage and presence of mind in taking the paraphernalia with them through the teeth of unknown dangers, before the chase was really roused."
Theirs was certainly a remarkable escape. They guessed --- correctly --- that if they walked out into the court with the suitcase and the reflector they would be caught. If they moved along the battlements, they would be seen and their progress followed. If they went over the ridge of the roof and down to the gutter on the other side there was a sheer drop. There was no easy window from which they could fall. They were trapped, with luggage, on a staircase leading out into the Great Court.
Soon porters would be searching every staircase, every room. What then?
In this extremity?. without ever having previously studied the environs, they escaped from the college without entering the Great Court, withont being seen, without a rope or string, with a bulky reflector and a heavy suitcase.
Men like this would find the rope trick easy.
All this the log-book records --- with the explanatian, which cannot be recorded here --- and continues: "At the Blue Boar we had a drink, patted ourselves on the back, and went off to the Third Court of St. John's".
Now comes the real jest. While the photographers spent half the night flashing in St. John's, the unflagging Trinity porters continued the hunt. Whether they thought they would return, or had not left, we do not know, but there were four porters looking for them until four o'clock in the morning. And the last of the photographers had left mare than six hours previously. We would like to hear what these four porters said to their wives when they arrived home.
We subsequently found that these porters had some grounds for continuing their search. One of our party was staying at the Blue Boar Hotel, which someone discovered, and a plain-clothes detective was set to watch the place at night, it happened to be our meeting-place, He waited until we had gone out, and apprised whomsoever was concerned that we were abroad. Whether he served any colleges other than Trinity we do not know, but that college at least knew when we went out and when we returned. The Great Gate was photographed on a Wednesday. On the Friday we met a friendly policeman who told us about the Blue Boar being watched and proved his words by telling us at what times we had gone out and returned for three nights. Fortunately, instinct had kept us from going into Trinity since the Great Gate episode.
It was decided that the plain-clothes detective must be shaken off. The man staying at the Blue Boar paid his bill, bade an ostentatious farewell to his friends, and drove away to stay with friends living in Cambridge. Thereafter work continued as before, without the colleges being apprised of our coming on each occasion. Two or three policemen found our change of rendevous, but faithfully observed our request to keep the knowledge to themselves.
When the hubbub has died down we will return, and continue our exploration of the college. From the Great Gate we travel south, along the battlements, and past a succession of gabled windows, some of them lighted, unless it be easy late at night. As you pass them, your silhouette is screened for the whole court to see, but there is no cause for worry. It is the custom of humanity to look at its boots as it walks; we have often proved it.
Some eighty yards or so after turning the corner we come to Queen Elizabeth's Tower, which must be crossed. One can step on to it from the ridge of the roof, but this cannot be reached from the top of a gabled window. A little ingenuity becomes necessary.
Choosing a sound tile two as three feet up, place a foot firmly against it. Now spring forward, gaining additional distance with this foot. You can then reach the ledge, and in a few moments are on the top of the tower.
Of the four corner turrets, one of us faced them very easy, and one quite difficult. Curiosly enough, our views were reversed as to the degree of difficulty of the turrets of the Great Gate.
Before going on, it is rather fun to throw things down on passers-by in Trinity Lane. The missiles cannot be seen as they sail downwards, but a direct hit can usually be recognize. This pastime is not dignified, but we repeat, rather fun.
Then on to the end, where the corner causes a short delay. A long stretch upwards can only just reach a leaded, square ledge, on to which one must pull up. This is an energetic scramble, unless one uses a ledge some way out to the right as a foothold. One then bids farewell to the Great Court, turns left past the end of Hall until one finds oneself looking down into Nevile's Court. On the opposite side is the Library, a long, rectangular building rising to a height of about fifty feet. We shall come to it later.
