Clemson Student’s Climbing Pole
(Photos Uploaded By Alan Cutts)
Today’s photos are from the 1960’s and shows some Clemson students climbing a pole inside of Memorial Stadium. As sporting pursuits both pole and mast climbing may have begun as either martial exercises or physical training related to the invention and development of sailing ships, with the attendant requirements of scaling high masts.
Johann Friedrich GutsMuths (1759–1839) wrote the following in the late 18th century, in one of the first textbooks of "modern" gymnastics : "The climbing of the mast is far more challenging [than pole climbing], for the surface is smooth and the hands cannot go around it. Here, it is most necessary to have performed well on elementary exercises [gripping with legs and thighs]. This activity is known, by the way, in several areas of Germany and Europe as an amusement for the general public. A few weeks ago one of my pupils climbed a tree trunk 50 feet (15 m) high. With nonchalance, he held on to the tree with one hand, tore off some leaves and flowers with the other, and fearlessly scattered them, looking down on his ascent. On such tree trunks one must not climb too high because of vertigo; if one loses his composure, he can slide down the tree, rather than fall."
I think most young people in the 1960’s did it for fun…not for exercise!
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