The Conquest of Mount McKinley, by Belmore Browne. Foreword by Vilhjalmur Stefansson; introduction by Bradford Washburn. Illustrations by Belmore Browne and Bradford Washburn. New Edition. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1956. xxx, 381 pages; ills.; maps as endpapers. Price $6.00.
Belmore Browne’s text is identical with that of the original edition published in 1913. But there are several useful additions. Inside the covers are maps by Erwin Raisz which show the routes of approach by the 1906, 1910, and 1912 expeditions, from Cook Inlet, to the southwest, southeast, and northeast sides, respectively, of Mount McKinley. Washburn’s introduction includes a fine sketch of the late Belmore Browne’s life. There is a frontispiece from a photograph by Washburn of the Muldrow side of the mountain. There are fewer photographs than in the original edition; La Voy’s are omitted, but are replaced by some by Washburn, added to those by Browne. The illustrations are printed by offset, on the same paper as the text, and are interspersed in the proper positions to accompany the narrative.
The publisher is to be congratulated for making this classic of American mountaineering available again. For years it has been almost impossible to obtain a copy, and if at all, usually at a price far above that of this new edition.
Mount McKinley itself has changed very little in fifty years; only the manner of the approach. As an epic in the history of mountain exploration, wilderness travel, and arctic mountaineering, this is one of the great tales of all time. This book should enjoy a larger circulation now than when it was originally published.
Henry S. Hall, Jr.