At the moment we are concerned with the ascent of Hall. Here the present edition of the Guide quotes from the first edition of 1901:
"The slightly raised coping which edges either end provides the key. Holding its square edges with both hands and placing the feet on the narrow lead gutter, the climber pulls ap hand over hand, the tension of the arms keeping the feet from slipping. The stone plaster on the summit is generally embraced with panting satisfaction, as the height makes the strain upon the muscles considerable. A few moments can well be spared for the view, and few could he insensible to its charms. The distant towers of the Great, New and Nevile's Courts, looming against the dark sky, lit by the flickering lights far below; the gradations of light and shadow, marked by an occasional moving black speck, seemingly from another world; the sheer wall descending into darkness at his side, the almost invisible barrier that the battlements from which he started seem to make to his terminating in the Court if his arm slips, all contribute to making this esteemed, deservedly, the finest viewpoint in the college alps."
We have one observation to make.
If the climber lean well forward, he can relieve the strain on his arms by taking all the weight on his feet and simply walking up. As long as he stoops down and holds the coping, pulling perhaps slightly as he does so, he is quite safe. He then arrives at the ridge without tiring. Should he climb up on a rainy night, however, he will have to pull up, and will then share the experience of the Guide.
Once on the ridge, the lantern is on our left. This is a tall, spindly, lead-and-glass affair, closely resembling the classical conception of a spinster aunt. Rising for twenty or twenty-five feet from the middle of Hall Ridge, it is perhaps the most sensational pinnacle in Trinity, though it is not reckoned a difficult climb. We have not done it --- when it fell due we decided we were too unpopular in Trinity --- but we have spoken to several who have done it. The prevalent opinion is that it is easy for a tall man, but the shorter the climber, the harder it becomes. A clumsy climber might break some of the glass windews; great care must be taken to avoid this, as they would be difficult to repair. The one thing on which a night climber should pride himself is on leaving no trace of where he has been, and doing no damage. Otherwise he ceases to be a nuisance and becomes a menace.
Coming down again, we proceed to Palisado Corner, at the far end of Hall. Here we can take a good look at the Fourth Court climb before going down to the ground and tackling it from below. The Guide has it in full--we apologize for poach- ing again, and promise that this is positively the last time we shall quote a climb verbatim:
"The Fourth Court Climb.--A lilac bush behind the balus- trade may serve for screen, until the light through the frosted glass assures us that we have the climb to ourselves. An easy movement, a lie-back with the right hand and a press-up with the left, and then an almost similar one with help from the open window, establishes us above the light. From here a broad ledge can just be reached with the hand, and a pull-up on a small subsidiary ledge assists us on to it; the drain-pipe again affording a grateful lie-back hold. This ledge provides the first breathing-space.
"A step then brings as on to the sill of the first-floor window. Lie-back holds for either hand, left in window and right on the pipe, pull us on to the stone bar of the window; from which the next broad ledge can be reached. A pull-up on to this, with considerable help in steadying from a round drain-pipe above; and then another breather before the last and most fearful pitch.
"One moment of doubt is dispelled by the white upturned faces of the rest of the party, still crouching under the lilac bush far below. A step on to the angle of the serpentine pipe only allows the average man to touch the leaded ledge above. So near and yet so far. Digging the fingers deep into the pipe, we scramble to reach, first the ledge and then a higher wriggle of the serpentine pipe; and quickly disappearing over the balus- trade we are on the 'bicycle track'.
"To grasp the ledge above the final pitch requires a reach of 8 ft. 3 ins. from tiptoe. As the majority af people cannot manage this, the climb must be classed as severe because of its severe exposure. The leader shoald not rope for this climb, as the weight of so great a length might drag him backwards off the final pitch."
So speaks the Guide.
We found the first pitch easy, up to the first ledge, although no window was open. Getting on in the first ledge, however, which the Guide dismisses in a line, we found the hardest part of the climb. No first-floor window was open, and somehow the pipe did not help in getting on to it. A press-up on to the ledge was necessary, followed by on extremely delicate piece of balancing. We get onto the ledge, using no hand-holds above until we were standing on it.
At the first attempt we could get no farther, and considered it essential that the first floor windows should he open. Number one retired foiled, but number two found an alter- native way up. In the corner, two yards to the right, there is a square pipe. This has finger-room behind it, and enables the climber to reach the second ledge, on to which he can soon manoeuvre himself.
And now the final pitch.
