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Page:Climbing on the Himalaya and Other Mountain Ranges.djvu/27

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IN THE HIMALAYA

them must of necessity be a mountaineer as well as a mountain traveller. He must delight not only in finding his way to the summits of the mountains, but also in the beauties of the green valleys below, in the bare hill-sides, and in the vast expanses of glaciers and snow and ice ; moreover his curiosity must not be confined to the snows and the rock ridges merely as a means for exercising an abnormal craze for gymnastic performances, or he will show himself to be 'a creature physically specialised, perhaps, but intellectually maimed.'

For in order to cope with all the difficulties as they arise, and to guard against all the dangers that lurk amidst the snows and precipices of the great mountains, a high standard, mental as well as physical, will be required of him who sets out to explore the Himalaya : he must have had a long apprenticeship amidst the snow-peaks and possess, too, geographical instincts, common sense, and love of the mountains of no mean order.

During these latter years few sports have developed so rapidly as mountaineering ; nor is this to be wondered at, for no sport is more in harmony with the personal characteristics of the Englishman. When he sets out to conquer unknown peaks, to spend his leisure time in fighting with the great mountains, it is usually no easy task he places in