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The Oleander Press

Wall and Roof Climbing

Wall and Roof Climbing

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(Including illuminating Appendices on Furniture, Tree and Haystack Climbing)

Five years after successfully launching the original in the Night Climbing series, The Roof-Climbers Guide to Trinity, on an unsuspecting world in 1900, Geoffrey Winthrop-Young penned an astonishingly erudite parody of the literature guides of the time. With extensive stegophilic references and quotations drawn from the literature of the the last two thousand years and more, he nearly manages to prove that Catullus and Aristophanes, Shakespeare and Longfellow - amongst very many others - were avid enthusiasts and exponents of roof climbing...


In several inter-connected sections GW-Y explores and explains the different ages and types of building and the necessary differences in materials used prompting the alternative ways of tackling said. He examines the rich literary history of the sport in global proverbs, poetry and prose. The varied costumes, the prevalence of women roof-climbers and geographic differences in thought are all woven together in an almost exhaustive expose of this sport that remains so popular today but has a philosophy as difficult to define now as then:

"The change of centuries has brought no cessation in the perennial pestering as to the nature of this climbing infatuation. The unenlightened still press with old-time pertinacity for a logical exposition of the instinct which induces rational beings to spread themselves over knobby countries or polish uncomfortable walls; mountaineers have long abandoned the attempt to answer, and wallers may imitate their compassionate shrug. What philosophic system could congeal into frigid words this harmonious exaltation?"

We have no doubt the guide will be as useful now as then but concur with the contemporary reviewer when he notes:

"As it is probable that this review will lead to a large demand for the work in big cities by professional and business men, it is fair to point out to intending purchasers that the book is theoretical only, and not intended to take the place of a local climbers' guide, such as the Roof Climber's Guide to Trinity."

If you're a fan of free-running, parkour, buildering and, of course, wall and roof climbing, then this fascinating book will make your day.

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