In our opinion, the heroic method adopted by the Guide was unnecessary. The problem, if one be short, is to reach the ledge above, and we suggest as follows:
Face the wall on your right. Take hold of the ledge level with your head, in front of you, and double your left leg under you. Place the foot against the pipe behind, and press with your foot and pull with the arms. Feeling extremely awkward and uncomfortable, you will rise. You can then detach the left hand and grasp the ledge above.
It is a good climb.
Like the Great Gate, it provided the photographers with some fun. Working in the depths of the vacation at two-thirty in the morning, they thought they would be reasonably safe from interference. In this they were wrong.
Just after they had taken the second flash, the door of the passage leading from Nevile's Court to Great Court clanged loudly. Two of the party crouched low behind the balustrade at the foot of the climb. The third jumped over, and dived up the nearest staircase. Though not a climber, he was wearing rubber shoes, and the ring of his steps did not echo round the cloisters. The porter did not see him, but walked all the way round the court, jangling his keys suspiciously. To everyone's horror he then proceeded up the staircase where No. 3 had taken refuge.
On such occasions it is a case of sauve qui peut. To be seen is nearly as bad as to be caught, for one's face can be recognised or remembered. If the party scatter to all directions, the pur- suit will he perplexed, and each individual fugitive will be harder to locate.
In other words, Nos. 1 and 2 left No.3 to his fate. Vaulting the balustrade, they made their way out of the college and waited by the car.
They had to wait for some time. No.3 was an undergraduate from Oxford, whose knowledge of Cambridge and its porters was scanty. When he realized that the minion of authority was coming up his staircase, he records that his hair stood on end. He backed up the stairs and into a garret, whither fortunately the porter did not follow him. What ultimately happened to the trusty servant we cannot say, but No. 3 was some time before he left his hiding-place. Finally he arrived at the car, haggard but triumphant. Usually a cutious driver, on she way home he made the bones of Jehu rattle in their desert grave. Periodically he would erupt into a tremendous burst of song, and the other two quite expected him to stop the car and mount the bonnet, beating his chest gorilla- wise. He had recovered by the next morning.
A present don of the university with a reputation as a great roof-climber has told us an interesting anocdote of the Fourth Court climb. He was wandering round the Trinity roofs, alone, when he took it into his head to come down the redoubt- able climb. He had never attempted the ascent, and so did not know the details of the holds. A short man, he managed the first pitch, which in going down is severe for a short man, and lowered himself from the second lodge.
With his fingers on a subsidiary ledge two feet lower, and his feet en the cross-bar of the window, he found himself stuck. The window was closed, and he could find no adequate hand- grip to lower himself farther. He did not notice the square pipe to the right, which ends below the lodge, and with his arms already tired after the first pitch, he could not hold on for long. His fingers relaxed, and he fell backwards for twenty or twenty-five foot, injuring his back.
In those days he was an undergraduate of Trinity. On hands and knees, he crawled across the court and up the stairs to his room, only to find that the oak was sported, and he was locked out. So he crawled out again, and along to the porter's lodge, where, behind the porter's back, he managed to sneak the key of his room and get away unseen. This would have been a remarkable achievement for un uninjured man: for a newly crippled body is was little short of a miracle. Still crawling, he went back to his room, where he spent the rest of the night. The next day he went to a nursing home, and rang up the college to say he would be away for a week. So ends the tale.
And now, the Library.
We will start with that classic but highly overrated climb, the Trinity Library Chimney. It is to be found at the north-east end of the building, some twenty feet or more from the ground. It can he reached by two iron ladders from the stoke-hole, or in three or four other ways, including a difficult climb from the ground, called Castor and Pollux by the Guide.
A brick chimney-stack rises up to the roof-level of the Library, standing up from the lower roof, gaunt and needle-like, for thirty feet and more. It is between this chimney-stack and the main wall that we ascend. Immediately on our left as we start is a sheer drop into a sort of back-yard.
The right half of the chimney is nearly six inches narrower than the left, and only allows of back-and-knee work. The left half is of an awkward width, but is much easier and quicker than the right.
