After 20 years, no one know how someone put a pumpkin on Cornell's 173-foot spire

Originally published at:


Wingardium Leviosa


In other news: Who put the overalls in mrs murphy’s chowder?


As someone who always loved climbing as a kid, and as adult did some more technical stuff for a while, I can see how this went down. Check it out, that roof, at least on a dry night, looks a dream for hand and footholds:

Those edges are beautiful. The person hopefully had a belay line of some sort, but I could see how a talented climber (not even really top tier, just experienced) could have gotten it done with a headlamp, and that high up, nobody would have noticed a little bit of light.

I once did a (vastly easier) prank at scout camp, relocating a helmet from the top of an orienteering tower to the top of the tallest flagpole in the camp, in front of the main camp office.

ETA: I hope the prankster used a belay line of some sort, but of course freeclimbers are a very confident sort. So who knows? Getting down once he was up there was definitely the harder part. I’m impressed.


So that’s where I left that thing!

Now all that remains is to remember the rest of that week.

Hungarian homemade raspberry vodka. I remember that part at the start of the week. Then it all gets fuzzy around the edges. Then there’s the noodle incident. Then nothing.

Hungarian homemade raspberry vodka. Great stuff. Never again. Never, ever again.


I suspect it was the Great Pumpkin.

Let’s get Linus on the case ASAP!!


Does this explain it? If it’s not true, it’s at least a plausible account.


Aww. I was hoping for good ol’ ballistics.

ETA: That article is linked at the bottom of the Obscura piece, along with a second account.


Anyone how has played any of the Uncharted Series knows exactly how they got it up there


Who put the mush in grandpa’s whiskers?

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I assume at least one person knows.

Pedants of the world, untie!


Yeah, I recall when I was in the outing club at college, some of the climbers would put pumpkins into various crevices around campus for Halloween. So I can definitely imagine one of them trying this stunt. Some of them were good enough to get away with it.

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just looking at the pitch of that roof makes my fear of heights go off, and i get this weird cold spike down my legs and on the back of my neck up to the top of my scalp. NOPE, NOPE, NOPE.


I mean, eyeballing the climb, it’d be in the 5.12x range. Not for a novice, but not crazy hard. ETA: Might even be more of a 5.10x. Different gyms grade very differently. My home wall saw me with issues on a 5.9c, and going to another one, I instantly blew through all the 5.11’s. Hard to say…


I realize the link after the link talks about the climber who claims to have done it, but hey - they used a weather balloon to take a camera up there to view it. I think that would be the simpler explanation as to how the pumpkin appeared.

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Maybe it got dropped out of that plane in the background.


Yes, that’s had me for a whilst too.

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I think this is where we solicit names for the climbing route, so it can be officially graded (with two different grades, of course, depending on whether one is climbing it legally or illegally).

I propose “A Mysteriously Gourd View.”


“The Great Pumpkin”.