it's been upgraded from its historic grade of Severe to E1 5b. And the rest, I would still have thought; we vaguely contemplated this in my time but it seemed deathly. The lightning conductor was said to provide some protection, but we didn't fancy it. Just wimps, I expect, and too sober at the time.
I've been told by someone who was a personal friend of his that John Cox, of Cloggy fame and who was also a history don at Univ, climbed the Sheldonian when he was Junior Proctor, ostensibly for a legitimate reason in the course of his duties... But my memory might have embroidered that; must check this with my friend before it's too late.
I looked at a while back with a mate and can well believe that it's E1 - in daylight!
Sadly, the NR example may prove that climbing isn't as character forming as we like to think. Thinking of which, there's that famous/notorious educationist as well, isn't there...
I loved those tales of David Cox going up to Cloggy and looking for lines of weakness - most (but not all) of which he must have known he'd never be able to do. I used to do exactly that at Buzzard's Roost, circa 1970. Such longing...
And wasn't Cox Chris Preston's CO and gave him a direct order to ab Suicide Wall before attempting to lead it? Always seemed like a sensible move to me. Of course you lay yourself open to the charge of, "Filthy headpointer!" from nameless keyboard warriors 70 years on.
Oops - thanks. The Mysterious Cox effect. I even looked him up in my copy of "The Black Cliff" before posting.
Back to JC's OP: I recently encouraged an enthusiastic OUMC member to do the Keble to Balliol traverse and offered a bottle of whisky for success - only to have to withdraw the offer when it dawned on me that we live in harsher times and I could lose my job...
>Hmm... suppose one can grudgingly appreciate the authorities' point of view.
Ach, bollocks. After all, you could say the same about Munich Climb, and no-one gets sent down for climbing that. Anyway, it's important never to appreciate the point of view of university authorities, grudgingly or otherwise.
In reply to Solaris:
>I looked at a while back with a mate and can well believe that it's E1 - in daylight!
The Camera, or the Sheldonian?
Does anyone know who is reputed to have made the first ascent of the Camera? I tip my hat to him.
>only to have to withdraw the offer when it dawned on me that we live in harsher times and I could lose my job...
I always thought you were Paul Harrison, named after your classic (and late) Lundy route. I'm now guessing not.
I think I've heard the David Cox story somewhere as well. It's a pity he didn't write more; what he did was very entertaining. Was it him bathing with the Mallory sisters? "The convention was that you didn't look."
You Coxes are messing with my head (or maybe it was the wine yesterday evening)! Yes, the Camera.
And no, I'm not Paul Harrison - Andrew Moore.
One version of the David Cox story is that when he was a Proctor, he saw some people climbing the Camera at night, went back to Univ to get his climbing shoes, climbed it on the opposite side and arrested the students when they reached the top.
Well, many university authorities are just super-annuated undergraduates - David Cox was when it came to the Rad Cam. And the Principal of a college I worked at was remarkably patient when it came to the padding of not-so-tiny feet across his roof at dead of night.
It was only a few years' ago that the Cambridge Proctors said that they regretted that students are now less radical. Blame Thatcher. Oh, and 'Elf and Safety.
When I was an undergrad at Cambridge in the early 80s things like the Fitzwilliam Museum and the Bridge of Sighs did get done. Not by me though, as a goody 2 shoes my exploits were limited to a very half-hearted start on the University Library and some messing around on Pembroke. As a student, though, one never appreciated quite how many of the dons had been climbers themselves in their youths, and might have been more sympathetic than one imagined...