We recommend having the back to the Library, because the hands can then pull downwards against the corners of the stack, with the flat palms, which assists greatly the action of chimneying in that constricted space. On the other hand, if the climber has his back to the stack he can press downwards with his hands behind his hips. It is a matter for individual preference.
After sixteen feet the chimney widens and becomes easy. At this juncture it is best to turn, with the back to the stack. One can then press without difficulty through the narrow gap made by the wide ledge at roof-level, projecting for two feet towards the stack.
The Guide gives the height of the chimney as thirty-one feet; it seems much less. Two of the photographers, seen on the roof in daylight, reckoned they each got down the chimney in twenty seconds. Certain it is that the first one was down faster than his companion could lower a camera on a string. Wedging their feet, they did not chimney but slid down, without losing control. As one of the two was a Trinity man, his haste may be understood. He changed in a near-by room, and records that as he walked out of college he saw a porter, complete with bowler hat, walking majestically along the "bicycle track" on the roof of the north side of Neville's Court.
The curious thing was that these photographs, taken from the roof to show a climber in the chimney with the wide-open spaces of the Master's garden far below him, never came out. On the two or three occasions that we tried working by daylight the results were always very under-exposed. The only satisfactory results were by flashlight.
Close by the chimney is the Ornamentation climb. On this we will not dwell long, as we have not done it. It is reputed to be much easier than it looks. We know two moderate climbers who have done it several times, and found it easy; on the other hand a good climber tells us that it was too difficult for him. So anyone interested must try for himself. Apparently the difficult part, if it be difficult, is getting from the central boss on to the overhanging ledge immediately above. This is only hearsay, and it is all in the Guide.
Having come down the chimney, we will walk south along a very broad ledge, called the Cloister Terrace, and try the Wet Bobs Traverse on the south end of the building. About halfway up the face it connects the Cloister Terrace with a similar ledge on the other side, known as the River Terrace.
It consists of two ledges, the lower one being about two inches wide. As one stands on this the upper ledge is at about chest-level, and about five inches broad, sloping slightly downwards. It is undercut, and the classical method of effecting the traverse is to slide both hands along the under side of the ledge and shuffle along. Though a considerable strain, it is quite easy.
Easy, but the climber who has experienced the treachery of bad rock is far from easy. The traverse is several yards long, and the undercut hold on which he is pulling with considerable force is only an inch or two thick. Should a piece of rock the size of a small pear break off, he may go spinning down to the ground. In our opinion, he will increase the safety of the traverse by laying one forearm flat on the top of the ledge, using the undercut for the other. In doing this he misses the classical elegance of the climb, but is not left wondering whether the rock is of uniform soundness all the way along. We admire the hardiness of the first man to have tried the classical method.
Walking along the River Terrace, the first thing that happens is that we come a resounding smack on our nose. Torn between a painful proboscis and relief at not falling to the ground, we investigate the cause. A small iron ring, standing playfully up on end, contorts its hollow features into a grin through our watering eyes. The guide warned us --- perhaps, he too, bumped his nose. We walk along more carefully until a broadening of the ledge indicates that we are over the central gateway. We will now float down to the ground, and try the Gateway Column climb.
The Guide describes this as the "prettiest climb in Trinity". In other words, an absolute stinker. This is certainly is.
We start up the window-bars to the left of the left-hand column. Above the window is a six- or seven-inch ledge on to which it is our first object to ensconce ourselves. When he first tries this a climber may well retire to the ground baffled, reciting "Gunga Din" under his breath in a state of holy awe. But after a little practice, getting on to the ledge becomes quite easy.
Perhaps the easiest way is to face the wall, with the ledges at chest-level. Swing the left leg until it is lying on the ledge, and rolling over we find ourselves lying face downwards on the ledge.
Now follows a nasty piece of balancing, the act of standing up on the ledge. Do not sneeze at this juncture. If you must, you may recite "Gunga Din" in a soft voice, but pay no heed to your companions above of below trying to make you laugh, or you will have to start again.
