Thursday, April 26, 2007

Ice axe, rope and a fantastic Edwardian moustache

I haven't yet written a post here which doesn't relate to a walk, but I just have to record these images from this month's Trail magazine.

It's surprising to find that rock climbing started so recently. The rocks have been there for millennia, but it was only a hundred years or so ago that someone had the bright idea of tying themselves together with a rope as an aid to getting to the top. They hadn't thought of hammering little eyelets into the rock and threading the rope through at that point, apparently being British, they just relied on the principle: 'The leader never falls'.

You might think these gents (above) have put on their best suits especially for the photo, but no. Presumably the fellows in the picture below are wearing their second-best tweed suits, but 3-piece whistles they are indeed wearing. No doubt calling each other 'old chap' and sparking up a pipeful of St Bruno once on the summit.

If you love all of this as much as I do, then please buy and read a copy of 'The Ascent of Rum Doodle'.


lynn said...

I do! What great photos. That second one makes me quite lightheaded i don't mind telling you. I can't even stand on a chair in the middle of a room to change a light bulb. I kid you not. Vertigo. How did he DO that? Honestly, how does anyone, it's beyond me. Also, how did you find such great shots.

dive said...

Coolio, Pea.
Those guys remind me of the Python sketch about the mountaineer with double vision.
Hee hee.

peahen said...

The shots are from an article in this months Trail magazine, which bizarrely seems to have me on the cover. What I just love is the fact that these chaps are 'dressed in their best'. None of your namby pamby 'breathable waterproof' state-of-the-art fabrics for them, they wore materials like leather and tweed which seem designed to soak up any hint of moisture and become cold, wet and heavy. No unnecessary baggage like safety equipment. I've also just discovered that The Ascent of Rum Doodle has an official website which has a smashing pic of the author, WE Bowman, resplendant in corduroy. I think I'll spend my 20 minutes reading that, Lynn.

dive said...

Is that really you, Pea?
The damned thing is too low res to make it out!

peahen said...

I'm afraid not - it's one of the Trail writers, I think, but I did a double take when I saw it, as did my Mum when she saw it on my coffee table!

dive said...

Mum was convinced it was you, too.