Smythe's Mountains: The Climbs of F.S. Smythe

Harry Calvert, Author Victor Gollancz $35.95 (223p) ISBN 978-0-575-03550-8
His booksAn Alpine Journey, Kangchenjunga Adventure, The Valley of Flowers and othersinspired a generation of mountain climbers and popularized the sport; Frank Smythe conveyed not only adventure but pleasure at being in the mountains. For his time, the 1920s and '30s, he had an outstanding record of mountaineering achievement. Calvert, a professor of law in Wales and a climbing enthusiast, gives a brief biographical sketch, then takes the reader climbing. Smythe was a loner, a misfit; he was not a public-school type and, in an age of the amateur, was tainted with professionalism. He climbed throughout the Alps, where he had some narrow escapes (his account of being caught on the Schreckhorn in a thunderstorm is a classic); a member of two British expeditions to Everest, he came within 1000 feet of the summit; after World War II, he climbed in the Canadian Rockies. The book is a treat for armchair adventurers and those interested in mountaineering history. Photos. (February)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1985
Release date: 01/01/1985
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