Next comes the top of the pillar. We were twice foiled by this, and found it much harder than the ledge, but in current opinion it is easier. The Guide, who has nearly passed ten thousand words to say about climbs in Trinity, dismisses this in the two words "surmounting this". Thus do climbers always differ as to the severity of climbs.
The method --- in case you agree with us in finding it difficult --- is to grasp the two corners on the left of the pillar. Pull up on these, scratching with your feet against the bare wall. Convert the pull-up to a press-up, and turning round sit down where previously was your left hand. The whole manoeuvre is easier if done quickly.
The River Terrace is now just over your head. An iron ring about eight inches in from the corner, with undercut holds below the ledge, makes the surmounting of it fairly easy
We can now wipe our brow.
As we are already on the outside of the college, we will leave by the back gate --- which is locked, but easily surmounted---and walk away along Queen's Road. To reach it, however, we must pass over the river, and take our farewell of Trinity by the Bridge climb. This looks extremely difficult, and is astonishingly easy.
Just above the water-level is a small platform, at the base of the arches on either side. Both the descent and the ascent are equally easy; the climber in the photograph is holding the square edge of a crested shield with his left hand, though the effect of the lighting is to make it hardly visible.
One of the earliest adventures of the photographers was on this bridge. A Trinity man had climbed down, and was duly photographed. Hereupon the beam of a torch appeared from the blackness under the Library, and came jogging rapidly towards the bridge. With a low warning to the climber, the rest of the party withdrew towards St. John's. The porter stopped on the bridge for some time, scanning the landscape with his torch, but not looking over the side of the bridge. At length he returned whence he had come, and the climber rejoined his fellows. It did not occur to the party until afterwards that it was not they, but the porter who was brave. In vile and illegible handwriting it is somewhere recorded that the photographers on several occasions had cause to admire the courage of porters in various colleges.
Incidentally, two of the three Trinity men who were of our party each wanted to tap a porter on the jaw as a means of escape from two rather dire situations. Fortunately they were restrained by wiser and more mature counsel, and the crises were weathered by more constitutional methods. The rules do not permit violence. The climber, like a fox which is hard-pressed, should always have one more trick in his bag
Sitting on the back gate before going to bed, what climbs have we missed?
We have left out the Great Court circuit, which has some interesting monuments. King Edward's Tower we also have not visited, except for a casual look from the ground. (There is an easy pipe five yards to the right of the "eight feet of exposed pipe" which should make King Edward's Tower an easy climb from the ground.) A friend of the writer, who was caught by porters on the roof of the Hall and forbidden to return to Cambridge for three years, told us a good tale about King Edward's Tower. A climber was once in difficulties on this tower when he noticed a rope appearing to dangle for his special benefit. He clutched at it, and the clanging of the great bell above his head nearly caused him to fall to a cobbly death, but the night porter passing below appeared to notice nothing unusual and all was well. On the occasion when the party was caught on the roof of Hall, they were singing "Porters on the roof-tops, porters on the tiles" to the tune of the well known refrain. But this is a digression.
Then the Fountain, in the Great Court, the Dip, in the New Court, and Castor and Pollux, in Nevile's Court. The Guide mentions a number of other climbs at which we have not even looked; we have tried to select what seemed to be the major ascents, and then cut out those which could not under existing circumstances be photographed. There is certainly sufficient for climbers of other colleges to pay a few visits to Trinity.
Fortunately for these outsiders, Trinity is an easy college into which to climb. Our own party, who treat climbing-in from a strictly utilitarian point of view, have used six different ways of entry, not counting such climbs as the Gateway Column and the side of the Great Gate. A Trinity don, who in his younger days climbed in by seventeen different ways on seventeen successive nights, was asked how climbing-in could be stopped. He replied: "Encase the college in chromium-plating to a height of fifteen feet, and you may keep out anyone who cannot get hold of a ladder". His advice was not taken.
And so, with a good night's work behind us, we go home to college or lodgings, telling ourselves that perhaps after all we will not attend that nine o'clock lecture to-morrow morning.
|Notice this was written before the days of electric light
|The author of the Guide, writing to us, says: "A lie-back hold is back to front and upside-down and, roughly speaking, you pull on it because you can't push".