Free Climbing Naturists

Here’s a picture of the Cingino dam in Italy. The dam wall is 160 feet high and not that far off vertical. Would you climb it? Without ropes, climbing shoes or … clothes.

What, naked free climbers? Extreme sport naturists? Italians?

Take a closer look at the picture and you’ll see the dam wall is dotted with climbers – eighteen of them. And they do it every day. Not ‘because it’s there’ but for the love of lichens. And a little moss and salt. They’re Alpine ibex goats.

Animal behaviourists, though, are beginning to suspect that food may not be the only reason for the goats’ love of extreme mountain climbing. There has been an unprecedented increase in daredevil goat behaviour this last decade. Some say it’s because of global warming. Or human encroachment upon their natural mountain habitat – forcing the goats into the edges of towns and cities where they can free climb on houses and tower blocks.

Others blame it on the rise of reality TV and the cult of celebrity, suggesting that more and more young goats are having their heads turned by the promise of fame and endless supply of lichens. It’s been noticed that some goats will do anything to be photographed.




And it’s a worldwide phenomenon. In Morocco, they’ve taken to climbing trees for the tourists.

If you thought caterpillars were the worst pest you could find in your prize fruit tree, think again.






So next time you’re out for a walk, take a closer look in the trees and on the buildings around you. That distant speck might not be a bird. It might be SpiderGoat.

Send for the kitties!

Chris Dolley is an English author living in France with a frightening number of animals. His novelette, What Ho, Automaton! was a finalist for the 2012 WSFA Small Press Award for short fiction. More information about his other work can be found on his BVC bookshelf .
An Unsafe Pair of Handsa quirky murder mystery set in rural England charting the descent and rise of a detective on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Which will break first? The case, or DCI Shand?
Medium Dead – a fun urban fantasy chronicling the crime fighting adventures of Brenda – a reluctant medium – and Brian – a Vigilante Demon with an impish sense of humour. Think Stephanie Plum with magic and a dash of Carl Hiaasen.
What Ho, Automaton! – Wodehouse Steampunk. Follow the adventures of Reggie Worcester, consulting detective, and his gentleman’s personal gentle-automaton, Reeves. It’s set in an alternative 1903 where an augmented Queen Victoria is still on the throne and automata are a common sight below stairs. Humour, Mystery, Aunts and Zeppelins!
French Fried true crime, animals behaving badly and other people’s misfortunes. Imagine A Year in Provence with Miss Marple and Gerald Durrell.
International Kittens of Mystery. If you like a laugh and looking at cute kitten pictures this is the book for you. It’s a glance inside the International Kittens of Mystery – the only organisation on the planet with a plan to deal with a giant ball of wool on a collision course with Earth?




Free Climbing Naturists — 2 Comments

  1. And we all thought the big horn goats that were extinct in the Columbia River Gorge were hunted out of existence. No, they climbed the cliffs and fell off, drowning in the mighty Columbia.

    Greedy River.