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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 61.djvu/535

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529
AN ASCENT OF MT. ORIZABA.

provisions on the horse and walking with the guides. There was some compensation in this, as it gave opportunity of measuring my walking ability. The guides had the advantage of being accustomed to an altitude of eight thousand feet and of living a life requiring constant walking. But before the close of the first day one of them complained of the difficulty of breathing and on the day of final ascent begged to return before the climb was completed. After three years of mountaineering with European university students, I am of the opinion that the American college man of average athletic habits can walk with the men of any nation. Good ancestry, good food, good habits of life, produce good muscle. In the same class with the American come the

PSM V61 D535 Mount orizaba seen from chalchicomula.png

Fig. 1. Mount Orizaba, from Chalchicomula.

English and the Russian student, while the German and French are in a second class, and the Latin races in a third largely because of their habits of life.

By eight o'clock we had started for the mountain. The little burro, buried under food, bedding, ax and shovel, led the procession. A guide followed to encourage the burro and lead the caballo. The second guide came next to encourage the horse. I followed. The preceding evening I had searched the lexicon to learn to say 'whoa' Unnecessary labor! The only expression needed was 'Get up!'—and that in the universal language of the birch stick.

A short climb soon brought us above the town and showed the flat-roofed plaster houses thickly crowded together without door-yards or pavements in the narrow streets. Several churches rising above the