Posted on: 26 June 2013

Digital Rare Book:
Climbing on the Himalaya and other mountain ranges
By J.Norman Collie
Published by David Douglas, Edinburgh - 1902

Book Excerpt:

' Let him spend his time no more at home, Which would be great impeachment to his age In having known no travel in his youth.' - Shakespeare.

At some future date, how many years hence who can tell ?...all the wild places on the earth will have been explored. The Cape to Cairo railway will have brought the various sources of the Nile within a few days' travel of England ; the endless fields of barren ice that surround the poles will have yielded up their secrets; whilst the vast and trackless
fastnesses of that stupendous range of mountains which eclipses all others, and which from time immemorial has served as a barrier to roll back the waves of barbaric invasion from the fertile plains of Hindustan - these . Himalaya will have been mapped, and the highest points in the world above sea-level will have been visited by man. Most
certainly that time will come. Yet the Himalaya, although conquered, will remain, still they will be the greatest range of mountains on earth, but will their magnitude, their beauty, their fascination, their mystery be the same for those who travel amongst them? I venture to think not : for it is unfortunately true that familiarity breeds contempt.

Be that as it may, at the present time an enormous portion of that country of vast peaks has never been trodden by human foot. Immense districts covered with snow and ice are yet virgin and await the arrival of the mountain explorer. His will be the satisfaction of going where others have feared to tread, his the delight of seeing mighty glaciers and superb snow- clad peaks never gazed upon before by human eyes, and his the gratification of having overcome difficulties of no small magnitude. For exploration in the Himalaya must always be surrounded by difficulties and often dangers. That which in winter on a Scotch hill would be a slide of snow, and in the Alps an avalanche, becomes amongst these giant peaks an overwhelming cataclysm shaking the solid bases of the hills, and capable with its breath alone of sweeping down forests.

The man who ventures amongst the Himalaya in order that he may gain a thorough knowledge of 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.

Read Book Online:

Download pdf Book:

 View Post on Facebook
 Download the Book from RBSI Archive

Comments from Facebook

you can download some of the books from rare book society

Govind Wattal: You can download every book posted on the RBSI page!