The Scottish Himalayan Expedition, by W. H. Murray, xiii + 282 pages, with 36 photographic illustrations, including four in color, and 11 maps and diagrams. London: J. M. Dent and Sons, 1951. Price, 30/-. (New York: Macmillan and Co.).
To the annals of the Himalaya is added another account of a highly successful small, light expedition. Its object was both mountain climbing and exploration in the Kumaon between Nepal and Kashmir on the border of Tibet. The story is ably told by the author, who recounts in straightforward style the problems encountered in travelling 450 miles with three companions in this mountainous area. Nine specific peaks were attempted with five ascents—the most difficult being Uja Tirche (20,350 ft.), a first ascent that involved real mountaineering skill. One is impressed with the resourcefulness of the party in surmounting without outside or official help the enormous human and diplomatic problems of obtaining transport along the little travelled route of the Himalaya. One senses, too, that the members of the party really liked the people, even when they put obstacles in their way, and that they learned a great deal about the country.
The book is well illustrated with good black and white photographs and four excellent color plates which, with the description of the journey in the text, give the reader a vivid picture of this interesting area. The detailed breakdown of expenses as well as the discussion of equipment and other details of planning will be of value to other mountaineers interested in tackling the Himalayas economically without the organization of a large party.
William P. House