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Mountaineering — The Freedom of the Hills

Mountaineering—The Freedom of the Hills, by the Climbing Committee of The Mountaineers; Harvey Manning, Chairman of Editors; Editorial Committee: Nancy Bickford (Miller), John R. Hazle, Carl Henrikson, Thomas Miller, Franz Mohling, Rowland Tabor, Leslie Stark Tabor. Seattle: The Mountaineers, 1960. 430 pages; 16 photographs; 134 sketches. Price $7.50.

This is an excellent book. One can tell that it is written by mountaineers who love the mountains. This feeling runs throughout the book and can be sensed even when meticulous details are described. Essentially a manual of instruction and of techniques, it will be useful to all, although specifically tailored to the Mountaineers’ climbing course. Its size and weight preclude its use as a handbook in the rucksack but its scope recommends careful study at home. The wide variety of points covered is shown by the chapter headings. These follow: “Equipment,” “Camping and Sleeping,” “Alpine Cuisine,” “Wilderness Travel,” “Navigation in the Hills,” “Routefinding on Rock,” “Balance,” “Counterforce,” “Roped Climbing,” “Belaying,” “Pitoncraft and Rappels,” “Snow,” “Ice,” “Glaciers,” “Arrests and Belays,” “The Climbing Party and its Leadership,” “Climbing Dangers,” "First Aid,” “Alpine Rescue,” “Mountain Geology,” “The Cycle of Snow,” “Mountain Weather.” The technical parts are clear and understandable and so are the reports on equipment and clothing. Here, by necessity, some of the latest additions are not included since it is impossible to keep up with all new items appearing every season. The numerous drawings and sketches are clear and will be of great help, especially to the beginner. The photographs are beautiful. Mountaineering— The Freedom of the Hills is highly recommended for beginners and will be read to advantage and with pleasure by all who love the hills.

Hans Kraus