Grease Pole climb ‘amazing’

51st annual event goes off without a hitch

Scott Irwin, Sci ’11’s “tam frosh”, enjoys his hard-won crown after one hour 47 minutes and 31 seconds in the pit.
Scott Irwin, Sci ’11’s “tam frosh”, enjoys his hard-won crown after one hour 47 minutes and 31 seconds in the pit.

The class of Sci ’11 was treated to sunshine, muddy water and copious amounts of lanolin at Saturday’s annual Grease Pole climb.

Scott Irwin, Sci ’11, victoriously grabbed the tam from the top of the lanolin-covered Pole after exactly 1 hour, 47 minutes and 31 seconds of struggling.

“It was exhausting, but amazing,” he said.

At 6’8” and 150 pounds, Irwin knew he was a prime candidate for reaching the top of the pole.

“Everyone kept saying I would be the tam frosh,” he said. “I just waited for my time to go. I started going up, and it was a struggle, but you just have to pull yourself up and work at it.”

Irwin quickly learned that what goes up must come down, however —sometimes rather painfully.

“As I was sliding down the pole, I had my leg twisted underneath me,” he said. “I was yelling at everyone to get out of the way. I basically just slid down and was very disoriented by the time I got to the bottom.”

Irwin said he was pleased to acquire the title of tam frosh. “I was very happy. It’s an amazing title.” Dan Whalen, Head Manager of Queen’s Student Constables, said this year’s Grease Pole climb was relatively problem free.

“We were all happy with how smoothly the event ran,” he said.

To keep both spectators and participants safe, any objects deemed as potentially harmful to the event were confiscated. “A big thing is people throwing things into the pit like apples and peppers,” Whalen said. “We took anything that could have been suspicious.

“Everybody was free to come get it after.” The Grease Pole tradition began when Queen’s students would attend football games at the University of Toronto and knock down their goal posts.

“At the time they were made of wood, so Queen’s students would come beforehand and saw the pole a little so they could knock it down easily,” said Engineering Society president Charlie Scott.

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