The 1931 journal of the Alpine Club of Canada sets a high watermark of excellence for this standard publication, now rounding out a quarter of a century of service to American mountaineers. Twenty articles and many valuable notes make up the 205 pages of text, illustrated by fifty-two pages of capital photographs. In the section on mountaineering are ten articles of which four are devoted to climbs and explorations in the Canadian Rockies, three to the British Columbia Coast Range, and one each to the mountains of northern Labrador, the Grand Teton of Wyoming, and the magnificent Southern Alps of New Zealand. The second section, comprising six articles, is devoted to skiing, with one on ski mountaineering, three on winter climbs in the Canadian Rockies, one on skiing near Vancouver, and a winter ascent of Monte Rosa from the Italian side.
A third section deals with scientific subjects related to mountains or mountaineering interests, with one article on glacial fluctuations in the Canadian Cordillera, one on the cypress trees of the mountain skylines, and one on fresh water mollusca in some Jasper Park lakes. The editors should be commended for inserting these scientific articles and thus emphasizing this aspect of mountain exploration. It is the writer’s opinion that the pleasure derived from an excursion in the mountains is greatly enhanced by an elementary knowledge of some of the natural phenomena to be encountered. Furthermore, with but slight encouragement, many mountaineers can obtain most interesting and scientifically valuable data in the fields of geology, meteorology, biology, and botany. Thus the scientific section of a mountaineering journal may have the double purpose of recording observations and at the same time of stimulating further efforts along that line of endeavor.
The last forty-two pages are given over to brief notes of new ascents and expeditions, other alpine notes, new maps, library matters, reviews, and club proceedings and club news. Much of this is of interest to other than club members, especially the section in which are listed the new ascents and expeditions made in Canada during 1931. This, if continued each year, will furnish a most valuable and accessible source of information regarding mountain ascents and will make it possible to bring any future climbing records up to date with less trouble than has usually been the case.
The contents is attractively presented, varied in interest and eminently readable. It will appeal to a wide circle of mountaineers.
W. O. F., Jr.