Maintain Your Elevation!

A new member of a mountaineering club was included in a party organized for the ascent of a lofty, glacier-clad mountain, where skill and care were essential elements of safety and enjoyment. Guided by seasoned climbers, the inexperienced beginner was at first puzzled by their occasional admonition, "Maintain your elevation!" But the wisdom of the advice he was to learn and prove on that ascent, and on many others in the years that followed.

Progress in a straight line from the base to the summit of a mountain seldom is possible. Even when possible, it may require extra exertion or occasion needless hazards. The safe and easy way is found by due regard for topographic irregularities. Scanning the field ahead, a seasoned climber directs his steps to avoid, if he can, steep obstructions, beyond which declivities may lurk, or depressions or canyons out of which he must climb. He has a wholesome respect for the rule, "Maintain your elevation!"

Fear Not!
April 15, 1939

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