I'm really appreciating this series, thanks for digging these out Ronald. And I love your phrase:
to cut delicate steps up the untrodden, avalanche-prone terrain of a Victorian gentleman who is "expressing his emotions"
One of my favourite classic mountaineering books. Beautifully written, and perhaps even better written than 'Scrambles Amongst the Alps', which still remains the greatest of all.
The ending of 'Scrambles Amongst the Alps' remains the greatest paragraph ever written about climbing. Its wisdom is undimmed, even 150 years later. Be warned - it will break your heart.
..and the greatest paragraph ever written in fiction is this:
Her [Dorothea's] finely-touched spirit had still its fine issues, though they were not widely visible. Her full nature, like that river of which Cyrus broke the strength, spent itself in channels which had no great name on the earth. But the effect of her being on those around her was incalculably diffusive: for the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.”