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Page:Climbing on the Himalaya and Other Mountain Ranges.djvu/28

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HISTORY OF MOUNTAINEERING

front of himself; but in return there is no kind of sport that affords keener enjoyments or more lasting memories than those the mountaineer wrests from Nature in his playground amongst the hills.

Mountaineering, moreover, is a sport of which we as a nation should be proud, for it is the English who have made it what it is. There are many isolated instances of men of other nationalities who have spent their time in climbing snow-peaks and fighting their way through mountainous countries; but when we inquire into the records of discovery amongst the mountain ranges of the world—in the Alps, the frosty Caucasus, the mighty Himalaya, in the Andes, in New Zealand, in Norway, wherever there are noble snow-clad mountains to climb, wherever there are difficulties to overcome—it is usually Englishmen that have led the way.

For the pure love of sport they have fought with Nature and conquered ; others have followed after; and the various Alpine Clubs which have been founded during the last twenty years are witnesses of the fact that mountaineering is now one of the pastimes of the world. It has taken its place amongst our national sports, and every year sees a larger number of recruits filling the ranks.

In one volume of that splendid collection of books which could have been produced nowhere