Alpine Days and Nights, by W. T. Kirkpatrick, with a Paper by the late R. Philip Hope, and a Foreword by Col. E. L. Strutt, 8 vo., 198 pages, with index and twelve illustrations. London. George Allen & Unwin Ltd., 1932. Price 7/6.
This is the story of a mountaineering partnership, as recorded in articles which have appeared in the Alpine Journal during the last thirty-two years. Following the guideless path in the footsteps of Girdlestone, although improving on his somewhat erratic technique, Kirkpatrick and Hope were ahead of their time. Using no artificial aids they climbed the peaks that could be stormed by fair means, and were content to let the rest remain inaccessible. One thinks, therefore, that their standard was one of enjoyment rather than one based solely on difficulty. Kirkpatrick excelled on rocks, while Hope was the ice expert of the team. They brought reduction of equipment-weight to a high art, and yet were known to have served hot four-course dinners on the summit of the Meije. Together they climbed in almost every district of the Alps. But, most of all, one is impressed by Hope’s ingenuity in inventing such things as a folding aluminum camera, weighing one pound, yet taking quarter-plate photos; a rucksack of airplane cloth, weighing but seven ounces; aluminum plates that clipped on the knee, enabling one to eat as at a table in any place where one could sit down; and the grand combination of detachable umbrellas made on strong ash sticks with spikes, for use on glacier promenades. J. M. T.