round kangchenjunga a narrative of mountain travel and exploration

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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: CHAPTER II SIKHIM AND KANGCHENJUNGA I Have already indicated how my mind came to be set on seeing something of the Himalaya. It was long before the fitting opportunity arrived. But at last my turn came. In the summer of 1899 I was able to visit India and to take advantage of the offers of help I had received from various relations and acquaintances among our Indian officials by making a serious incursion into the snowy range. My first business was to select the scene of my operations ; my next to decide on a plan of campaign. My choice of Sikhim was governed by a very simple and obvious consideration. To be quite frank with the reader, though I am ready to do my humble part in investigating the laws of nature, I love ' the glories of the world' best. I have always travelled and climbed for scenery first, for science afterwards, and—let me add—for all that is included under the modern term ' records,' last. Now for what our ancestors called ' A View-hunter,' a lover of the picturesque, a mountain's height is determined by the elevation of its summit above its visible base, and not by the elevation above the sea-level which figures in atlases. The extent of the slope included in a single view materially affects, though it need not necessarily determine, the sublimity of an Alpine landscape. The quality and variety of the scenery through which the traveller approaches the anows are influenced by the number of zones of vegetationhe has to pass through in order to reach them. The Vale of the Ranjit, the visible base of Kangchenjunga as seen from Darjiling, is more than 27,000 feet below the icy crest of the great peak. From the tall Sal trees, the palms and tree ferns, the plantains, bamboo brakes and orange groves of the lower hills, the traveller climbs through innumerable change... --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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