17 MAY 1940, Page 24

Approach to the Hills. By C. F. Meade. (Murray. ros.


ANYONE who has climbed in the Maurienne knows the Blanes of Bonneval and the Cheminee Meade on the Pic Regaud, and any. one interested in Himalayan climbing knows something of Mr. Meade's early exploration of peaks and passes in Garhwal. The record of Mr. Meade's climbs with that indefatigable old guide, Blanc dit le Greffier and his vagabond de fils, Pierre, might wel. have been expanded to fill a book ; but Mr. Meade's modesty hai led him to devote about half his pages to retelling the story of tho first ascent of the Mont Aiguille (1492), the accident on the Dm (1928), the modern " north-face " climbs on the Eiger and the Grandes Jorasses, and the attempts on Everest and Nanga Parbat. These stories are dramatic in themselves, and they are told with accuracy and understanding, but they lack the liveliness of Mr. Meade's first-hand impressions. If Mr. Meade, like the reviewer, had spent more than a few hours at Bessans in the winter, he might have realised more keenly the advantages of living among the steaming cows ; but no one will quarrel with his account of the horrors of losing one's way on the Guglin di Brenta. One is inclined to wish that the author had been a little more precise in his dates, but to the " professional " Mr. Meade's book will be valuable for its account of his attempts on Kamet ; to the general reader it offers a useful summary of modern climbing.