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Nature volume 50, pages 267268 | Download Citation



MOUNTAINEERING is a passion. Men who have climbed, rarely, if ever, get rid of the unrestful instinct to scale unconquered peaks and wriggle through unexplored “chimneys.” This love of climbing has been growing in England for some years past, and Mr. Haskett Smith's book will certainly assist in extending it still more. The book is the first of a series describing the climbs available in the British.Isles, two complementary volumes, dealing respectively with Wales and Scotland, being in preparation. It is not, of course, suggested that hill-climbing in these islands is the same as mountaineering in the Alps, but it is rightly held that the man who goes through a course of training among the crags of Cumberland qualifies himself to tackle the giants of the Alps or Caucasus. Beginning with the tors on Dartmoor, the would-be Alpinist can pass by easy stages to such climbs as those of Deep Gill, Mickledoor and Napes Needle, and then complete his course of instruction on the Alps. For convenience of reference, all the headings are arranged in alphabetical order. It is easy, therefore, to turn up information about hills or rocks which afford climbs, and to find the meaning of technical terms and expressions. It would have been an advantage, however, if Mr. Smith had given a list of climbs in the order of difficulty, for beginners would then know exactly where to commence their mountaineering education. The book is illustrated with twenty-three sketches by Mr. Ellis Carr, and five plans. It will doubtless increase the number of climbers, and the many admonitions it contains ought to keep down the mortality from what someone has called the “greasy pole” exercise.

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