Image: Alpinist N. on the Wellenkuppe (Photo courtesy of Alpine Light & Structure).
Ink: From Mountains with a Difference (1951), by Geoffrey Winthrop Young.
But whom does not the alchemy of mountaineering melt into his essential gold?- whenever there is gold in him. There have been cases, I know, to show that a man may climb, and climb and prove a villain. But he will have climbed from vanity in his own prowess, and not from love of mountains, and the truth in him will soon out. Even in those first years, when it as still easy to know, or know the name and the performance of everyone climbing in our country, here and there appeared those whom I called the 'three year' men, men who flashed into climbing for its sensation and its acrobatics, and from vanity. They soon exhausted the sensation; sometimes they killed themselves; and in any case they disappeared once more from our ken. But the majority of those who were first drawn to the hills and their novel adventure were men of character and often of outstanding ability. These men, tested as comrades by mountain danger, difficulty and fatigue built our great mountaineering tradition.