The Technique of Mountaineering, by J. E. B. Wright. 144 pages, with 21 photographs, 132 drawings, and a glossary of mountaineering terms. London; Nicholas Kaye, 1955. Price, 10s 6d.
A climbing manual such as this, written by a professional guide, may be expected to have considerably more authority than similar books written by week-end climbers with a literary turn of mind. The official approval of the British Mountaineering Association bears this out and lends further authority to the book. The treatment of mountaineering technique is remarkably complete in that nothing is omitted, from map reading through to complicated mountain rescue methods. However, while some subjects are discussed at length, others that are seemingly no less important receive rather cursory treatment. Nevertheless, the manual is so concise, so comprehensive, and so profusely illustrated that one is almost certain to find the answer to "What do I do next” for any situation.
American readers will learn something of British mountaineering tradition and the great regard in which it is held. They might also be a little surprised by the qualified acceptance of such things as nylon rope, Vibram soles, and "ironmongering,” and the outright rejection of modern concepts of belaying.