Undiscovered Scotland: Climbs on Rock, Snow and Ice

Publication Year: 1952.

Undiscovered Scotland: Climbs on Rock, Snow and Ice, by W. H. Murray, viii + 232 pages, with 24 photographic illustrations and 14 maps and diagrams by Robert Anderson. London: J. M. Dent and Sons, Ltd., 1951. Price, 18/-.

Those who have read Mr. Murray’s Mountaineering in Scotland will find here most of the same qualities and virtues. Descriptions are always vivid: great mountaineering experiences and moments of quiet beauty are realized with equal keenness. As the title suggests, the author in this book frequently wanders afield from the better- known Scottish peaks. He tells of many ascents of the same high grade of difficulty and excitement as in his earlier work—perhaps not quite so many, but enough. There is a fine ice route, for instance, undertaken to give Tilman, intimate with the world’s greatest peaks, a sample of the Scottish hills in winter. It drew from that laconic mountaineer the comment, “This climb is an eye-opener.” And there is a thrilling “suspense story,” with the climbers moving for a long period down difficult rock, in continual danger of annihilation from avalanches. In other chapters, Murray shares with us the various gentler pleasures to be had among, as well as on, mountains. Here the mysticism implicit in his earlier writings frequently becomes explicit, and to this reader is rather less effective, for that. But all in all the book is a thoroughly enjoyable collection of climbs and mountain experiences.

Elizabeth Knowlton