Rock and Rope, by Showell Styles. London: Faber and Faber, 1967. 174 pages, 9 photographs. Price: 25s.
Mr. Styles recognizes two kinds of rock climbers: the “tiger”, or ace who concentrates on technique, and the “rabbit”, who climbs for enjoyment. He includes himself among the latter, although some of his own climbs, if not those of a “tiger”, are at least those of a tiger-hearted “rabbit”. The author climbed wherever and whenever he could and a world war was no obstacle to his activity. In the narrative of his experiences we are taken from the climbing grounds of the British Isles to Palestine and to the Alps. Other experiences, very well told, are a climb up a cliff in Malta to detonate a German bomb, and an unforgettable descent at night from a Norwegian peak. In all these experiences he restates his favor for the enjoyment peculiar to the “rabbit” type of climbing, rather than the sense of achievement mixed with desperation of the “tiger”.