Montagne Retrouvée, by Gilbert Toulouse. Paris: Arthaud, 1957. 212 pages.
“Alpinism had a double origin” this author points out. Most of the members of our club he would place in his first category: city folks bitten by the sporting bug, some with a goal little higher than that of escaping the boredom of their dull world. He obviously prefers his second breed (typified by Carrel, Croz, Maquignaz, and Rey) : the lone native of the Alpine valley, carrying on a “dialogue with Nature” as he joins in that “divine game” of assaulting the high peaks. This book is devoted to describing the environment of such a mountain native, his villages and their legends and superstitions, his background of cowherd or hardy smuggler. One fairly smells the stale cheese and manure.
While the reader will find no feats of mountaineering on these pages, he can gain an increased appreciation for the life to be observed outside of his Alpine resort hotel or on the walk to his climbing cabin.
Roger S. Whitney