Everest, by La Fondation Suisse pour Explorations Alpines. 198 pages, including 136 pages of black and white photographs, 8 of color photographs, and 16 pages of introduction by Othmar Gurtner. Geneva: Jeheber, 1953.
This picture book of the Swiss expedition to Mt. Everest in the fall of 1952 is a superb example of the photo-engraver’s art. The quality of reproduction of the black and white illustrations is so extraordinary that artistically this clothbound volume far surpasses Everest 1952. Some of the best pictures of the earlier book appear here along with many new ones, especially those of André Roch and N. G. Dyhrenfurth. The close-ups at the end are outstanding, while Herr Gurtner’s introduction is interesting for its analyses of closed-circuit and open-circuit oxygen apparatus. Telling a story primarily through pictures and captions, however, has limitations. One does not get the “feel” of the full expedition. Some things cannot be photographed and the true flavor of an enterprise may be lost if one presents it through illustrations alone. Everest lacks some of the warmth of Everest 1952, but for polished, artistic presentation it ranks among the most beautiful books of mountain pictures.
R. H. B.