American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Escape on Skis

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  • Publication Year: 1939

Escape on Skis, by Brian Meredith. 8 vo., pp. 200, with illustrations. New York: Dodge Press, 1938. Price $3.00.

As one schusses through the pages of the snows of Canada and Switzerland one catches the idea of a technique which is never mentioned in all the books on skis—from Caulfield to Lunn—yet if it results in so delightful a tour, it certainly should be added to the Arlberg instruction at the Eastern Slopes School.

Using this technique, Meredith recounts a visit to Lake Louise, then to Assiniboine and Erling Strom’s camp to Banff and Skoki, then a jump of 5000 miles to the Oberland, Zermatt, and the Engadine. The snow, true to life, is not always perfect, the accommodations are seldom ritzy, but Meredith has a good sense of humor, and the ability to transmit it to the pages, not to mention the living pictures. Perhaps the most unusual feature of the book is that equipment and wax are practically never mentioned, thus setting an example of better readability.

His new technique, by no means restricted to alpine snows, was used by an acquaintance of mine, a native of Paris, far from any snowy scenes. This friend spoke no English, and I asked him how he ever oriented himself, wandering about the streets of New York, where natives spoke no French. “Ah, he replied, “J'ai un système ; lorsque je me trouve perdu, je m’arrête , je guette le monde qui passe; trouvant une jeune fille trés charmante, je l'ad-dresse en français, et savez-vous, nous nous entendons toujours, instamment.” And Meredith always seemed to find a pretty girl whenever he was lost, of one nationality or another, who would show him the way out. A delightful evening s reading.

J. E. F.

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